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May 5, 2017

The cloud bank --- This Is Heaven --- teaser (26)

A few more weeks, and This Is Heaven is available on pre-order. At that point, we're going to consolidate all teasers into a separate page, so enjoy this one---one of the last teasers we're posting. John, forsaken John, has spent the night stumbling through the lonely streets of  his hometown, and now he's returning home.

Dunno what happened to my house keys. I’ll have to ring and hope somebody will buzz me in. Maurice will buzz me in and say nothing and plop down on a kitchen chair and refocus on his cornflakes and a cup of tea.
This is Day Four of the festival but the first without palaver on my bed. “Where’s everybody?” I ask. “What happened to Alex?”
“What happened to you?” Maurice replies. He arches his eyebrows.
I arch mine.
He raises the teapot. “Tea?” he asks.
I shake my head and proceed to make coffee. Somebody has operated the dish washer and there’s a clean mug inside. “What time is it?” I ask. His eyes travel to the clock above the kitchen cabinet that shows the correct time twice per day. “You’re up early,” I say.

"Why did you run away? Can't you handle a little neighborhood orgy?"

I sip my coffee and peer at the water tower outside. I’ve been fairly downbeat on the thing throughout this soap, but it keeps you busy in its quiet way—-like trees keep you busy, or nervous flies, or the thought of an afterlife.
“Day Four,” I say, “day four.”
Maurice tries his campy laugh: “Why did you run away? Can’t you handle a little neighborhood orgy?
“I’m less experienced than you are,” I say.
“Taylor will have brought you up to speed, shouldn’t he?”
“Taylor, Taylor,” I say.
“Not to speak of Ben. Or the master himself.”
“Alex. Yes.”
Maurice beholds me with a mix of annoyance and reticence: “Are we jealous?”
“Alex ditched me.” I say (croak). "Sort-of."
“Yes, his remark yesterday. I thought he was joking.”
“No, he wasn’t.”
“We shan’t blame him, or shall we?”
“And you, whom did you ditch? Sort-of? You look tired.”
“I didn’t sleep.”
“You didn’t sleep, darling. Alone, or with somebody else?”

I close the door. I close it softly.

We’ve reached the point of no return, I have to explain about yesterday: the dead mouse, the ‘situation with Ben,’ the busy cloudbank, Alex’s soul and the absence thereof, the Malkovich. (I skip the dune fuck).
“So we spent the night in Alex’s rooms?”
“Hoping he would turn up?”
“You talk it over and he changes his mind?”
“The forsaken partner clinging to every straw?”
“But Alex didn’t turn up.”
“Indeed,” he says, splashing the cup back into the saucer. “Let’s bring you up to speed.” He points at the bedroom door.
“What do you mean?” I ask.
“The situation-with-Ben, the cloud bank. Have a look.”

I get up, open the door. Ben and Alex are lying on the bed, the latter folded sideways in half-fetal position, the former also on the side, half-fetal, no daylight between them. The sheet is crumpled, the blanket is on the floor. Both are naked. The A/C’s off. I close the door. I close it softly.

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