She had plugged the laptop directly into the wall outlet. I couldn’t believe it. One year has passed, but it still sticks out in my memory.
Before the babysitter left, I tucked H- in for the night. After paying her and saying, “Thanks again!” I showed her the door and she exited. There was always a peculiar tension to our interactions, likely due to the fact that she was young and happily married and I was divorced and didn’t buy it.
But she had plugged. The laptop. Directly. Into. The wall. Who does this?
Moments like these confirm that I am not meant for marriage.
Did she not know how much a laptop costs? Or how much of me she placed at risk?
Quickly, I double check that, sure enough, the surge protector is on the ground, visible, and within reach of the wall outlet–right where I left it.
But come closer now. There is something else. I want to tell you something that I already feel guilty for sharing. There is a part of a lover that I miss dearly. I don’t hear much discussion of it among the ranks of men, but I find it to be enchantingly erotic.
It is the feel of the tender, meaty flesh of the inside of your upper arms. You only offer it as you lie naked beneath me, having willingly allowed me to push your arms over your head in worship.
Now there is only longing. Longing for my thumb to again devotedly caress the skin that spans from the bones of your wrists to the muscles of your arms as I finally and firmly enclose this part of you in my palm.
Vulnerability, your scent intoxicates!
And what of this confession?
My first thought when I visited www.wemadeamillionaire.com was to vomit. A social experiment where some anonymous person becomes a millionaire because a bunch of gullible suckers have nothing better to spend their money on than anonymous website builders? Right. A beggar is a beggar is a beggar. No, thank you–get a job like the rest of us.
More than that, just a few short months ago I’m pretty sure this entire world was sick of the 1%. Why would we want to create another one? And the idea that it would be interesting to see how this person would spend the money? Again, no, thank you.
But then I stumbled across something truly brilliant: www.wemadeacatmillionaire.com
Here’s something I can get behind, I thought. Poor Manther! Removed from his life in the urban wilds and placed into virtual solitary confinement. Tssk, tssk. And the pictures. Manther is one handsome feline and yet he can’t catch a break, it seems.
Someone, we may never know who, has taken up Manther’s cause. Someone, a clearly benevolent soul, has recognized injustice and was moved to action. Someone, a lion for the animal kingdom, has finally come to their senses. Because of that someone, we can all help Manther become a cat millionaire–perhaps the first cat millionaire.
Now I know what you’re thinking. I was thinking the same thing. Who even likes cats? And you’re right. I don’t like cats. But even I can’t deny the power of the photos. And the video! Oh emm gee. Manther just wants to do yoga.
Like the T-Rex from Jurassic Park, Manther doesn’t want to be fed, he wants to hunt.
Want to be a part of THE social experiment of 2015? Then visit WEMADEACATMILLIONAIRE. More than visit, DONATE! DONATE like I donated. I didn’t think I could scrape together the money, but there comes a time when each of us must silence our reason in order to hear our hearts. My heart said donate. Donate to Manther. Listen to your heart, people. Donate to Manther.
My son’s shoulders were red and his tank top was drenched with sweat. He smelled bad too and though I didn’t want drive away–not yet–I couldn’t help but think how if I didn’t, his car seat would get sweatier and sweatier and probably never not stink again. Only the very top section of his hair was not plastered to his head and was standing straight up as if he was still running around with the other kids. If you looked close enough, you could almost see little chests sticking out of each of the hairs as if they were proud to be counted among the few who held out to the end of the battle.
“Mommy, what’s funny?”
I didn’t raise my head from the steering wheel where I had just placed it. As for me, I was warm for a different reason and in a different place. My shoulders were red from the sun except for where my spaghetti string tank top had only slightly covered each of them, and now that I was away from the man I could finally allow my face to fully flush and match the hue. But I didn’t want Billy to see and comment. Not expecting nor suppressing the giggle that erupted, I deliberately focused on memorizing every feature of his face, physique, and sense of humor. He was perfect. I did not want to forget him. And yet I forgot to give him my number. Dammit. What was his name again? Steve? Brian? Eric! Eric. His name was Eric. Whew.
I did consider raising my head when I heard a knock on my window followed by “Mommy, the man from the park is knocking on your window.” Shocked and not wanting him to see me in this state, as I raised my head I kept my hands where I had had them at the ten and three and I tensely looked away. There was a second round of knocking and a second round of Billy announcing the knocking. For a moment I wondered how long he would stand there and for a briefer moment I wanted to test him–only partly playing–but I didn’t. Finally, turning my head with no small amount what-I-knew-would-be-an-enticing flash of my shoulder length, cute, jet black hair, I looked up at him, smiled, and attempted to lower the window. I had hoped my skin’s normal color had returned to my face, but as I pressed down on the window button, I was certain my face regained whatever red it had lost, this time due to embarrassment. I had forgotten to even turn on the car. No wonder I was so hot. Poor Billy, I chuckled to myself. I could hear the local news’ coverage already: “Local boy and mom rushed to the hospital earlier today. After recovering from a mild case of heat stroke, the mom admitted she had become absentminded after talking to a nice man for the first time in years and subsequently forgot to turn on the car after getting in it to drive home.”
Luckily, the car started and I had the a/c on and window down in no time.
“Hey-” I began.
“Hey-” he interrupted.
“What’s funny, mommy?”
He didn’t seem like he would start again so I finally said, “Yes-” right as he did begin again with, “So-”
We laughed again.
Billy laughed from the back seat.
We laughed harder because of it and Billy kept laughing.
“Should we ro-sham-beaux to determine the order of speakers?” Eric asked.
“Ro-sham-beaux?” Billy repeated.
“No. I’m sorry. Please, go ahead,” I insisted, looking right through his only lightly tinted, tan designer sun-glass lenses and into his remarkable and piercing dark brown eyes.
He looked back at Billy, waived, and then said, “Before you go, I just thought you might want to see this,” as he handed me his phone.
“Can I see, mommy?”
I almost gave the phone right back to him as the screen did not have whatever I was expecting, which I guess I would have to say was another cute meme like the ones he had already shown me. Only a moment before that awkwardness, I realized what he was doing. He was so considerate. He had given me his phone on the “Add New Contact” page with my name so that I could give him my number without the kiddo knowing. He remembered my name. You better believe I triple checked the number, even going as far as texting myself and checking my phone to see that I got it before handing his phone back to him.
“Funny,” I said finally. Turning to Billy, I said, “Not this time, sport.”
“Well, it was my pleasure. Nice to meet you, Billy. Be good for your mom.”
I then watched as he stepped back a ways and stoically raised his open right hand. I would’ve kept looking at him, but when he coolly smiled and winked, I couldn’t keep a straight face so I pretended to clear the passenger side of my reverse.
When I quit the oil fields, I told myself I would write two books (in addition to posting Mon-Fri) and that they would be on sale by March 1st. Well, without a moment to spare, my new (and second) short novel Buried Within is now available in paperback for purchase on Amazon (kindle version within the day). Here is the back cover text. Hope you enjoy.
Rick and Mark are friends, but they have lots of friends. After Mark’s wife Rebecca is murdered, he does the unthinkable–twice. Would you? Could you?
Pete Deakon lightens the mood, at least a shade, with his second short novel, Buried Within. The story explores friendship, hope, guilt, and ultimately, love.
At times laugh-out-loud funny, through an easy-going style and brisk pace, this contemporary thriller pleasantly affirms and challenges some of Mid-America’s most cherished notions.
If you’d like to do a review of the book (that you’d post on your blog and Amazon at least), I’ll email you a pdf. Just let me know. Glenn of Glenn Hates Books has it in his queue already. I’m skerred. Ha.
…a rare display of perfect white teeth two widening, full lips revealed said friend.
Beginning with her rugged and worn-in desert tan combat boots, continuing up dusty cargo pants that seemed tailored, pausing where a thick belt sloped pertly from her left hip to her right where the pistol’s holster hung several inches below her waistline, tightening with her damp tank top that left no doubt about her taught stomach and full breasts, and ending with her coal black hair that she tied back in a pony tail three days earlier, she was a fighter through and through.
I stepped forward and her shooting arm flinched. Slowing my approach, I kept her in the long shadow that was the result of the setting sun meeting my tall frame. Raising the open palms of my capable hands to the level of my stomach, I signaled that I meant no harm. She let me continue. Two steps remained and finally she began to rotate the pistol to an angle that would cause my intentions great consternation. Still I walked forward. One final breath of harsh, dust-filled wind before the evening’s calm would begin caused us both to turn our heads downwind, eyes closed. Quick to re-open mine, I saw through her sun-glasses that she hadn’t yet opened hers and that when she did they widened as much from fear as from excitement upon the discovery that I had smartly seized the opportunity to close the remaining distance between us. My shadow blanketed her body in its entirety now. I raised my hands further until they were at shoulder height, which was also the level of her eyes. She tried to hold her breath in an effort to prevent her quickening heart rate from revealing itself through a rapidly rising and falling bosom. She failed. Almost imperceptibly, I advanced my hands until my fingertips landed gently upon her sun-glass’s frames. I then slowly pulled the glasses, and a few strands of hair that appeared relieved to be free, forward.
It is. I know it is bad. I know it is bad because I have felt a woman willingly place her hand in mine. I know because I have enjoyed the exponentially arousing feeling of her fingers brushing down the length of my fingers as we interlace them. Because my shoulders have received the full weight of her eyes after she concludes that they can bear her trust. Because I have been allowed to consider each and every subtle quality that define her face and neck. Because my tongue has tasted the deposit and withdrawal of her unfamiliar breath.
I know because I have been caught unaware by the ferocity with which my delight in the delicate dance of our tongues was overcome by an unmistakable wish to devour my prey without obtaining permission or forgiveness.
I know because I have seized her narrow waist and smashed her concealed hips into mine before granting my hands license to hunt for the entry point. Because, ever confident, I have triumphed past that magical barrier which separates exposed from unexposed.
I know because I have lifted her into the air and felt the unrivaled trifecta of her fingertips guiding, her legs surrounding, and her body enveloping as she descends.
Oh yes. I’m convinced. Sex is bad.
Happy Valentine’s Day
It wasn’t for me, of course. I bought it as a gift for the last book reader in the land. For my part, I, Peter, the eldest Deakon brother, hailing from that last great North American municipality Kansas City, so named for the river that decreed its eastern boundary and ferried the native tribes of the same name, always scoffed at such trinkets. Not anymore.
I had only moments before stepped out of my aging helicopter, which had assumed the role of confidant over the last few lonely years, and calmly removed my gold-rimmed sunglasses to look upon the setting sun, perhaps for the last time, through the many layers of slowly falling dust my old friend had kicked up. Rarely did she bestow upon me the gift of being able to stare at the life sustaining star unflinching and without filter. There were no governments anymore, no commanders to frown at me if I didn’t wear my cover when outside, but still I deftly exchanged the aviators for my old blue airman’s hat that I nevertheless kept in my flight suit’s left ankle pocket. Ever scanning the sky for trouble, I only looked down for a moment when I paused to wipe clean with my thumb the polished silver captain’s bars before placing their visibly worn fabric bearer on my head, cocked slightly to the right.
That’s when I saw her, rather felt her, approach. She had come to a stop just outside of arms reach at my five o’clock without my noticing, shame on me. It was when I began a turn to my left that out of the corner of my eye I caught sight of her swelling bosom’s shadow as it accented her figure’s shapely outline upon the hard packed dirt. “A quiet runner,” I thought, impressed, “or maybe I am losing my hearing after all these years.” My torso lagged, hips even more so, behind my rapidly turning head as I began to assess friend or foe. The dusty black Glock in her right hand said foe, a rare display of perfect white teeth two widening, full lips revealed said friend.
A bitter poem as the worst holiday ever conceived approaches dreadfully slow.
Longsuffering does not mean suffering through long hours at work to buy you jewelry.
Longsuffering does not mean suffering through long lines with other procrastinating men to buy you flowers.
Longsuffering does not mean suffering through long years of staring at some perplexingly huge teddy bear that got me laid once.
Longsuffering does not mean suffering through long explanations about why you can’t make friends with women.
Longsuffering does not mean suffering through long lists of men’s names who you thought really loved you.
Longsuffering does not mean suffering through long years of hoping you’d get the clue that I wanted to be more than friends.
Longsuffering does not mean suffering through long periods of silence as you conclude life is as your dad said it was, not as you wanted it to be.
Longsuffering does mean suffering through long days and nights which add up to years of wondering where the hell a woman worth her salt hides and if I will even be able to recognize her.
Have I told you much about Greeny? The following paints as accurate a picture of this war hero as any, I suppose.
Taking off his skis Saturday afternoon, he stops and says, “I just learned something about myself. See that woman over there? I watched her come down the mountain on tele’s and thought, ‘You know. I could marry her.'”
“Wow, man. Pretty deep,” my brother and I’s wide-eyed response.
“No, you don’t understand. You know what my girlfriend said to me the other day? She said, ‘It’s cold out here.’ I couldn’t believe it. It was like 60 degrees. I told her, ‘You can say, ‘I’m cold.’ But you can’t say ‘It’s cold.’ You can’t say it because it is not true.”
He always has been a stickler for the truth.
What I really want to share though is what happened at the club Saturday night. The seven of us in the bachelor party play pool for a few hours until most are losing interest and ready to head back to the condo. I convince Greeny to hang out a bit longer, because, well, we’re good friends and you never know when some new war will break out etc, etc. It was about midnight, and we had had enough to drink that I finally suggest we tempt fate on the dance floor where there are probably eight ladies and only one dude. (Focus on the decent odds, not the lame club.)
The entire floor cleared when we walked onto it.
I couldn’t stop smiling. I felt my body move more from laughter fits than any attempt to bust a move. Greeny was more still. He gets this look. The wheels are clearly turning behind his thousand yard stare, but from experience I assure you not necessarily very fast. He scans the room one last time and then reports, “Pete. If you and I are in any other country in the world and walk onto a dance floor, the women would leave their seats to join us. Here, they return to them.”
Now, ladies, I know what you’re thinking.
Wait. No, no I don’t. Never have. Same for Greeny.
Some of you have suggested that you’d love to hear how book sales are going and also just about the self-publishing experience as a whole. I am flattered that you would consider my opinion on this subject valuable, and as such, will gladly indulge you to the point where you wish you had never asked.
To begin, I need to freely confess that I don’t have a clue about how to make money. I don’t. I never have. I loved my high school and college jobs–I probably would’ve worked them for free. After college I was shocked when I discovered how much I was paid to be a hero. And as for the rest of my jobs since then, I have quit them for one of two reasons. Either I felt guilty for being paid too much money or I quit because you couldn’t pay me enough money to do the job. Reiterating then, I don’t have a clue about how to make money. I don’t. I never have.
On top of this, I happen to believe that if I know anything valuable–anything of real value–I shouldn’t charge you for it. Now, I’m not going to get all Christian-ee on you, so settle down. But case in point is the Gospel. Let’s say for a moment that the story is true. Let’s say that you and I are wretched sinners without a hope, save one unbelievable notion. And let’s say that that notion is that recognizing the state of things taken together with following Jesus is the only way to balance the books, but balance the books it does. If that were the case, and I knew it to be true, I would never charge you for that information. No way.
Just the same, H- and I need money for life’s necessities, no different than you and yours. So I wrote Simon Pastor with the hope of paying for these necessities. Next up, I’ll tell you how to write a book like Simon Pastor, then I’ll share how it’s selling. Feel free to skip to the end.
Step 1 – TYPE book in MS Word
Step 2 – SAVE file every time you think of it. 😉
Step 3 – SAVE AS a PDF/A when it’s final. (Only if you care about a paperback version. If you don’t, skip to step 8)
Step 4 – CREATE createspace.com account
Step 5 – UPLOAD PDF/A file
Step 6 – FOLLOW createspace.com steps to proof book and create cover etc.
Step 7 – DOWNLOAD Kindle cover file when prompted
Step 8 – SAVE AS final MS Word file again–this time with the name Kindle added on. (You need a file to mess around with and don’t want to screw up your paperback version, that’s why I do this step.)
Step 9 – CREATE kdp.amazon.com account.
Step 10 – FOLLOW kdp.amazon.com steps to modify MS Word Kindle version as required
Step 11 – SAVE AS Web Page, Filtered
Step 12 – UPLOAD that and Kindle Cover from Step 7 to kdp.amazon.com account (plenty of instructions on their site)
Step 13 – FOLLOW the simple sequence of pricing/distributing
Step 14 – SHARE the news that Amazon is selling your book with every human being you come into contact with
Okay. Truly, it is simple. It is also free. If you don’t care to feel a paperback copy in your hands before you list it on Amazon, you never have to pay a cent–not one penny–to publish your book in either paperback or Kindle versions.
So how are sales? Since last weekend, the 4th, I have sold a grand total of twenty copies. Another one hundred eighteen kindle versions were downloaded (via the free Kindle promotion last Friday). One thing I forgot while setting the price for the eBook is that I have no idea how to make money. Amazon recommended setting the price at $3.99 when using the 70% royalty model. Up until that moment, I had been planning on selling it as cheap as possible in order to encourage heavy readership. But greed took over along with thoughts of glory and roller coasters in my backyard etc. It is a good book. I’m sure of that. But I’m also sure that while $3.99 is a cup of coffee, it doesn’t take hours to drink a cup of coffee. And it will take at least an hour to read my book. Your tv watching habits prove you are willing to waste time for free, but paying to waste time? That would be something. I see now that four bucks is a bit much to invest in possibly wasting an hour with an unknown author. So after a week I’m changing it up. I’m going back to my original plan and it is now for sale for the lowest price Amazon will let me sell it for, which is 99 cents.
I’ll update you guys next week with just a simple number update regarding how sales are doing.
Overall, the lesson learned is write what you must write. My happiness is enhanced because of writing this book. If money is deposited into my bank account, that’s great. But I will never regret writing the book. If you’re a timid soul, this post should warn you off from challenging yourself to finally write the great american novel. But we both know there are no timid writers. Good luck.