An excerpt from this novel. Patrick tries to imagine what David and Adam could have found to say to each other after they got off to such a bad start.
So, what happened at Apollo’s?
Consider this a dramatic reconstruction based on forensic evidence and the sworn testimony of witnesses …
Actually, writing this scene is kind of hard. David wouldn’t have had much to say under the circumstances and I later learned that Homosapien is far more articulate in his wrestling persona than when speaking for himself. This pair of characters are going to be just too difficult to work with. They are such very different people and yet somehow now they managed to connect. How to explain that?
I can imagine David standing there by the Apollo’s counter, doppio in hand (he got it to go, just in case), wondering whether to head over there and talk to the guy or not. And Homosapien looks up at just the right moment, and their eyes meet, and David is when-push-comes-to-shove a bit too polite to turn his back and walk away.
Homosapien gestures to the chair opposite him. David sits, leaning back and turned half away, one leg crossed over the other, trying to appear casual. He doesn’t bother taking off his jacket.
“Uh,” David begins, “I shouldn’t have done that. That was harsh. It’s not my habit to chase customers out of my store … ”
Continue reading excerpt: Homosapien
An excerpt from the Prologue (New Orleans, October 1971) for this novel. Albert goes looking for sex.
“You looking to party?” the young man asked.
When Albert drew off his dark glasses, his companion politely followed suit, tucking his own into the back pocket of his jeans. Albert considered the figure before him, stepping to one side for the full effect of the late-setting sun’s illumination: male, of primarily Hispanic background; eighteen or perhaps nineteen, which was getting old to be on the game; one-seventy, an inch taller than Albert; light brown and dark brown. Further than that: undernourished, and had been for months if not years; clothes old and torn, though fairly clean and assembled with a harmony of color; eyes too bright; demeanor anxious, assessing. Some might have considered the haunted expression romantic, those who thought fey meant something more whimsical than the tragedy of ‘fated to die’. But Albert was instead drawn by the spark of intelligent curiosity.
“If party is a euphemism for having sex,” Albert said, “then, yes, I do want to. Frankly, I have no idea why else I’d be approaching you.”
“Well, I don’t do cops.” Though he continued to hold Albert’s gaze in what seemed a challenge, rather than turn away.
Continue reading excerpt one: The Definitive Albert J. Sterne
An excerpt from the story “The Rending of Cloth” (New York City, October 1952). The child Albert grieves for his murdered parents.
Albert’s early childhood was mostly vague impressions. The love between his parents, and their love for Albert, was strong and constant and inviolate. But none of them were ever very demonstrative, there were never any displays of sentiment. The love was simply there as the foundation of everything they did, all the choices they made, the way they kept company only with each other, the scrupulous care taken to ensure that Albert had everything he needed to grow into everything he could be.
There were hazy moments he could remember. Albert, curled up in his father’s lap, listening to Rebecca’s calm voice tell the story of an old friend, long dead; Miles as rapt as the boy. The three of them being polite at some obscure relative’s afternoon tea, then mischievously sharing their boredom with each other through grimaces and raised eyebrows behind the woman’s back – they had gone home and read all evening, happy in their shared silence. Both of his parents a little giddy, someone having talked them into the indulgence of a fine restaurant on their twelfth wedding anniversary, dressing in their usual dull clothes – but Miles had bought Rebecca a silk scarf. The dark green of it picked out the reddish tint to her brown hair, which she left loose for once. Her eyes had glowed.
Late that night, she clutched the scarf in her dead hand and wouldn’t let it go.
Continue reading excerpt two: The Definitive Albert J Sterne