Eddie Lee Sausage, interviewed by Seymour Glass : Interviews with Eddie Lee, Peter Haskett - Shut Up, Little Man!
Eddie Lee Sausage, interviewed by Seymour Glass — for Bananafish, March 1992
Bananafish: How long did you and Mitchell D. live in the apartment adjacent to Raymond and Peter?
Eddie Lee: For 17 months about three or four years ago. We lived directly next door. My bedroom was on the other side of the wall from theirs. We both became completely obsessed. Mitchell would actually take off work just to be around. Usually around the first of the month , like clockwork, there’d be an explosion because the rent was due. You could bank on it. People would come over on Friday nights and hang out and listen to them fight.
Bananafish: How long were you there before you started tape-recording them?
Eddie: I’d say about six to seven weeks. I’d already experienced six weeks of terror, lying in bed every night, through chorus after chorus of "Shut up, little man, shut up little man." And then I had a confrontation with Ray. He threatened to kill me.
Bananafish: By what method?
Eddie: With his hands.
Bananafish: Is that why you started taping them?
Eddie: He said, "I was a killer before you were born, I’ll be a killer after you’re dead."
Bananafish: Do you have that line on tape?
Eddie: Yes. It was one of the limited library of phrases that he would repeat. That’s when I decided to tape them for our own safety, in case something did happen and I had to have evidence of an assault situation.
Bananafish: You were definitely intimidated at first?
Eddie: Scared the shit out of me. They used to beat each other up all the time. I couldn’t sleep because they were so loud and I couldn’t stop listening.
Bananafish: Did you ever see Tony?
Bananafish: Who is he? Peter mentions him on tape, but he rarely speaks.
Eddie: He’s a 40-year-old Vietnam vet, going on 70. A parasite, basically, who lives with them on and off when he has a painting job in San Francisco. He’s a Kentucky white-trash character who is evidently lovers with Pete. We have one tape where Tony arrives and then you hear sexual sounds. Then Ray comes home, drunk as hell, and starts screaming, "I hear them suckin’ sounds in the back room, goddamn it. You fuckin’ queers. I will destroy all queers." And then he’s off on his Hitler routine, which is a recurring motif in his monologues. You know, "I don’t believe Hitler was right, but goddamn it, he knew that he should kill all queers. Cuz they ain’t decent."
Bananafish: Do you think Ray was a bit of a homo himself?
Eddie: I do believe so, yes. He was an ex-convict, perhaps initiated into sodomy while in jail.
Bananafish: Think Ray and Pete ever did it together?
Eddie: The exact nature of their relationship is something we struggled with the entire time we lived there. I always saw it as being similar to Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? or in The Stranger where the neighbor of Merisault always beats his dog and calls it a filthy cur, but when it dies, he crumbles.
Bananafish: Do you have any idea why Ray was in jail?
Eddie: Well, he did actually murder somebody. Got off on manslaughter.
Bananafish: How do you know?
Eddie: I have a tape of a wonderful soliloquy where he’s smashed on port wine and he’s talking calmly, trying to work through a confession. He says, "I didn’t want to kill him, but goddamn it, I had to kill him. Threw a glass of ice in my face, the cocksucker. I didn’t want to kill him!" He’s trying to convince himself.
Bananafish: By what method did he kill the cocksucker?
Eddie: He hit him over the head with a bottle.
Bananafish: Do you know if Peter was really kicked out of the Army for bein’ a fuckin’ queer?
Eddie: He was kicked out because he wasn’t a decent human bein.’