Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Friday, April 11, 2008

After Chap 2, the story so far ...

Our protagonist, Tofer Grilleto, buys a hotdog and softdrink from a vendor on his way to a late arrival at work with Oodles of Insurance, in a highrise in San Francisco. The 'dog smells terrible and his workmates in the open field of cubicles give him a hard time. He is called into the office of his boss, Mathilda, where he and she make love on her desk.

Characters thus far:

  • Tofer Grilleto, our protagonist and the narrator of the story.
  • Mathilda -- aka Matty -- a large woman who is Tofer's boss and lover.
  • Irv, Tofer's other boss
  • Jake, a cubicle workmate of Tofer's who is easily annoyed
  • a Chinese hotdog vendor

Chapter 2 - A Latticework of Bliss and Desire

Waiting in the office lobby for the elevator, I take a bite from the dog. Though I had gotten it only minutes earlier, I had forgotten it was in my hand. I was intenting to toss it away, it was so ugly and unappetizing looking. But without thinking or looking at it I take a bite.

The flavors saturate and delight my mouth as I am swept into the elevator by the mob. My brain is overwhelmed by happiness. Harps and oboes begin to play. The hotdog tastes like Mozart, or maybe Picasso, or, could it be, yes, Uma Thurman, or newly mowed grass. I want to giggle; I want to dance; I want to sing showtunes; I want to throw my money out the window.

Only, I notice that in this elevator there is no window and that my fellow passengers are quite annoyed. And it is with me that they are annoyed! I notice that a rather tall woman is looking daggers at my two-bites eaten dog, and I notice, too, a foul smell -- like garlic and wet wool -- coming from the direction of what's in my hands.

"Aut dawk," I say, my mouth full, my lips wet with the strangely-colored condiments. "Id d'lishes. Wite dasdy." It's delicious; quite tasty, is what I mean to say, but the crowd seem uninterested; only perturbed. When the elevator arrives at my floor, I am hustled out the door. And I don't think I'm imagining it, the doors closed quite briskly and with a slam.

I try to sneak past my cubicle neighbors in the office -- something I am rather accomplished at doing with my experience at late arrivals -- when Jake bounds up from his chair like a Jack-in-the-Box.

"Geeeyaaad! It smells like horse droppings!" he says.

It's not, I tell him. And I tell him of my morning's travails: that I was running late for work, that there was this 'dog vendor, that it's a special da---

"I GET IT. I GET IT." he says.

Poor Jake. He likes to be offended, and he hates others' yammering. But me, I hate his ease at being offended -- especially when he's offended at something I've done -- so I yammer at him to annoy him. Aye! The evil swirl of battle at the base of EVERY human relationship. I would hate this evil swirl of battle if only I wasn't such a DAMN GOOD relationship warrior!

So, Dear Reader: Allow me to yammer at YOU for a while about relationship battles. You are welcome -- nay, ENCOURAGED -- to take notes. Now, I don't have a lot of time for this -- I'm supposed to be working, don't you see. Irv or Mathilda, my decadent bosses, could come onto "the floor" at any time. So I'll just relate to you Part 1. You'll get more later, if you're good, if you don't spill any coffee on this novel or burp in my face, or start running around hopping on one foot screaming about BLOODY ORANGUTANS!

How to Get Along with Others of the Human Species
Part I
by Tofer Grilleto

All people are insane. The indicator of their insanity are their hard spots and soft spots. The deal is this: Stay away from the hard spots, and know how to poke the soft ones.

Winning in a relationship battle involves "taking them down." Success is achieved by poking more of their soft spots than they do yours.

Of course, not having many soft spots is good. But just as good is to cover your soft spots with a thick, hard crust. But, if you cover your soft spots with a thick crust, the spot under the crust gets very soft indeed. And if your opponent [which is every human you come in contact with] is able to poke through to a very very soft spot of yours underneath a hard rock-like shell, then you are horribly defeated. Victory goes to your opponent. And you don't want this to happen, because then you lose, and losing hurts like hell.

It is Mathilda that taps on the back of my shoulder as I am addressing you, dear reader. "Goofing off, again, eh? You wastrel!" she says, rather loudly, making sure that everyone in a wide area can hear. "See me in my office, immediately!"

And so it is that I slump-walk over to the big woman's corner office, my workmates snickering, or peeping over their cubicle walls at me. Woe is me. But it is all just a performance: though not really for them, my disloyal workmates, but for Irv, who in his office has his ear pressed against the door. Irv cannot actually hear me slump-walk, but he can, with his keen senses, make out the mumbly-giddy sounds that are prompted my my woeful disposition and the stern earlier words of Mathilda, my sweet Matty.

"My sweet Matty," did I say? After I enter her office, I enter Matty. But I am getting ahead of myself. Matty shuts her door after I enter her office and does so rather loudly -- and immediately began unbuttoning my shirt. "Hulk," she whispers. "Buttercup," I whisper back as I slip my hands up under her blouse. But now, if you can visualize it, we are in a bit of a pickle -- my arms moving up her blouse; her arms moving down my shirt buttons -- so we must disengage and undress ourselves rather unceremoniously. An then, like hot buttered fish fillets, we leap onto her desk, pushing paperwork and office knickknackery off the plane of our desire.

It is a momentary thought that enters my mind -- a thought no bigger than a mouse: "What a racket you're making; what will the neighbors think?" But this mousy thought leaves me, chased away by the broom of my ardor and the fast cat of my passion. So there, on the silvery metal desktop, in thrusts and heaves and growns and stickiness we animalize our love and carmelize the sweet candy thoughts that had danced in our brains for days. "Hulk," she says. "Buttercup," I reply.

But as I say the word Buttercup, it is not Matty I am thinking of, it is the last bites of the hotdog I left on my desk. And the drink -- yes, the drink! -- whatever happened to it?

-- you have reached the end of chapter 2 -- all that is written thus far.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

After Chap 1, the story so far ...

The story so far: Our as-yet-unnamed protagonist is late for work at his job with Oodles of Insurance in downtown San Francisco, but he stops to buy a hotdog from an elderly street vendor. He is given a 'special' dog and a mysterious drink.

Characters thus far:
  • Unnamed protagonist
  • Irv, one boss
  • Mathilda, another boss
  • Chinese hotdog vendor
Now, on to Chapter 2.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Chapter 1 - Hot Dog

Fuck! I am late for work, again.

It shouldn't matter so much; I get my work done, stay late and don't goof around -- but it nettles my bosses, Irv and Mathilda endlessly and has cost me promotions. "It shows a lack of respect," they say. And I guess it might; but it's not that I am intending anything. I don't respect them, but I don't disrespect them either. I'm just wanting to get things done, and done perfectly.

You might think that my colleagues would admire and praise the perfect work I do. It pleases our customers and quietly and sublimely makes our company, Oodles of Insurance, buckets of money. But since what I do cannot be measured -- its contribution to the bottom-line calculated -- it is only my attendance record, with its red-checked chart of absences and tardies that can be used in a performance review.

It's five minutes after 7am and I have a quarter-mile run from the busstop where I got off to the office in Embarcadero Two. While folks on the sidewalks in downtown San Francisco walk very fast, they are thick as locusts and much slower than my runningback gait. I weave through the mob, strong-arming cravat-wearing businessman and prickly legal secretaries.

But then I see the hotdog cart. It is a curious element of my attention span, or inability to focus, that food always distracts me. Or, I should say, that I rather willingly give in to the lure of a quick bite. Yes, I knowingly loose my focus. I don't know how that is, or why that can be, but for all the problems it is likely to cause in my worklife, I decide -- in some supercasual, non-decisionmaking way -- to go for the food.

There's a line at the hotdog cart. Curious, I think. It's only just after 7am, and this line is ten, eleven, twelve, thirteen -- thirteen -- people long. The minutes tick by; the vendor, an elderly Chinese man, is slowmoving and chatty. When I am finally served, he tells me he is out of regular dogs, and has only one left, which is very special. I turn to see that there is nobody behind me in line.

"Last dog," he says in his clipped English. "Yours." I growl at him and nod my ok.

"Five dollar," he says. I turn to leave, when he grabs me by the arm. "Free, today."

He pulls out this purplish-looking sausage out of his warming oven and places it in the nest of a steaming black-bread bun. From several squeeze bottles, labeled with Chinese characters, flow ribbons of lime-green and polkadotted goo that make a lattice design on the top of the dog.

He hands me the beast. I look at the dog, fearfully.

"Want sprinkles?" he asks. He laughs hardily. "Me kid. Crazy Chinese."

He hands me a cold can, the size and heft of a softdrink -- only I can't tell what it is exactly with its Chinese lettering.

The old man motions toward his throat. "Wet neck," he says.

I motion my unworded thanks and walk off slowly toward work, toward my silly job, toward what I supposed would be an unmemorable day.


On to Chapter 2

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Introduction

Hello.

This is a blog-written novel, somewhat in the tradition of Penelope Ashe's Naked Came the Stranger, [and the 'Naked Came' copy-cat novels that followed it: Naked Came the Manatee, Naked Came the Phoenix, Naked Came the Sasquatch, et al] and somewhat following the dictates of speed novel writing -- the idea being to get a novel done lickity-split without ultra-high regard to the plot tangle that is being created as the big pile of words is amassed.

Ashe's 1969 novel was in actuality written by a troupe of writers; that won't be the case with "...Buddhist." But it will be a steamy romance with cliffhangers at the end of chapters, lots of characters, loads of surprises, and daring escapes from plot complications.

One thing I will want to do is get Buddhists to hate me in the first half of the book and then get them to love the book in its second half. So, consider yourself warned, particularly if you are Buddhist and protective of your religion.

Ashe's novel was, supposedly, the first to begin with the word Fuck. The tradition, using that word as a sentence to begin this novel, will be followed. While writing a blog novel is sure to be fun; reading one might not be, I fear. So, to make it easier on you poor weary readers, I insert a "the story so far" synopsis thing between chapters -- so that a reader can jump in anywhere and have an enjoyable experience.

So, onward to Chapter 1.