Can You Hear Me Now? Relative Karma Goes Audio. Part 2 of a 10-Part Countdown.

Posted: February 21, 2015 in Relative Karma Goes Audio
Tags: , , , , , ,

countdown2

 

And so we continue.

You may well be asking, “Continue with what?”

To which I answer: “Part 2 of the 10-Part Countdown to the Release of Relative Karma on Audio!”

To which you rejoinder: “Part 2? Where the deuce can I read Part 1???”

And I (trying not to become exasperated) say: “Right friggin HERE, ya big lummox!”

Go on, read Part 1…I’ll wait.

asleep at puter

Ah, back now? Good.

Things are heating up in the production booth, my friends. The final proof of the audio version of Relative Karma has been approved. I could not be happier. And as this process seems to be going a good deal more quickly than I anticipated, we’re going to need to speed through the next nine parts of this countdown and on to the quiz yonder down the road.

Ah yes, the quiz. Did I mention prizes? Prizes there will be, and so far—based on the sheer volume of crickets I hear—I will be keeping those prizes for myself. We shall see.

As noted in Part 1, I am open to questions. Hard or easy, hit me with your queries and I shall answer as best I can.

For this installment of the countdown, I want to drop a chunk of chapter 1 on you that was particularly poignant for me.

Our hero, Jeff Vincent, has been on his own for a year. Full of self-loathing and having no real desire to do anything other

than punish himself, he finds his way to a tattoo parlor (Roxy’s Ink Spot) where he is beginning to realize just how much a

tattoo in the center of one’s chest hurts. His reminiscence here is partially how things happened, and partially fabrication.

But the tone and intensity of his regret is very much how I felt during those very dark days in the real world.

*     *     *

Relative Karma, excerpt from Chapter 1

“Here we go,” Roxy said.

I breathed in a lungful of Roxy’s cloying lemony body spray, and tried to relax into the incessant, swarming sting, to embrace the buzz of the needles and the resultant fire in my chest. It’s apparently not enough that the little harpoons are jamming ink under your skin—they have to scrape the fucking pigment in when they do the shading, which is the part they do last, fifteen or twenty minutes past the point where you decided this maybe wasn’t the brightest idea you’d ever had.

Though the pain was very nearly an all-consuming thing, I somehow managed to let my mind drift elsewhere. If I went far enough back there were uncontaminated memories to draw from, and these sepia-toned, eight-millimeter images of my childhood in Los Angeles began to float to the surface even as the metallic wasp did its work.

I let the burning acupuncture bury objectivity and found myself almost enjoying the impromptu trip back through time. Outside this silent-movie perfection Roxy murmurs something, but it doesn’t register because I am not there; I am fourteen years old, squirming on the hardwood church pew as the youth choir files onto the stage. And I am suddenly aware of nothing but little blond Shelley with the enormous glasses. Maybe it was her glasses that did it—they magnified her eyes and I swear she was staring at me. I couldn’t sit up tall enough. She saw me, looked directly at me—through me—and I swear to God nothing before that morning was ever as real or finely honed as that moment. She couldn’t have been more than twelve years old but I was barely fourteen and when had anything in church (or anywhere else) ever shanghaied my attention like this?

That had been the beginning, but that was then and this was now, and in the relentless fucking now my mind was trying desperately to slam on the brakes and drag me back to the present. But it was too late. From that first dreamy sight of Shelley in the youth choir I was suddenly thrust forward into the recent past: Shelley’s face is there, at first thrilled that I am home early from work…then her features seem to melt in my mind as she is drained of comprehension at the realization of my confessed betrayal. I see her beginning to hyperventilate as I deliver my half-assed fabrication of why I am leaving her, how I have been living a lie, pretending the love when the feelings were gone. I see her try to stand then collapse as though the floor is no longer there.

My mind began a sickening leapfrog through time, back and forth: That day the youth choir sang (“Dad, can Shelley go to lunch with us?”); our wedding day, watching her seem to float down the aisle on her father’s arm; our honeymoon, and the delightful shriek as I laid a sand crab on her gloriously bare stomach at Huntington Beach; then sobbing with her after she miscarried our first and only child.

Stutter-step back and I’m falling into her eyes as I promised to honor her as long as I lived; and twenty-two years later, shattering that promise with virtually no thought at all.

Roxy’s voice jolted me back. “What do you think?”

*    *    *

And with that little bit of whimsy I leave you to comment as you will.

Feel free to share (please do, please do, please do) and I will see you back here for Part 3.

“Reaves is a quality wordsmith and his attention to detail is evident in his works. He understands mood and setting better than most and can spit dialogue like he’s emptying a machine gun’s clip. His books do not disappoint.”

~ Mark Leftridge, author of Our Bridges Made of Sticks, Safe Sects, and When the Hangman Weeps ~

*     *     *

(click on scary me below…you know you want to)

creepy mott5

*     *     *

Relative Karma - ACX FINAL

Comments
  1. […] Can You Hear Me Now? Relative Karma Goes Audio. Part 2 of a 10-Part Countdown. […]

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s