Apr 4, 2014

"Call me Romeo" --- This is heaven (teaser)

This is already the second teaser for Chapter 9. The first one, "Meet Barbette Bienpensant" ended with the words:

“Well, thank you,” Barbette answers. The sun sets, the mood darkens, and the professor is off to find light somewhere else.

Okay, let's reiterate the context: (1) The festival is about to begin. (2) Ben, the black guy whom we met first in the chapter "The hitchhiker's guide to gay sex" in the previous part of the Green Eyes, runs the market stand of Luke's convenience store; Alex sells Bavarian leather shorts for Godehart. (3)  Juliette is Barbette's sister. We met her earlier in the day when she (Juliette) told us she's still a virgin but would do anything for ice cream: 

“Well, thank you,” Barbette answers. The sun sets, the mood darkens, and the professor is off to find light somewhere else. And Juliette stays behind to lose her virginity. And I really need to deal with the Ben-Alex-John problem now, the longer I wait the awkwarder it gets. And I need to deal with Juliette, who has lifted two folding chairs from a stack next to the storage shed, offered one to Alex, one to herself, and is presently sitting next to the Green Eyes behind the market stand as if they will live happily ever-after selling Bavarian crotch shorts.
“I hate her,” Juliette says.
“No need to elaborate,” Alex says.
“John is your partner?” Juliette asks.
“I’ve been asked that before,” Alex answers (not true; he had been asked whether I’m his brother).
“You are…?” Her sentence trails.
“Since seven days apparently.”
“That’s what they tell me.”

Ford Maddox Brown, Romeo and Juliet (1870)

Anything, anything I could say now would make it only worse. There I stand. I really need help. And, you know what, I get it, I get it for once.

The washed-up scriptwriter shows up---he shows up in the guise of a black kid of roughly Juliette’s age. We haven’t seen him coming, the kid, but there he slouches, in front of the wrong market stand, and says: “Man needs cigarettes.”

Juliette, still on her chair next to Alex, touches my partner's arm as if they were watching a movie together, then motions toward the silver screen.
“What’s your name,” she asks the kid.
“What’s yours?” the kid asks back.
“Call me Romeo,” he says.
“Her name was Juliet,” she says.
“I know.”
“You like Shakespeare?” Juliet asks. The name change does wonders, Juliet is a different character, less vamp and more innocent girl from a good neighborhood who dreams a lot when she’s not reading the English canon or playing with her i-thing.

The kid, you can tell, would normally say “Naah,” or something cooler. He hesitates instead. Juliette has time to scroll the screen of her cell phone and reads: “Good pilgrim, you do wrong your hand too much.”
“I do me raw, Sugar, if that’s what you mean.”

Does Juliette blush? We’re all wondering, including the young lady herself.

“But if you don’t,” the kid adds, “you speak out of turn.”
“I ought to have said first,” he hesitates briefly as if reading from a teleprompter, “If I profane with my unworthiest hand, This holy shrine, My lips, two blushing pilgrims, and so on.”
Juliette stops blushing. “How do you know?”
“I have photographic memory.”

“Let’s see.” Juliet swipes the cell, reads: “True; and therefore women, being the weaker vessels, are ever thrust to the wall.”
The kid has another look at his teleprompter: “Therefore I will push Montague’s men from the wall, and thrust his maids to the wall.”
“Wow,” Juliette says.
“How do you know,” Alex asks Juliette, “as a virgin?”
“This is an annotated edition,” she replies.

The kid likes Juliet & Juliette, but he’s too cool to close the deal. Plus, he’s in a bad way, even I can see that, he’s just held together by some sort of adolescent charisma he can’t control. So we drift out of his photographic memory while he drifts off to Ben’s stand and says: “Bro, man needs cigarettes.”

“What set you from,” Ben asks.
“The wilderness,” the kid replies.
“And lately?”
“Baltimore. And you?”
“Bro, us is a field nigga from the swamp,” Ben half-grins (he studies engineering at Georgia Tech; "half-grins," that's the word to describe this).
“You up shit creek.”
“And you?”
“Can’t kill nuthin and won’t nuthin die.”

The kid clutches the cigarettes, pays, and adds: “Later.” He’s making his ways across the field and disappears in one of the trailers parked on the other side, beyond the bleachers, next to the canal. All of us, I realize, have tracked his path.

This is the moment. “Alex,” I say, “this is Ben.”
“Ben,” I say, “have you met Alex?”
“Yes,” Ben and Alex say as if they've practiced this, “we met an hour ago.”

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:

Night Owl Reviews

Go here for the previous teaser, and here for a choice of chapters of the Green Eyes.

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