The Salmagundi – Final Excerpts

May 14, 2014 by

Release date is tomorrow!  These are the last of the excerpts, thanks for reading, sharing and helping us promote the book.  We appreciate all of you and your feedback.   Keep it coming and please keep telling your friends and families to buy the book.  We need all the help we can get!

On to today’s excerpts!

“Belle de Jour” is written by Brice Ezell who happens to write for one of our all time favorite websites, PopMatters.  He actually has a new article up there today, check it out! Like many of the stories in the Salmagundi it’s about loss and how we deal with it.  The next piece is from the indomitable Spider McQueen.  Those of you unfamiliar with Spider’s brand of story weaving are in for a treat.  Those of you who are familiar with her have a chance to glimpse how it all started for the young Spider.  The last story, “Interviews”, is mine. 

Brice Ezell is writer and columnist for PopMatters. He also contributes to Sea of Tranquility and Glide Magazine. He will soon be pursuing his PhD in dramatic literature, and is currently finishing his first play.

Belle de Jour

This is the longest she’s been gone since I was in high school. She made sure to tell us on the few phone calls she could afford that this was “really important” and that she wouldn’t ever be gone unless it was “absolutely necessary.” But as smart as she is, my mother forgets that over the years, the distance has left me desensitized. Whoever it is she works for is obviously unaware of what it feels like to be lied to for twenty-seven years; otherwise, they would have stopped wasting time explaining a long time ago. At least they’ve got my dad and my sister.

She’s coming back tonight. I don’t know what I’m going to say to her. I know I’ll probably cave and join in the familial joy at her return, but I shouldn’t. I look back at the house and see my sister overlooking the beach, trying to look like she isn’t spying on me. Loving as they are, they never know when to give up.

Dinner’s on in five minutes or so, because, “big surprise,” Mom’s arriving late. I want to yell back at her that they can start eating without me, but it’s better to avoid the battle. I walk up the beach, the last fragments of sunlight fading from the sand behind me. Kara looks at me as I walk up, with that classic smile of hers.

“Dinner’s on soon,” she says.

“I heard.”

“Mom’ll be back—

“Sometime in the unknown future, I know. Do I need to do anything?”

Her smile fades a little. “No, Dad and I got everything. Ed?”

“Yes?”

“Could you just… try and be happy for the kids? They’re excited, and they’ll be worried if you aren’t.”

I clap the sand out of my flip-flops loudly and feign a smile. “Sure. Anything for the kids.”

 

Spider McQueen is the gun-toting ex-girlfriend you don’t bring home to mama. She learned her story telling as a young vagabond after running away from home at the tender age of fifteen. She has been on the filthy roads of alcoholism and drug addiction , is a painter, a musician and an author of many abstract concoctions, Spider prefers to remain in her circle of the weird and the eccentric.

The UnOrthodox & Eccentric Detour of the Teenage Dream

Lorraine and her husband Andrew were the appointed foster parents of us kids. They were in their late 40’s and flabby as hell. They were the epitome of what would happen to a couple who ate fast food every single night for all eternity. They reminded me of the Michelin man; they both had boobs running along the top of their stomachs like two sandwich bags half-filled with school-grade glue. They were two horrible human science experiments gone awry and I prayed one day I would find them in front of the television; their arm flab slumped over their La-Z-Boy’s, morsels of McSausage-biscuit lodged down their swollen windpipes. I imagined I would snatch their wallets and live off their credit cards until I could find a decent job in Mexico. Andrew and Lorraine were clearly unconcerned about minding a bunch of rowdy boys. It was easy to see by their actions (or lack thereof) they were too busy deciding what toppings they wanted on their pizza to mind their household, while their large government checks financed their raging gluttony. I suppose all the mindless eating and sleeping distracted them, and I suffered for it. I knew something had to be done once and for all.

 

Interviews

Somebody’s chocolate is melting on the sidewalk next to my foot. I’m feeling antsy, like I’m waiting for something to happen. A blonde with her dog watches me stand, we eye each other, as she passes by I can smell her perfume. The bright sun glares in the windows of storefronts reflecting shiny new cars and beautiful women of every shape and size. Though no one seems to notice me much, I feel special. Someone will notice me. My morning’s success and the sun’s vibrant touch energize me with optimism. I can’t help but imagine myself as someone with presence on these City streets. My demeanor commanding as I await my companion, with whom serious matters will be discussed.

Nick rides by as I converse with dignitaries. I yell, “Fag” and flip him the bird. People notice me now. I imagine the impression my smile and attitude leave on passersby.

Nick’s apartment is right around the corner. He has to find a parking place, which is easier with the bike, but will still take time, so I stroll on across the street. I wonder what the driver of the Lexus thinks about me as I cross in front of her; I wonder if she thinks I’m on a lunch break or maybe a successful criminal. I want her to think something about me, I want to strike her, I want to consume her thoughts if only for a second, I want her to forget her husband, kids, job, her fucking well-being, and anything else that stops her from thinking about me. I want to have this effect on everyone. I want everyone to Believe. I am somebody.

 

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