Friday, May 2, 2008

Project Lead Buoy

By Captain Adam Hoden

I’d like to share with you an excerpt from my much anticipated upcoming book, Captain Adam Hoden’s Guide to Lovemaking and Boat Repair:

There is a line in Othello about a drinking man, “Now a sensible man, by and by a fool, presently a beast.” And that is how Nathan Hawthorne began his day; pondering his own body’s malevolent treatment of him. At 11:45 AM, Hawthorn was fairly sure that he could prize himself from whichever bed, futon, or wheelchair he had chosen for this night’s repose.

Gingerly, Hawthorn made his first attempt to rise, and, finding himself hindered by the leg of a bedfellow, chose instead to remain flat. It was just as well. He wasn’t entirely sure that his treacherous legs could handle any sort of expedition at the moment; the previous night had been a blur of thick smoke and drunken images.

Now, though, with the party over, and guests littering the room, it was time to assess the damage. Motivated, presently, by an urgent need to vomit, Hawthorn pushed the trespassing leg from his chest, mumbled, “Fucking sot,” and rose shakily to his feet. Near him, several prone figures were beginning to stir. He hoped that he would be the first to use the bathroom that morning.

He was not. The bathroom was wet and smelled like the alley behind a tavern. Hawthorn flipped the light switch. All but one of the bulbs in a four bulb vanity above the bathroom’s sink were broken. Powdered glass lay dangerously on the linoleum floor. A black man who Hawthorn didn’t know had fallen asleep with his head on the seat of the toilet. A girl who Hawthorn did know was lying face down in the bathtub. Hawthorn pushed on the black man’s right shoulder, and he slumped to the floor with a groan.

After several tumultuous minutes in the bathroom, Hawthorn slouched out of the bathroom and surveyed his surroundings. He had no idea where he was. The house he was standing in was unfamiliar. The house’s walls bore no decoration. There seemed to be no furniture. The carpet had been new, but it was now soiled by the stains of the previous night’s debauchery.

Captain Adam Hoden’s Guide to Lovemaking and Boat Repair will be available in bookstores soon.

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