My novel THE ABSENT has had an ill starred history. I first attempted to self-publish it about eight years ago but gave up after a few copies due to expense and a failure to arouse interest in an audience. In 2009, I had it published on-line through a publisher but again no success and I never saw a dime from that. I'm still hoping to publish one day through an established publisher. So here are the first few pages. I may share more in the future. NOTE – This book is a work of fiction. Some of it is based on real situations and people I’ve known but a lot of it is just made up.
The world crawls up its own ass and then it dies. The resulting stench we call real life. This happens on a daily basis.
The people who inhabit this stench world are going through varying degrees of death. Some are already dead; only their bodies don’t know it yet. They drag their mottled, bloated, unhappy corpses looking for another soul to bring down. Eventually, mercy is shown through the ending of their lives but not without suffering and disintegration and loneliness and a loss of control over their bowels.
What lives we do have are reduced to sections. The private section which is never enough and the public section, which is basically determined by employment or work. Our lives as defined by work. Our lives consumed from cradle to grave by work and making money. I have never accepted this. I live in a state of internal rebellion and outward deception. The material world counts me as one of its inhabitants but this is a statement of the dullest scientific fact. That part of me which is mind and emotion (some may call it a soul) has never existed in the same plane of reality as people, things, the planet Earth. Instead, I dwell in a hell of exaggerated sensitivity and heightened awareness forever separated from the ability to do anything with these “gifts”. “Gifts” also meaning something not wanted or appreciated such as an ugly tie or ill-fitting shirt. The drudgery of living and the knowledge that it could to be better and the missing component to link one to the other and forge a better life.
Work is the subject I wish to keep coming back to. Bumps and detours in the free flowing narrative but always follow the discussion of employment. A stagnant, stunted, dying river working it’s discolored and malodorous way through a decaying wasteland devoid of life. In this desert, the stream of water sometimes reduced to a trickle as the surrounding environment becomes the center of attention. I never had any illusions about the process in which one earns enough money to feed and clothe and establish a shelter for themselves. I have no college education but everyone assumes I do which doesn’t help. We live in the age of background checks. Pretense and a good front is not enough anymore. Anyway, here I am, a time traveler out of time, an alien without a home planet to fly back to. If it weren’t for needing a job to survive, I would not have any contact with humanity. I live in my own world but it is not self-sustaining. Also I am married and with knowing nods a little less than half the world’s population shares in this burden and assumes the position of donkey and reconciles itself to the fate a conformist civilization in the sway of a rigid God has forced on generations past and those to come.
Marriage and a job are about as close as I ever get to be part of life and the human inhuman experience for I exist outside time and space in the parameters noted above. I am unencumbered by sympathy, empathy or love and can see this world for what it really is; a drop in the bucket standing on the shore of an awesome black ocean whipped by the winds into a towering watery behemoth. The people who inhabit this world do not provide me with any special joy by virtue of their existing. In fact, I think the planet would be better without them. I would go so far as to say that if humanity had never existed, this would be a better place. I’m not a racist nor do I subscribe to any one particular philosophy built on establishing a cult of superiority over other philosophies. I just don’t like people and I think everything they touch becomes ruined. I dream of day without the human race soiling this place and the silence will be a powerful miracle.
Back to the subject at hand. I was born the first time I went to look for a job. Not that I was particularly happy before nor safe in a nuclear family womb state but I had my illusions and didn’t have to spend that much time with other people. Through the teenage years, it comes and goes and one day you wake up and your pushing twenty three with no family, not much education or accomplishment, and the instinct for survival made all the more real and harrowing. Standing on a pair of misbegotten stilts hashed together from many years of enforced failure, cruelty, laziness, and an attitude unlike that ever seen in this century, I went out. There was nothing for me but a future vacant of any promise or joy. This is the story of reconciliation of that lack of promise to small glories that are not triumphs in the manner of conquering but more along the lines of scurrying vermin rushing for crumbs without a crashing death among the huge feet of larger life forms.
All life is disappointment and frustration. Once that is known and accepted, it still isn’t easy but at least there is that to fall back on. There may be many causes for such a jaundiced appraisal. Getting back to the birth analogy and how it relates to starting to work for a living. Sputtering, shaking, wet, disoriented, one is ejected into the fully moving world. Move quickly or be crushed. Move in step and maybe be crushed anyway. A reward is an artificial, materialistic goodie which can be held up as the product of sacrificing your life working. Family is nothing more than another accouterment, the lone natural instinct of procreation and continuing the species that has survived the taming, stupefaction, and deconstruction of the human race. A job is the face of the torturer you hone in on during long sessions of pain to get you through this life.