The Quiet Life of Paul Rudolph, Chapter One, Page One and Two
I hope to deliver this as literary greats such as Charles Dickens and Thomas Hardy once delivered their novels: periodically. This is a bit of the first chapter. The novel is a combination of a linear narrative and stream of consciousness from the main characters’ POV. It will also, I hope, be a guided tour through one of America’s greatest cities. Lyrics of some popular songs are used to emphasize emotions of the character(s). The novel is set in 2007. I hope to publish this and become the next big thing, but for now I only want to let my friends at MyMorningStory take a peak and possibly share some thoughts. Here are the first two pages, unedited.
The Quiet Life of Paul Randolph
Paul Rudolph awoke from forgotten dreams to find himself, surprisingly, in his own bed. He had a headache and an inkling that he was transforming into a monstrous pedant; he knew he was a drunk. He hurried to his garage. It was there. He knew he had been out the previous night but could not remember much else. He’d driven home in the depths of a terrible blackout. His car was safe again, though. Lucky lush. Foggy scenes from the night before began to take shape.
Someone angry? Maybe I was embarrassed. In front of…who was there? Olivia? Tonya? Chris? Justin? Not Rose. Randall. Said something off-putting to Olivia? Tonya? Said what I was thinking earlier—before intoxicated. Something I knew not to reveal. Someone’s upset.
Woke up in the morning and all my friends hate me……… What Happened?
Started in NorthBeach: The International and La Rocca’s. Then where?
He came from the garage to the landing, walked up the steps, and entered his apartment. Laborious chores for this languorous state. He took the hall to his bedroom, stepped inside and looked in the mirror. Shirtless man-child wearing rhinoceros-cartooned boxer shorts. Short, brown hair inert on ellipsoidal head. Itching—left arm. Scar still tactile. More ink? Why? Two koi fish scarred in red and yellow swimming in the foliage of a Japanese Rush across my right calf. What about this medieval etching on my back? What’s the use? What does it mean? Wanting some identity? What identity? A person is the Ship of Theseus. Rummaging the Internet for some symbol or emblem or image or sign or crest or mandala which represents my beliefs or interests or ideas or fancies or principles or essence or nature or something. Clear your mind.
He recalled the drinks from the previous night: beer at home and a shot of cognac before driving to NorthBeach. More beer at The International and a shot of something blue and free from the L.A. 7 behind the bar. Then La Rocca’s for Fernet shots with gingerbacks. After that? Downtown? Yes.
Paul Rudolph remembered, vaguely, standing outside of Vertigo. Least favorite bar in that section, six blocks from Nob Hill. Only end up there in a blackout. Time traveling. Not in my body. Completely unaware but still functioning. Talking…Thought I was there. They didn’t know I had anterograde amnesia. That I had a two-minute-memory. How many people have conversed with me in that state? How many dialogues have been forgotten while fluttering in the deep dark space of lost time? Should at least finish Swann’s Way. Not able to find everything in my memory. Must memorize more mnemonic methods. Myriads of them. Mnemonics will do no good. Time travelling, it’s like.
Had shots at Vertigo. Shots of what? Fernet? Tequila? Whiskey? Yes. Suddenly, his mind sculpted the interior of the R-Bar. The cherry wood and long, narrow frame. The mid 20’s to mid 30’s crowd trying hard not to care. The barmen feigning attentiveness to each evenly but attending to females of particular beauty, face and figure, ever so cordially.
He wobbled to the bedroom doorway wondering if the phantasm was from the night before. Corroborate gray matter. Yes, R-Bar. Last night. He took the corridor to the kitchen. That was where Randall and I ran into the others. Last night. The Fernet bottles on the wall. Glasses of beer on the bar. Two girls sitting close by. Randall taking a photo of the girls and me. Only Randall had not taken a photo. The camera was set to video mode or something. Said something droll. Made them laugh. They were interested. I didn’t care. Overwrought laughter indicated lubricious inclinations. What did I say? Why so bewitching when obliterated by booze? Could charm Nefertiti after a shot and a beer. Could dethrone her romantic, monotheistic diplomat with some combination of sword, hand, and a seated man doing something with his mouth. Everyone is like that. No one is like that.
Earlier last night: Randall, Rose and her girlfriend (Jessica?), at my place for drinks and a smoke of the nuthastuff. I forced philosophy into the conversation somehow: an obscure reference like Avicenna. Dropped his name casually like he’s a modern-day celebrity. Trying to impress. Brought up his thoughts on motion? Medicorum Principes. Large, powerful, enduring canon. Dietitian. Sad we don’t study him or Al-Farabi much in the west. Translated Aristotle far before Europe’s Renaissance. Discredited alchemy and astrology a thousand years ago. Was perturbing. Impressing? Drunken wit. Then later: a stupor similar to senility. The stages of drunkenness are like the stages of life. Peak somewhere in the middle. Never discussed Averroes and monopsychism or the ‘ud tuning of the peripatetic, musical Arab: Al-Kindi.
Went to the R-Bar after Vertigo. Rose was supposed to come but didn’t. Then homeways? Yes. Maybe. How did I drive? Can’t remember the…Glad to be not in jail, safe, alive.
I broke every single traffic rule………
What happened? He put on the coffee. It was Saturday, July eighteenth, the year two thousand seven. What to do? Ah, yes, practice. Less than two hours off. Why think practice but say rehearsal? Only when talking to someone. It sounds more professional. Commode sounds better than toilet, but nobody says commode. Nobody says toilet either. Everyone says bathroom or restroom. I need to go to the bathroom or restroom. I have to use the bathhouse, the outhouse, the lavatory, the john, the head, the pot, the potty, the privy, the latrine, the loo, the sandbox, the throne, the washroom, the water closet… need to void excrement. Need to take a leak, drain the lizard, piss, pee, wiz, urinate, defecate, shit, crap, shit or get off the pot, drop the kids off at the pool, conduct a fetid experiment in the scientific lavatory.