Tuesday, August 19, 2014

An excerpt from "Mirror, or a Flash in the Pan"

An excerpt from "Mirror, or a Flash in the Pan," from my new collection #specialcharacters, available from Amazon and Unlikely Books.

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Ritar dislikes children, but is writing a story, to be illustrated, about an adorable and precocious little girl who plans to visit “Parrots,” France. She starts drinking again after long sobriety during the process, downing large tumblers of cheap gin, until she tears the pages up and sets them on fire in the sink. She sobers up long enough to send out her sex genre piece, recycled from the last rejection.

Proposal 1, Mass Market: The Cult
A retired vice cop receives a letter from Hetera, a call girl he was obsessed with in the ‘70s. In her urgent correspondence, she writes to him of a complicated conspiracy to gaslight her. The conspirators are mobsters, rock stars, aristocrats, Park Avenue psychiatrists, Nazis, and a who’s who of writers and artists. As he follows her story, it will take him through the secret lives of the rich and famous; to sordid vaults of porn and prostitution; to the heyday of Studio 54 and Plato’s Retreat and Salvador Dali’s sex parties for artists and the poor; Warhol’s Factory; and down to the last chance A.A. meetings on the old Bowery. Is this the madness, mania, and mayhem of a professional party girl—or is Hetera the victim of a real cult?

. . . the papers, her eternal poet's rustling of papers . . . holding them in his hand, Henry had a palpable moment of remembering her in his hand, under his command, when the most important thing in the world was to be inside her. He shook it off. As a young policeman, a detective on vice still hoping to write the definitive novel, she was his muse, the Whore of Mensa, mad but gorgeous and brilliant, maniacally oversexed, and obsessed, at least for a few months, with him. The sex, he remembered, getting an erection from the memory, the constant sex, and the writing, page after page of poems and stories and the first full novel, raw, flawed, but energetic, alive, so alive . . . then her cure, her overweight, her depression; he was relieved when she married another. And he forgot her among more conventional women, went to law school and lived a solid upper-middle class life, but he never forgot what was possible in intensity between two people.

We will love like dogwood.
Kiss like cranes.
Die like moths,
I promise . . .

Ritar drinks another tumbler of gin, and writes another proposal.

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