transsexual reveler at the Toronto Gay Pride parade circa 2005

go deeper into communities exhibiting behavioral addictions

Transsexual Reveler at the 2005 edition of the Toronto Gay Pride Parade

Dancing on the Periphery

Synopsis

In his fictional book, Dancing On The Periphery, G. Eugene Pichler follows the life of sex addict, Robert Listner. In the opening chapter we discover Listner in his natural element, attending a social gathering at Beverly Williams Powder Puff Room. The Powder Puff Room, is a business that caters to the local sado-masochistic community. At the culmination of the party Listner finds himself cuffed to a wooden cross at his own choosing along with a number of other professional men in a similar compromising position. A number of women dressed in leather tend to Listner and the other professionals in the room with horse crops and chains.

The next day while on a subway train, overseeing what he believes to be an attempted robbery, Listner girlfriend surprises Listner. Clara randomly takes the same subway car as Listner, but he doesn't see Clara board the car. Just as Clara surprises Listner, the man who Listner thought was preparing to steal the handbag of a woman on the train, uneventfully walks off the subway car and onto the platform. In fact, Listner routinely has paranoid episodes where he believes he is witnessing an imminent crime, eg., a theft or assault, only to realize that a crime did not take place to his relief.

Listner sees a psychiatrist, Dr. Klotz, for a bi-polar disorder, which emerged when Listner was only 26-years-old. Over the course of his first episode of mania, Listner, was hospitalized for his own protection. Listner attempted to commit suicide, playing Russian roulett with a pistol. Klotz prescribes Listner anti depressants and mood stabilizers in a bid to keep Listner out of the hospital and out of trouble in the future.

As Listner and Clara's relationship escalates, he invites Clara to join him on a romantic holiday vacation in the Roman quarter of Paris, where Listner is intimately familiar with the cafe managers and shop owners. Listner plans to propose marriage to Clara at one particular restaurant in the Roman Quarter of Paris, France.

When Listner and Clara arrive, Listner begins to notice that each one of the owners of the stores and cafes that he thought he knew so well were in fact Nazi collaborators responsible for deporting hundreds of thousands of Jews to concentration camps in Eastern Europe during World War II. Listner, who is no longer focussed on the vacation nor proposing marriage to Clara, fixates on the coincidences that in his mind demonstrate irrefutable evidence of a cover up of a war crimes conspiracy on the part of the cafe managers and shop owners in the Roman Quarter. In the climax of the trip to Paris Listner confronts one of the cafe manager and triggers an exchange of violence with the cafe manager. Bystanders immediately contact the police.

Police and medics arrive at the scene and take Listner away to a psychiatric hospital where he is ordered to undergo a 72 hour psychiatric evaluation. Clara leaves Paris and flies back to Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Clara is not seen again.

After 48 hours the psychiatrists at the hospital release Listner, who they believe is no longer a risk to harm himself or others. Listner, who is determined to get to the bottom of the war crimes conspiracy travels to London, England to attend the European headquarters of Interpol. There Listner meet with officials, however, not convinced of the authenticity of the allegations, the agents only half heartedly listens to Listner'story.

On Listner's return to Toronto, Ontario Dr. Klotz is tasked with medicating Listner back to a stable condition. As Klotz meets with Listsner he unravels the mystery as to why Listner's proclivities towards a dangerous sex acts evaporate with the advent of medication only to return when the meds are discontinued.

The book is based on a true story.

Eve Of A New Man, is the official soundtrack to the book, Dancing On The Periphery.