Nov 24, 2013

Green Eyes --- Part II (This is heaven) (Chapter 2, teaser)

Last Monday we talked about the beginning of Part II of the Green Eyes, and Tuesday we began to write. We have to prepare the ground for a triangle (Am: ménage, if you didn't know (we didn't) --- in French it means "household") a triangle of John, Alex, and Ben. It's tough going, there are lots of distractions, but we have a reasonable draft now, and here are two fragments.

______________________

Let me think. ‘The happy ending is over now,’ I think. I look askance at Alex’s rippled abs (he’s still holding the T-shirt in his hand, it’s hot already, we’re sweaty of course), let my eyes travel to his pelvis region, then back up along his lithe, sleekly muscled torso, the elongated neck, the boyish profile. He has grown an inch or two since his felo de se. He feels my eyes on his Latino skin, I know.

The gay beach of Rehoboth Beach, DE, the model for Georgia Beach

“The happy ending is over now,” I say after a while.
“Don’t say that,” he replies, “Happy endings can’t end.”
“I wish it were true.”
“It is true. It’s true for the best of all possibly reasons.”
“I’d settle for any reason at this moment.”
“The power of subsumption.”
“Huh?”
“Happy endings can’t end since endings ended already. They are part and parcel of endings in general.”
“Sheer semantics,” I say.
“Right,” he says, “sheer semantics. Rooted in meaning of the word ‘end’.”
“Well, you know what I mean.”
“Okay,” he says and puts his arm around my shoulder. He’s conceding the point. For once.

Well, no. “The power of subsumption,” he regroups, rolls his head, and gives me this new look with his emerald eyes, the bad-boy-post-felo-de-se-look that signals the defeat of his depression.

Well, perhaps he’s right. His arm is still on my shoulder. We walk in lockstep now. It's already getting busy here on the path along the beach. People look at us. He whistles again.
“Don Henley?” I ask.
“Don’t look back, you can never look back,” he intones.
“You brown skin is shining in the sun.” I intone (sort of).
He laughs. “This is heaven,” he says.
“This can’t last,” I say.
He laughs again, pulls me closer. He’s about to give me a kiss. People take notice.

The cell rings, my cell-phone.

“Hi, Sunshine,” a male black voice speaks into my right ear. It’s the ear next to Alex’s left ear. I’d almost forgotten about Ben. Well, no, I didn’t forget, I've been too busy. ‘Sunshine?’ I think.
“This is me. Can you hear me?” Ben says. I can hear him loud and clear. Perhaps I should lower the sound. Where’s the button? I hate my cell-phone. My right hand hands the i-thing to my left hand.
“This is me. Can you hear me?” Ben says gain. Alex softens his grip.
“Yes,” I answer with the phone pressed to my left ear.
“John?” Ben asks, or retreats.
“Yes,” I say. I should say ‘Ben’ now, or ‘Hi Ben,’ or ‘Is that you, Ben,’ mention his name at least (his name is “John,” by the way, like mine, Ben is his pet name).
“Is that you,” I say.
“John,” Ben answers, the voice a bit more relaxed.
“Yes,” I say.
“Where are you?”
“On the beach, more or less.”
“All by yourself?”
“With a friend,” I say.

(Stupid, John, stupid, you should have said ‘With Alex.’ The truth is always brutal.)

(Anyhow.)

“Cool,” Ben says, “you know what?”

“No.” I sound monosyllabic because I am monosyllabic. Last time Ben and I talked I had said things like ‘I’d thought I’d never see you again.’ I sounded very different then.

Perry and Glenn in Rehoboth. Perry taught us American, Glenn brought us to Rehoboth.

**°**

“It’s okay, John,” he interrupts me. “You don’t have to explain. There are lots of people I don’t know. Like Peggy Noonan, for example.”
“Peggy Noonan?” I say.
“Yes,” he says. “Look!”

Peggy Noonan's statue in Georgia Beach

Right. We had already reached the boardwalk and almost arrived at the head of Georgia Avenue, and something has happened to the statue of Peggy Noonan. Perhaps I have to explain. Years ago the Republican Club had donated this statue to its hometown. It was the only statue worldwide dedicated to a living newspaper columnist then, Georgia Beach’s only world record, attracting a lot of tourism of course. But the thing, a Disneyesque contraption in bright colors sixty feet high with a built-in voice loop about George W. Bush, the thing had fallen into disrepair in recent years, and other tourist destinations had erected competing likenesses of Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, and so on, contraptions even brighter and larger than our Peggy. The world record had been lost and tourism had begun to suffer. There had been talk of the Private Sector & Initiative & Fund Raising, and the last few days the statue had disappeared behind a construction scaffold wrapped in sponsor banners. And now what? The scaffold was gone, Noonan was back, brighter than ever, and something else had happened. Yes, the thing was ever so gently turning. Now you see her left cheek, now you see her right cheek. Now you see her face, now you don’t. Yes, she is turning on her vertical axis. The only revolving statue of a living newspaper columnist, a new world record. The Festival Week has begun.


Are you still there? Then you'll possibly like the GREEN EYES. The first part is out now, available as Kindle book on Amazon, under this link:


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Thank you for reading so far. If you want to know more about Ben, the black guy on the phone, go here. For the next teaser, go here.