Derry, Northern Ireland

Derry, Northern Ireland
A book I'm working on is set in this town.

Monday, July 9, 2012

I miss Marix

Best Tex-Mex ever, bar none. And if you ordered cheese enchiladas, you'd get 'em. Not chicken ones so smothered in sauce you couldn't tell what they were till you bit into them. Killed my appetite.

Killed my decent mood, too, so I'm just posting part of chapter 1 of OT -- this is after Jake's step-mother, Mira, has asked him why he stays with Antony. They're meeting at De Gaulle Airport during one of Jake's layovers en route to Copenhagen.

(One note: I HATE Lion's auto-spell-check-correct and need to find out how to turn the fucking thing off.)

Now...back to Jake:

So here I was, and Mira was waiting for an answer, nibbling at her salad as I chowed on the best damn quiche I’d ever eaten in an airport. All I could do is shrug.

“What do you want me to say?”

“That it is not merely from pity?”

“I don’t pity Tone, Mira. He’d never let me.” It’s funny, but she was the only other person in the world I felt like I could be completely open and honest with and know it wouldn’t get back to somebody. So I didn’t censor anything I said, in honor of that feeling. “I might get pissed off. I might get hurt. And sometimes I’ll get happier than I’ve ever been when he does something that...that just lets me know he cares about me. Like this one time, when I was having problems with this graphic novel I’m working on. I stood out on a balcony in the freezing cold for I dunno how long trying to figure it out and finally just came inside, still lost, and...and Tone had -- he’d made me some hot cocoa with marshmallows and a dark chocolate bar melted in, just as I like it. And I sipped some and he leaned over and wiped the chocolate off my moustache and licked his fingers, his eyes dancing like a happy kitten’s, and I -- I ached for him. I knew right then I’d kill anybody who tried to hurt him. I almost did.”


“When I caught this guy named Rattler stabbing Tone. In that cell. I plowed into him and grabbed the knife away and would’ve cut that bastard’s throat if Matt hadn’t stopped me.”


“Wollitz. A friend of Tone and me. Lives with us. He...he yelled at me not to mess up the knife with someone else’s blood. That’d hurt it as evidence. That gave the deputies time to pull me away was good I didn’t do it. But I still feel that way.”

She nodded and said, “In some ways you are so much like your father, and in others you are so completely different.”

“I don’t wanna talk about him.”

“All right.” And she dug deeper into her salad.

“What’s this really about, Mira?”

“He’s let his therapist share his notes. Has he told you everything he’s done?”

“Probably not. I think I got most of it, but he’s so unsure about himself, he thinks he needs to be unsure about me. He’s healing, Mira, and I’m stayin’ with him. Even once he’s better.”

“Is that wise?”

“What do you mean?”

“Your work is in Copenhagen. You are now a citizen of Denmark.”

“You don’t abandon someone who’s got cancer or AIDS or heart disease, not if you love ‘em. This is the same thing. You still haven’t told me why you’re asking. Is it Uncle Ari? Have you been talking to him?”

“I’ve been listening. He likes your work. His clients like your work. He wants you to become a partner in his business. It is an excellent idea, but you will have to return to Copenhagen to live. Antony cannot leave until next year, at the earliest.”

I just nodded. Didn’t say a thing about next week’s hearing or even mention that I figured she was feeding me a line of bullshit. Uncle Ari hadn’t even hinted about anything more than meeting this client and sending more art assignments my way, and he wasn’t the kind of guy not to talk about his plans. He and my dad may have been brothers, but they were cut from different DNA, because he was open and gregarious and never met anyone he couldn’t like...and couldn’t keep a secret to save his life. So I knew there was something else going on and she didn’t have the nerve to mention it to me. Which brought her down a notch in my eyes, because if she can’t tell by now that I can be trusted, she never will be able to. And that hurt.

And it also pissed me off enough to be blunt. “This is bullshit, Mira. What’re you really gettin’ at? And don’t hand me any more shit about Uncle Ari. You know me better’n that.”

She stopped in mid-chew and nodded and swallowed then took a sip of her wine. Burgundy with a salad; there’s something wrong about that.

“Your mother has contacted your father.”


“I do not know why. He will not tell me. And when your father becomes this secretive, it worries me. I think, if you stay in America much longer, something will happen. And you are better protected in Denmark.”

“Tone wasn’t.”

“He is an easier target.”

“I dunno about that -- .”

“He cares more about you than he does himself, Iacof.”

Which makes anybody vulnerable. Yeah, I couldn’t argue with that. “So why do you think this concerns me?”

“Why would you not think so? As your father tells the story, he and your mother hate each other. Why else would she call him, except about you?”

Phone call, huh? Yeah, that meant way too much. I’d learned how to pinch pennies from my mom, so for her to spring for an overseas call to a man she despised almost as much as I did, instead of popping off an e-mail...well, that was a big deal.

“Neither one of ‘em have even tried to get hold of me, and they both know how. Maybe mom’s asking dad for money.”

Mira rolled her eyes at that, and I shrugged in agreement. It was a silly thing to suggest. So why would she have called him?

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