Here are new excerpts from my new novel. Chapters 12/a. – 12/d. and Chapter 13. (Amounts to about 10 short pages.) 12/a. has been posted here before, but not within the whole of Chapter 12.
This contains sexually explicit passages. Please be forewarned. Thanks.
The Call of the Wild
OKAY, I’M LEAVING NOW. 60 days. I’ll be back in 60 days. And while I’m gone, you stick to that list – all those promises you made to me. Because it’ll help you, honey. It’ll help you get through. And we can text. And we can do that face-thing at night on the phone, even though I’m gonna be in so many different time zones so quickly that I probably won’t even know which end is up.
I have faith in you. I know you’ll be lonely but you’re not gonna break apart. Those days are over for you; I know they are. You have to trust that I know you well enough now to know what I’m talking about.
And if it does get hard on you, honey, while I’m on the road, and you start doubting your sanity again, don’t grasp at the shore. You just head out to the middle of the river and ride it with me, okay? Ride that river with me in spirit, and just keep your head above the water. Like that old Indian said: This is not the time to be a lone wolf. You take a good look at who’s riding that river with you, and celebrate that. Celebrate us.
I’ve got to go. The cars are here.
IT’S 2 A.M. here in Paris, which means it’s not even dinnertime yet where you are. The sun is still up over there, still shining down on your house, your yard, the old potting shed I love so much now, way out back by where the fence needs fixing. Here, the City of Light is doing what it does best in the dark – filling me with longing, breaking my heart a little. Making me miss you more than words can say.
I’ve still got some pretty potent words down in me when it comes to you, honey – no matter where I am in the world; no matter how late it gets.
The shows so far have been going real good. Although I’m back to wondering how long I can really keep doing this. Sometimes I feel like I can hardly breathe. So I’m just trying to make every show a sort of milestone. Just trying to grab as much joy from it as I can get because, who knows – right? Who knows.
Endings just have a way of sneaking up.
I’m almost done pacing back and forth between the bedroom and the balcony – almost ready to finally call it a night. That balcony that so beckons me to keep lighting up as I watch the lively street below. Just one more cigarette before allowing my head to hit that pillow. Because when I do hit that pillow, honey, all I do is think of you.
I TOLD YOU IT WAS GONNA BE HARD. But just try to get this into your heart somehow: It’s as hard on me as it is on you. This distance. This strange disconnect regarding Time. Some nights I need you so bad and I want to reach out for you, girl, but God only knows what sort of time zone I’m in. I know you’ve got to be dead to the world so I don’t call.
You’re not the only one with empty arms. You’re not the only one who can’t hold what they love.
You’re not the only one who sees how time has sped away, wondering how on earth to ever reclaim it, knowing, further, that it’s impossible anyway. And you’re not the only one who cries then.
But listen to me: I can’t give this music up. It either gives me up first or it ends as a resounding tie – you know, I’ll die from some sort of angelic intervention, some night as I walk off the stage.
No, I’m not saying I would go willingly. Calm down.
Listen to me. Just listen.
I’m not saying that I can even consider a moment where I could possibly exist in some new way without you to talk to about it. I’m only saying, that’s how the music and I will part. Angels will flat-out come for me.
Please meet me in New York. Fly out and meet me – make time. Come to the hotel. Then maybe do a few of the cities with me before flying back home. Think about it. I’ll be in New York in two days.
Who’s Your Daddy?
I AM SO GLAD YOU DECIDED TO COME. Now that the plane ride is behind you, see how easy it was? No need to be afraid of flying, honey. And a car was waiting with your name on it – at both ends of the trip. Got you right to the hotel. You were worried over nothing – nothing that materialized, anyway. And I ordered some wine – to celebrate. Because when everything is past-tense, it is just so easy.
In fact, we can toast to trying to remember that, okay? That there will always be a past-tense where things we’re scared of will seem so easy.
You are so pretty when you smile; when you’re laughing. My whole heart lights up to see it. I have missed you so.
This tour has been filled with so much noise. I mean noise in my heart; noise in my mind. People want my attention all day long, all evening, on into the night, and I can barely focus on them. I want to do the show, and then I want to be someplace quiet, remote, cut-off from the noises people make, so that I can think of you.
Of what you mean to me. Increasingly. Every day.
Let’s just lay here a while. Just lay here. God, I have missed holding you. I can just lie here so quietly and hold you. And be happy.
God, who am I kidding? Let’s get naked. Let’s not waste another moment of our lives.
When you close your eyes, it is always a good sign. Such a good sign. Even better than watching you get naked for me. Because when you close your eyes, I know you’re planning to say yes to everything. That you want to lose yourself in me. That everything is gonna just flow.
Although you do have such pretty eyes. I love looking into them. But when your eyes are open and I’m trying to make love to you, I know that doubt is gonna find its way into you – that you will doubt your prowess, or doubt my sincerity, or doubt things I can’t even imagine until I hear them coming out of your mouth and then I feel wounded to the quick.
So go ahead and close your eyes, honey. That’s what I love. I love to hear you say yes then. Love to feel your arms around me, your legs around me when we lie naked together and kiss. Love that you spread your legs so easily for me, too. Always – your knees raised, your thighs apart, like you are just the most welcoming home for my cock. And that’s what you are. You really are. I’ve never said that but it occurred to me while we were apart that that’s what it is – your pussy, just a welcoming home for my cock. It goes right on up there, when you’re relaxed, and letting me in.
And you turn over so easily for me now. So easily. Where you used to eye me for a moment and hesitate. Like, what was I going to do to you when your back was turned but love you? And try to love you the best I could? Even if part of that means that I so love looking at you, too. That pussy of yours – when it’s wet and ready for me – is something to see, honey. I guarantee you that. If you could see the view from where I’m seeing it half the time, you would never doubt me again. Never doubt that all I want to do is get up in there some way, somehow, and make you feel so good.
I think it would be okay for you to cry out a little bit, honey, if it keeps it real for you. But keep in mind that this is a hotel room and probably most of Manhattan knows I’m in here with you tonight. Don’t kid yourself too much, okay? But if you want the tabloids thinking I spank you until you cry, then that’s your choice. Frankly, I’m kind of okay with it – if you are…
No, I didn’t think so.
But you get on over my knee anyway.
No – I’m not asking you, now; I’m telling you. Come on. That’s right.
Whenever you hold yourself open like that for me – god. I know it makes you feel slutty, honey, but I also know that that’s when you’re into it. You are so deep into it. Because I know just how much you resist feeling slutty – and frankly, when we’re not naked and in bed or somewhere at least near the bed, I sincerely appreciate the fact that you don’t want to seem slutty. I do. You are a real lady, you know that? And I guess that’s why, when you do get slutty, I know we’re going to town.
No, turn over. Just turn over. Like that – no, lift up. Yeah. That’s it, honey. God, you look hot like that. Don’t move. Just be still. Be still, let me get in you. I just want to feel that energy, you know? That energy – that Eros – that erotic surge that shoots up through my balls and into you. When you feel it, I can always tell. Just be still until we feel it.
This is how I like you best. When you turn over and I can lie on top of you. Pin you down, but really, just hold you. I can grab your wrists and maybe there is some kind of force in that, but really I’m holding you. My whole body is blending into yours. I have so much love for you. So much trust.
oAnd now I can kiss your neck, your ear, the side of your face, while pinning you to the bed, waiting. Just waiting. My cock alive inside you but barely moving, waiting for that electricity of Eros to come up into us and take us over that edge. Deliver us to that rhythm, that power of lust, of fucking; that perfect, beautiful horizon within us that is always calling us through our appetite for lust. Together we draw it up into us – I don’t know from where. From Heaven, I guess. As long as we relax and melt into the power of each other. Entwined, like gods in love.
Here it comes. Can you feel it, honey? Don’t move. Let it flow right up into us. My cock into your womb.
What is happening when that happens? It feels like God’s involved, that’s for sure.
That’s us. That’s Eros inside of us.
Connected. Alive together in this world.
Alone, but connected.
Blessed. Just so blessed.
All Good Things
THANK YOU FOR GETTING ONTO THAT PLANE. I know it was hard for you, you being afraid to fly. Although I cannot believe you never mentioned that to me once – a fear of flying? And me, a man who is always flying somewhere. Well, okay. We sorta conquered that now, too. You really are such a brave girl – woman. Okay, okay. Brave woman. (But you’re still my girl – in my mind, my heart, you are my girl. A word so filled with sunlight and happiness and wonder. All things good and new. And brave.)
I wish you would reconsider about doing some more of the cities with me on this tour. But I understand why you’ve decided what you’ve decided. There is not much for you to do each day but wait around for me, and try to dodge so many other people coming and going and needing my attention. It’s selfish of me to ask you to stay on, but I thought I would at least try to persuade you.
Here, put this pill in your pocket in case the flight home starts to overwhelm you. It’ll take the edge off your anxiety. Maybe just take half of it – the whole pill will turn your legs to rubber and make the most unexpected things seem indescribably interesting.
And a frame of mind like that could cause you to miss your plane. Unfortunately, I know wherefrom I speak. But that was many years ago, before I built up a sort of tolerance to those little pills.
Yes – I still have a prescription for those things and I always keep it filled.
I don’t know why I didn’t tell you that. Why didn’t you tell me you had a fear of flying? Secrets, I guess.
We still have some.
But it keeps us interesting, doesn’t it? I tell you what. On your flight home, write up a little list of secrets you haven’t told me yet and then, as time goes on, little by little, one by one, you can choose which secret to reveal to me.
And while I’m alone at night on the rest of this tour, missing the heck out of you, I will do the same thing.
Honey, the car is downstairs for you.
I can come with you, or you can go by yourself. It all hinges on whether or not you want your photo in some tabloid somewhere – me kissing you goodbye in front of the hotel.
I understand. I do. Don’t get upset. I’ll just kiss you goodbye right here, where we stand. God, I am going to miss you so.
Secrets are such strange creatures.
Why do we keep them? Lock them away in the dark, when they only feed on the dark – like some malformed pets we tend to by nourishing them with darkness; grooming them so fastidiously by keeping them hidden, safe from the perils of sunlight. Because, as we always discover eventually, once we bring our secrets to light, they are generally just paper tigers. Nothing to fear, really. Maybe an initial shock to a loved one. But shock always finds its balance, its place in the heart. And life goes on.
I have kept some secrets, as you already know. Secrets that crippled me. How unfaithful I actually was to my first wife, even though I tried so hard to be good to her. I really did love her. I loved my family – my daughters – dearly. But I always chose the career first. The career called me to the road, and I always, always went. And I left my wife alone to manage all of it.
And still I went, even when I saw that her mind was starting to crumble from all the responsibilities.
From my infidelities.
She always knew, or would find out somehow. She wasn’t stupid. It was one of the reasons I loved her in the first place – she had such a magnificent mind. And what did I do to that beautiful mind? I fucked with it. By betraying her trust. Over and over and over. And always begging her to give me some slack, to overlook my weaknesses, to give me a second, third, fourth, fifth chance and on and on.
She gave me every chance I asked for.
Until she decided that turnabout was fair play.
Then it got ugly. But what could I really say?
I tried so hard to knock it off, I really did. Tried to be faithful and good. But then I noticed that some of the color would go out of my world. And by then, of course, I didn’t really trust her anymore. Worried that she was still screwing around when I was away. Doing her weird-ass shit that she started doing as her mind unraveled. Jesus Christ. It got so ugly.
And I blamed myself. For all those promises I had made to her that I didn’t keep.
And when I finally left, she was just a shell of a person. A shell that I had caused. I created that – you know, I could see her on the street, this shell of a woman who had once been so vital and lovely and full of dreams for me; and I could point to that shell and say so proudly, I created that. I caused it. By robbing her of all my promises.
And meanwhile, I was getting more and more and more famous. I’d wake up and be more successful than I’d been before I went to sleep. It just grew and grew and grew. And I couldn’t understand it. Where were these people coming from? Had they just now gotten born and clasped onto me the moment they came out of the womb? I mean, what was happening? Where did all these people come from?
I’d do a show and thousands and thousands and thousands of people would be there. Every single seat, sold. Even that truly lousy seat way, way up there and far to the side – a person paid money to be in that lousy seat. To see some guy who’s only as big as an ant; who couldn’t keep his promises to a woman who had helped him get to this stage; who had daughters he pretended to see as much as possible; who was taking so many drugs to try to stay on some sort of even keel; who was now making more money than you’re ever likely to comprehend in your lifetime.
It was a very difficult feeling: Please allow me to entertain you now.
But the worst part was, or perhaps even still is, that out on that stage, with a mind-altering number of people extending out and away from me, all that money coming in – the love took over me. The conduit of God that I became has always been real. What came out of me moved people. And they, in turn, moved me. There was so much joy in that.
The duality of my life, the enormous proportion of it, confounded me.
I learned to live as a man who was split down the middle. And I was such a good liar by then that the world did not really suspect who I had become.
Did I owe the world an explanation? No, not really. I only owed it to my wife and my daughters – whom I had left. And the terrible weight of that became so unwieldy; I did not think my shoulders could carry it in public anymore.
So what do you do then? You’re a public person. You must be public. Be out in that public, and yet you can’t survive the crushing weight of your private life. Your private, self-made hell.
What do you do?
Well, aside from all the various prescription pills, I prayed. It was all I had left. Please God, help me find my way through this; I am not gonna survive. What have I done with my life? These gifts you gave me?
And in my lowest hours, I would even see if Jesus might take a call from me. Jesus, of all people. Yes, the Christ. The one I hadn’t given much thought to, really, since childhood. Those random Sundays when my dad would be sober enough to get us up and out the door in time to go to church. That Jesus.
You know what I found? He took the call.
He had a very sobering way of talking to me, though. He said, “Get your shit together, boy. You’re forgiven. But don’t do it again. Make reparations. Try to right the wrongs. Respect those people you’ve betrayed and hurt – don’t just hide here and feel sorry for your own ass. Get out there and be a man. Just do it.”
So I did it. In the best way I could understand how to do it. And he sent me an angel – a beautiful, most compassionate angel; one who could and who wanted to help me; who had been through her own hellfire and could understand my darkness. Lead me through it to a quiet shore.
He gave me a second wife. A second chance to not blow it. To prove that I could keep my promises. That I could be a man.
Of course, the catch was that he didn’t let me keep her.
The catch was that he took her somewhere far, far from me.
The empty arms I had then at night – honey, I understand that emptiness so very well.
When you and I would talk on the phone at night during this tour; when sometimes you’d be crying because you were not only so lonely but also plagued by your demons; the ones who reared their ugly little heads no matter how hard you tried to keep them at bay. No matter how hard you tried to hear me and not grasp at the shore but ride that river with me.
I know you thought I was angry with you, yelling at you. But really, I was just trying to be firm, you know? I see a difference, maybe you don’t. But I was trying to tell you I cared and that I knew what was happening to you; that I understood. I know about demons. And I love you and I want you to be strong.
But most of all I want you to know that I understand about the demons.
That I am here in your life to help you –well – not combat them, as much as defeat them. Once and for all.
You deserve a happy life. You deserve it. For no other reason than this one: God made you.
He made all good things.
c: 2018 Marilyn Jaye Lewis