(Note; I think this was 1964. How I got to New York is a whole other story, post later. The Texas couple, my boyfriend Christopher and I moved into a 5th floor walk up on Houston and C or D, I was just a young west coast hippie, first time in New York )
The Texas couple invited some people to a party. One man was a mystery. He was eerie, shadowy, a magician. Talking to him was like talking to a dark spirit of some kind. The room seemed to fill with mysteries all around him, he seemed to have some kind of power. A few days later the Texas couple had moved on and Chris disappeared into the city. I never saw him again. I couldn’t pay the rent so I was out on the street. The mystery man found me and said he heard what had happened and he wondered if I was getting along all right. So he offered to introduce me to some people. It was he who introduced me to Bill Heine. The mystery man turned out to be Herbert Huncke, a beat generation writer. Later he published his memoirs all about his adventures with Ginsberg, and all those. But I didn’t know that then. To me, he was just Hunky. I called him Hunky all summer. By daylight he was a plain man, but elusive and odd, gay, beat, one of the East Side magicians. The four comers of my world in New York were Hunky, Heine, Panama, and Joplin. In my mind Joplin was the master magician. He occupied a great deal of space in my mind, even though I had barely met him. Later I learned he was an ex-rabbi. Once in Heine’s apartment, the three of us were standing around and there were loud popping noises coming out of the air, like paper bags full of air being popped. There were always unexplainable noises around these magicians. They created audible sounds with their minds. I called this telephonics. Ellen once told me that everywhere she went she heard Heine’s name. People would lean out of windows and say it.
Well, I don’t think I told her then but I had the same experience, and more. Once I was sitting in a dinette having coffee and an English muffin (that’s all I ate all summer, just about), when I heard the Heine mind whispering from the air conditioner a long involved poem about the queen of Kamehameha or something and giving instructions to walk down the street, into a neighborhood I had never been in before, turn left, turn right, etc. and turn into another diner, and yes! There was Heine sitting on a barstool laughing hard at the sight of me, with his hand over his mouth. He always giggled furiously with his hand over his mouth because he was missing some front teeth. Apparently he knew he was pulling me in there in some mysterious way. I was always under the conviction I could hear his mind. Once in his apartment I was sitting on the couch watching him pacing back and forth frantically and it seemed like the voice in his mind was getting louder and louder until it was practically audible. He paced frenetically, wincing and grasping his temples with his hands. Finally he shouted at me to get out.
Bill Heine was a magician, but some of his illusions were a bit thin, such as the flapping wallet. A wallet was lying on the coffee table, and it began flapping, but the flapping end actually looked kind of transparent, the door scene was more interesting. Ellen and a man in a soldier’s uniform were in the room; (he was an ex-boyfriend of hers I think) and Heine was away. There was a pounding on the door, and Heine’s voice calling out, “Christine, Christine.” The man in the uniform went to the door, but no one was there. The hall to the right was very long, and to the left, it came to a dead end. Opposite the door there was a staircase, and one could see to the top of it clearly. A few minutes later there was another knock at the door and the man rushed to the door and yanked it open. No one there. We all craned our necks out the door. How could he have gotten away so fast? I thought I saw a grey shadow flitting down the hall, but then perhaps I did not. And when there was a third knock at the door, and his voice called “Ellen, Ellen,” I opened the door to fmd Heine standing there in a fit of giggles with his hand over his mouth. Both Ellen and I had a crush on him, but ultimately he chose her.
Another incident involved a fire. Ellen and I were sitting in the living room, and Heine was in another room. There was a decoration he had made, consisting of a hoop hanging from the ceiling, over which scraps of colored fabrics were hung, and the whole thing had caught fIre. Ellen screamed and Heine came rushing into the room. He reached up and lightly touched it. At the moment he touched it the whole ftre went out instantaneously.
Heine was 37 when I met him. He was a slight and fair man, quick, restless and startling.He had short light hair and he was so intense his presence could be disconcerting. He was called a magician, but he was not a sleight of hand artist – he was telepathic, telekinetic. I saw it with my own eyes. He was a gray magician – neither good nor evil, just entertaining himself.