First and foremost, thanks for the warm welcome. I'm not much of a blogger, but I do consider myself a writer. I've recently self-published two short books (The Devil's Serum and The Devil's Folly) and I'm currently working on the third in the series.
I'm still trying to get my bearings straight around here but my main purpose in joining is a hope to learn from some of the more experienced authors on the site. Trying to spread the word on new projects is pretty taxing and I know that I'm far from the first to find that to be the case. I've always been a little too intimidated to join any sort of writer's forum in the past because quite frankly they all seem to be over-run with elitist savages. I haven't got that sense from this site and I'm hopeful that my instincts are correct that it's OK to peek out from my shell. =)
I'm adding an excerpt from my first book (The Devil's Serum) for you to read/enjoy/critique etc. Thanks for reading. =)
Tuesday morning, or was it Wednesday…they all just seem to blend together anymore. The coffee tastes the same and the newspaper always lands on the same sidewalk tile. I never understood how that half-asleep toss from a car window could always be so accurate. Maybe that guy is one of the masses that missed their calling in life. I am sure that I missed mine.
I guess life never leaves a message and a return number. Maybe I was asleep when the call came through. Not likely, I sleep as often as dogs meow and turtles leap.
I would tell you why I am writing this and what I hope it will solve, but it would only bore you into a coma…a coma, fuck that sounds peaceful. I would trade my memories for a room full of black in a second. The scent of lime Jell-O and disinfectant would be a welcome reprieve to the scent of boredom and cigarettes.
This is how it always was. I guess this is how it always will be. It’s been this way for as long as I can remember, and I remember it all.
My life was no different from yours, hers, or his, well maybe his. I was a high school loser, never made it with the ladies…see that’s why this whole idea of writing a journal seems ridiculous to me. I’m much more likely to recite things I know than to have an original thought actually manifest itself in ink, and I know a lot, too much. So anyway, where was I? Ah yes, my unsubstantiated life in Middle America.
My father worked in a factory and to this day I have no idea what it was that factory actually produced. I know it barely produced a living wage as my strict diet of day-old bread and potatoes could attest. I remember my father as a quiet man, over-worked with barely enough energy to stand up to my mother.
Often sullen and disengaged, he found most of his comfort in the bottom of a bottle. He once told me when I was older that drinking kept him fit. “Fit for the pine box” he would say. It seemed as if he was attempting to embalm himself with Gin to save the coroner some time. Dad passed away many years ago.
Funny, I never called him Dad when he was alive. Sometimes the best memories are those we have beaten into submission. Until eventually, we end up turning them into something that makes us smile.
My mother was well… for lack of a better term a housewife. I don’t remember a day she was not working, but yet I don’t remember a day she was ever employed. She was a stern woman with waterlogged fingers and wrinkles that made her seem twice her age.
She was the disciplinarian of the house and would not take kindly to a cross word. I know I had brothers and sisters, too. Several I think, but I guess in retrospect that I don’t remember it all.
It’s amazing as years pass what remains and what is replaced in your mind. I remember the first snowfall I ever witnessed. The way it melted at my touch, even the way the air smelled to my infant nose. Yet I cannot even be too sure of my name anymore.
“Vincent!” I can almost hear my mother scolding me. Or was it Victor? Did it even begin with a V at all? I have used the name Christian for as long as I can clearly remember. I remember that it was the correct answer to keep me out of the rain.
“Well are you a Christian? Are ya Boy?” I was startled by the voice piercing the ever-dark night. “If you’re a Christian you can take shelter at the Church”. I am… I said not knowing of the conviction that I was lying about. The guilt never came as I watched the lightening flash from the warm side of stained glass.
For weeks I imagine my answer was Christian to any question I was asked. “Christian”… irony at best, as I now understand the blood of Satan himself courses through my veins. Courses through my veins…I really should have been a poet. I guess it should have occurred to me that I was somehow different from those around me but it never did. Well at least not at first.
My life was normal enough to get by. I never had many friends, but I never really felt the need for any. I was content on my own, often happy. Silence is golden, and ignorance bliss. I never really had room for anyone else but me. Opinions seemed like daggers and I would just as soon avoid the bloodshed. All I ever really needed was me, a trait that would do me well as the years passed.
Loneliness eventually must have overcome me and honesty was strangely often my downfall. To think an innocent conversation with a nurse would get me institutionalized. Mad they say! They call me crazed, delusional, not right in the head. If they only knew the story I have to tell. Perhaps that’s why I have been requested to write it here. Requested, demanded, obligated …I’ll write if I want. Right now I do.
Let me back track as I can only imagine the trials of attempting to get inside my head and find cohesion. There is none to be found. I change my story almost nightly, as I lie awake. The one you read is only the one I write and may or may not be the one I have lived. I will tell a lie as fast as a cobra strikes and tell fantastic stories that are infinitely accurate to the way they actually occurred. Not surprising that a simpleton court would deem me mad.
Again, I have left you the reader spread out all about the road. Follow if you must because I will only be caught if I allow it. Within your sight is as close as I will allow so follow dear reader and try to keep up.
I was born around 1870 to the best I can recall. I do not remember the Civil War but the stories were still fresh as I began to understand words. By the time of the First World War I was considered by many too old to fight and I was fine with that. I know what you are thinking and you have every right. Yes, I am 142 years old give or take a few years. I look no more than 40 years old and never have, nor will I ever. I have finally come to terms with that reality, my reality. I truly am sympathetic to your disbelief, I could not believe half of the things I have seen had I not seen them myself.
So how does one live such an exceptional life? I never said it was exceptional, only long. Perhaps the exception is yet to come. I suspect it may be. If you have read this much I suspect you will read on, and so perhaps you should sit. What follows will read as ramblings of the damned and in some respects, they are. I would like to revoke my Miranda rights if what follows should appeal to someone as a written confession.
Caveat emptor: I‘ve told you I’m apt to lie. Are you nearly as apt to believe?