This is heart wine from Madrid; itís comic, itís sultry and sexy; and itís dangerous and compelling, dealing as it does with expats and the Basque separatist movement. Itís Frank Harrisís My Life and Loves and George Orwellís Down and Out in London and Paris. Itís Jack Kerouac sans the amphetamines Ö
ISBN: 978-1-60489-065-5 Trade paper $18.95 Sale $9.50
ISBN: 978-1-60489-064-8 Library binding $29 Sale $14.50
Tom Abrams lives in Florida. This is his second novel. His story collection, The Drinking of Spirits was reviewed favorably in Publishers Weekly.
From the Book:
Eloy TomŠs Martinez: Why does history have to be a story told by sensible people and not the delirious raving of losers?
A storm last evening dragged a cool rain across the city and this morning is cool and windswept, and itís a nice change. The only air I noticed moving lately came from ladies in black at the terrazas fanning themselves. I took my morning walk, which I began early, woke early. I wore my flat cap, a flannel shirt, black jeans. I stop in Plaza EspaŮa on my way home and sit on a wooden bench. The trees around the Cervantes monument sag with green olives. A woman I often see walking an antique dog at all hours is at the moment bumping a garbage pail along the cobblestones. Two pigeons squabbling over a bar napkin pause to blink at her. Thereís a little person who sells lotto tickets over this way. She walks past. Iím sitting and still taller than her. She wears a built-up shoe on one foot, looks like a grown-up child, has bangs, dresses in pink most days, wears bottle-lensed eye glasses. Even with these she has a hard squint. Because of this, just by some quirk of her features, she always appears to be smiling. Or maybe she is always smiling. I take the letter from my back pocket and read it again.
I received it yesterday from a woman I knew several years ago. Iíve had some trouble remembering her face. I do recall that she was indescribably well proportioned but had no vocation for tragedy and, consequently, paid me little mind. At any rate, hereís some of it:
Starting over is always the worst part. A new outline for a new life. Itís all very ridiculous, so lofty and never followed. What Iíd really like to do at the moment is suck all the cocks in this town. I am in a horny mood. However, perhaps I donít want to do that to all, just an elite few dozen. I never would, of course, you know me, but itís good fantasy material for long drives. Being surrounded by all those soft heads. Brushing my face over them one by one. Maybe I shouldnít be writing this in Starbucks.
I have feelings of pain and sadness but almost as if it doesnít relate to anyone. Or it relates to me, but Iím make-believe so that it doesnít count. Joey from the meat department asked me out. That started the turbulence. My boyfriend had a fit. Iíve been molded all my life to be a victim. I do not know how else to act. I think maybe itís chemical, what controls some women to make them so crazy and loyal. An ancient survival skill. In dreamy romances and the Bible, this blind love is considered a virtue. Women should have it for their husbands as men do for God. By why must you be pulled in so close before they cut you loose?
I have begun to talk to myself. Iíve started to verbalize the more unfathomable aspects of the situation, speaking to myself like a madwoman on the streets. At least so far I talk quietly. I am not giving speeches on the corner. My boyfriend said I am totally orientated in physical beauty. You should see how hideous I look.