NeverNemesis Phineas Crux: A History of Antagonism from Little Beirut to Siem Reap

Posted: November 27, 2011 in paranoid life, Vic Neverman Travelogue
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Sometimes the most trusted ally is a proven antagonist. It is more important to know a man’s intentions than to agree with them. A familiar rival is often more forthcoming than a fellowship of strangers. Look at Jack Kennedy and Nikita Kruschev, these rivals chose a diplomatic stalemate over the proposals of their hawkish generals who would sooner see mass extinction of the species. Kennedy and Kruschev avoided all-out war by finding the lowest common denominator: survival. In similar fashion, I, Vic Neverman, broke bread (or more literally cracked open beers) with the ever-devious, Phineas Crux. Over a compromise of mutual survival, we two enemies had joined a common cause.

And now the bastard has gone missing.

Despite our longtime opposition, I had employed Phineas Crux into my ever-expanding Neverman Network Of Spies (NNOS). As a political elitist in the Oregonian state capital, an expert on Trans-Pacific foreign policy, and an erstwhile spelunker in the Portland Underground, Phineas Crux is a unique resource to report back on West Coastal stirrings. Most recently, Phineas has been keeping an eye on the Occupy movement in both Portland and Salem, Oregon. He’s made comparisons of the Occupy organizational structure to that of the anti-Franco communists of the Spanish Civil War. He’s mentioned that the homeless seem to have a large role in the local movement, but since the hipsters of Little Beirut (as Portland was called by the 1st Bush Administration) often blur the lines between fashion and destitution, it is not easy to separate the true vagrants from the trustifarians. In perhaps his most startling revelation, Phineas Crux’s espionage uncovered recent research Occupation participators have conducted to learn more about prior secessionist movements in California, Oregon and Washington.

And that is the last we’ve heard of our wayward antagonist.

Has Phineas gone so deep underground he cannot sneak off to a nearby internet cafe to send a short message without being overseen by oppressive forces, be they of the fascist police state or the anarchist pitchforked public? Or has Phineas Crux been more violently silenced – muzzled in some Shanghai Tunnel or buried beneath the snows of Mt Hood? Or could this be the work of a jilted former lover, a scorned ex-flame who wishes to see Phineas finished off (just less pleasantly than times past)? Certainly, there is one such anti-Crux femme fatale that comes to mind… An obvious suspect, she… She who called me, Vic Neverman, in an endless rant of a letter “naive” and “idiotic” (the gall!) for my trusting Phineas Crux. In her defense, however, one must always be cautious when dealing with Phineas. I, Vic Neverman, could trust Phineas Crux precisely because I knew he was untrustworthy. As I mentioned previously, it is better to have a man whose intentions are clear than to have one whose agenda is clouded by their sycophantic agreeableness. Crux is definitely the former.

Portlandian Secret Society "The Dude Collective". Phineas Crux is on the far left, Vic Neverman on the far right.

I first came to know this character, Phineas Crux, in Portland when I and the warior-poet, Ginger Hustle (whose been featured in previous Occupy blogs), entered into the surreal realm of a Jim Morrison shrine off the eastern banks of the Willamette River. Within this Temple of Doors, the warrior-poet and I became acquainted with Phineas Crux and we would later be initiated into a cultic brotherhood of sorts, which I have referred to before as the Dude Collective. Despite being fellow philosopher-monks in the Collective, rivalry and sabotage ensued between Crux and Neverman. When my play, “Operation Smoking Dragon” premiered in Lincoln City, who was it streaking through the audience with just a tube sock covering his nether-parts? Phineas Crux. And then in the aftermath of a great blizzard, “Sno-pacalypse 2008” as the local news called it, lines were clearly drawn for a final battle between Phineas with his merry men and Ginger Hustle and I, Vic Neverman, on the opposite side. Perhaps the only thing keeping us from mutual annihilation was the holiday spirit contained in the seasonal craft beers we had been gulping down… poisonous remedy it could be.

The zenith of the antagonism between Neverman and Crux was reached when each of us, under different pretenses, found ourselves in Southeast Asia suspecting the Other as a saboteur. The dusty jungles of non-monsoonal Vietnam and Cambodia were the devil’s playground for our dance of intrigue. One positive aspect of traveling in corrupt states is the ease with which I bribed the Saigon police with the help of my guide Now True Van Wasted (“now true” being a brutal anglicization of her name Ngoc Truc). I used these bribes in an effort to recapture my stolen passport and visa (courtesy, one would suspect, of the devious Phineas Crux) and to further hinder the plans of he, my nemesis.

Showdown in Siem Reap. From left to right, Mr and Mrs VanWasted, Phineas Crux, Vic Neverman, and hovering over the scene, Phineas' 7 foot goon, Q-Ball

It wouldn’t be until both Crux and Neverman found themselves in Cambodia before we would actually meet face-to-face for the first time since Portland a month earlier when each saw the Other off, like two racers revving engines at the starting line. It was in the crossroads of the “White Market” in Siem Reap, among the pedicure-by-goldfish stalls and the sickeningly capitalistic vendors of land mine souvenirs, that Neverman and Crux met with our teams in tow. Phineas suspected me of wrong-doings I was absolutely innocent of. I, in turn, accused him of nearly blinding me by poisoning my contact solution in Ho Chi Minh City (I was sporting an eye-patch for a while there) and then later hiring a local goon to mug me of my traveling papers (if it weren’t for an ever-present and surprisingly helpful Mossad agent, I would still be hitchhiking my way out of Indochina). Our mirrored sneers became snickers and our ricocheted paranoia brought a cynical levity. With so much in common, our friendship was quickly renewed.

We would both return to Oregon for the last months of the Dude Collective before the brotherhood would geographically fracture, separating members by continents and oceans. It was just as well, going on double-dates with your arch-nemesis and a pair of unsuspecting girlfriends was getting awkward. By the end of the year, Crux left Portland for the state capital and Neverman was in Florida.

But through the web – specifically the online forum Zoey & the Zeitgeist – the misaligned alliance remained… until now.

Now, Crux is gone…

  1. waraexists says:

    A bird spotted Crux near the equator…the part that smells of the Andes….

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