A Selection from my Novel (updated 7/26/12)
A Section from "What Happens When you Don't Know Anything"
I am writing a novel called "What Happens When You Don't Know Anything." It's nearly completed. I've decided that this is as good a forum as any to preview sections of that book. I am purposely posting things out of context, so I don't expect the sections to make a lot of sense by themselves, but hopefully they'll be entertaining nonetheless.
I have not yet decided whether to self publish or to go through a publisher (it would be pretty awesome to go with one of the big boys, but I'm not limiting myself to anyone publisher), but the goal is to have the novel done by the end of the summer. If you'd be interested in a copy, drop me an e mail. Once the publishing route is determined, I will let you know how you can get a first edition copy.
I have an editor, so I'm not looking for anyone to edit this chapter. I'm just trying to give you some ideas of my literary voice.
This is also a first draft, so there will certainly be some mistakes present and I am certain to make some changes.
The protagonist in the story is a degenerate and a gambler. He's a 20 something living in Las Vegas in the mid 2000's.
The following selection is a very brief portion from Chapter 7:
It's Tuesday afternoon and I'm still horrified that I said Annie was kinda cute in a fat blonde sort of way. I'm at the Palace Station Casino on Sahara, just off the Strip playing ten dollar a hand blackjack and trying not to think about what I said. I didn’t believe it. It was just booze and marijuana talking for me.
I am up one hundred and eighty five dollars and I'm being told that some woman is a bitch and a mother. A child and a lover. My PBR is flat and my cigarettes taste funny and I think they might be menthol and I remember that this is why I usually smoke a pipe because pipe tobacco does not come in Menthol and, even if you're drunk, the worst mistake you can make with pipe tobacco is Vanilla Cavendish and that's not really a bad mistake at all.
Marley and Janessa went to Red Rock today and I am here with Chunk who is playing Baccarat*. I decide to cash out and I tell Chunk that I am going to walk to the In N Out Burger and would he like to come?
“No. Thanks. I'm up.”
“Alright. Good luck, Donkey.”
I go to the cashier and I walk out of the casino and I make it across Sahara and head towards the In N Out Burger—about a half mile away—and it's raining which reminds me of home. The smell of fresh rain hitting grimy asphalt creates a cacophonous, undefinable aroma.
I'm chain smoking and I'm in a foul mood. Marley and Janessa are engaged and parents to be. Everything seems to be changing and I'm a creature of habit and as I walk through the door into the In N out, the line is, naturally, at the door and a shiver runs down my spine. I Think about Bruce Hornsby. That's just the way it is. Things will never be the same. I think about Tupac—who was gunned down not too far from here. That's just the way it is. Things will never be the same.
Out of the corner of my eye I see Loni—my ex-girlfriend's best friend and a total feminist man-hating dyke bitch. I had forgotten that she worked here and I decide—since she is in uniform sweeping the floor and since she can't berate me while working—that I will spend my time in line trying to annoy her,
“Hey there Loni,” I yell across the lobby. I see her turn with a look of horror and disgust and my heart leaps with joy. “You're lookin’ good. Your ass is smaller. Did you stop eating here?” She glares at me with a look that could kill a Great White Shark.. She still thinks I cheated on Eliza, despite the fact that Eliza couldn't keep her pants on for anyone in uniform (and, for a city like Las Vegas, with Nellis Air Force Base just on the outskirts, this was truly sin city for my former sweetheart). Loni's pants are a few sizes too small and her ass resembles an uneven, misshapen shelf.
She tucks a loose strand of sandy blonde hair behind her visor and mouths a series of curses at me. She looks behind the counter--- apparently seeking assistance from her manager or someone with the authority to kick me out.
“How's Sheila? Work must be going well for her, because you're still working here- or maybe you just like sweeping up trash?” Sheila is a mediocre ambulance chaser. In a city where lawyers outnumber doctors nearly two to one, a mediocre lawyer is a hungry lawyer.
I'm surprised that no one is taking notice of our one sided exchange, but I'm encouraged, nonetheless, to keep this conversation going.
Let your true colors shine, Jimmy.
“It's been really nice talking to you and be sure to give my love to Eliza. How are she and Lieutenant Steve doing anyway? Or it is Robert? Paul, Maybe? I can't keep track. Whoever it is this week, tell them hello—and tell them to make sure they're up on their vaccinations.” Loni has now made her way to my side of the lobby. I stand in her way and she shoulders me aside, using her mop and broom as leverage. I see crocodile tears in her eyes. “That's rude! That's not any way to treat your customers!” I scoff, rubbing my shoulders in mock pain.
I order my food—a Double-Double Animal Style with extra tomatoes, add ketchup, fries and a lemonade—and I find a seat in the corner. After my number is called, I reclaim my seat and watch as Loni keeps coming out to sweep. I keep dropping napkins and bits of food on the floor. She can't avoid my corner forever. My food tastes delicious and I smile with every bite.