The White Squirrel
D. W. Hunt
Martin’s dad, Martin Lucius King, will soon be running for governor of Alabama, at the urging of his own father, who hopes that his scrawny son will someday continue the same. But not only is there a circle of politics, but a circle of abuse and paranoid schizophrenia stretching back to Martin’s great-grandfather. So just when Martin gets accepted to the University of Alabama, a white squirrel appears to the youngest Martin to assure him that the “working man” will prevail and the circle will be broken.
ISBN: 978-1-931982-84-9 Trade paper, $15.95 Sale $8.00
ISBN: 978-1-931982-83-2 Library binding, $26.00 Sale $13.00
D.W. Hunt was born and raised in Birmingham, Alabama. In fact, he has spent his entire life there except for the four years he spent in Auburn, Alabama getting a degree in history and political science at Auburn University and the three years he spent in Tuscaloosa, Alabama getting a law degree at the University of Alabama. He still lives in Birmingham with his wife and daughter. He practices law in Birmingham where he represents disabled people, including individuals with schizophrenia. Though he has been writing for many years, the White Squirrel is his first published work.
From the Book:
Martin Lucius King sat at his desk in his room staring dreamily over the trigonometry book. Outside the window over his desk, the dogwoods and cherry trees were in bloom and were now shedding their petals and it looked as if a pile of snow was underneath each tree; a great joke played by an azure sky. Underneath, blue jays dive-bombed on posing cowbirds, the cowbirds fleeing in swarms upon assault only to later take up positions to replay the scenario. In front of the Sciences building, guys were tossing a Frisbee, full-contact style and on the other side of the quad, girls were lying on the Bermuda grass, soaking in the late-spring sun; lithe bodies, exposing what parts were allowed and furtively pushing the limits on what the school would accept. The girls were laughing and wearing shorts and this was where Martin's attention was. One of the girls in the group was Sally McAllister and Martin's protracted desire had been focused on her for some time. He began to get a hard-on looking at her long, sixteen year old legs.
Martin was a virgin and also sixteen years old and at this time in his life, spring had the feel of urgent copulation. Nature and bodies. Everything was doing it: birds, bugs, other kids. Everything was doing it except Martin and he thought he would explode. He didn't care if Sal was a virgin or not; no Madonna/Whore complex to muddy these waters. In fact, it was better if she wasn't a virgin because then there would be none of this guilt of robbing a girl of some precious gift she was supposed to be saving for marriage. He didn't need guilt his first time because when it came, it would be through a long arduous struggle against insecurity and feelings of inadequacy. Martin looked and ached. To screw a girl rather than sheets. Wow. How did other guys get up the nerve?
In the distance, he could hear a lawn mower humming, the sound of the Coach taking care of his baseball diamond for the game this afternoon. The sun shined on the quad from the other side of his dorm, descending into the west, making it about four o'clock. The game would be starting in about two hours, a game he didn't want to miss because it was another chance to sit next to Sal. Man, she was good looking, a Nordic dream with long, straw colored hair and blue eyes, long legs and nice, nice breasts; not too big and not too small. She had a nice smile too. If only he could get up the nerve to ask her out.
He sighed and looked down at his trig' book again, trying to make sense out of it before the game started. With no direct sunlight, the room was dark except for the illumination from his desk lamp and the light cast eerie shadows on Mark McGwire and the rock group U2, posters on the stained white walls. The room was average size for the dorm and it had just enough floor space to squeeze in two twin size beds and two desks. Next to Martin's desk were three plastic milk crates crammed with his clothes, everything else having to be crammed into the one closet in the room. Small didn't adequately describe the place and its size led one to believe that people were a lot smaller in the forties, when the school was built. With no sun, the room was getting cold and Martin hoped they turned the heat on tonight.
Martin's elbows rested on his desk and he dropped his head in his hands, pushing his brown bangs up higher and causing prickly shadows to appear on his book. He picked up his pencil and he stared at the figures in the book . . . and he stared. The more he stared, the smaller and more insignificant the figures became. Trigonometry; he hated this shit and he could study it all day and it still wouldn't make any sense. All this sine, cosine, arc junk; It was the kind of shit nerds invented to make themselves feel important. It was boring, useless, useless shit. He stared long at the figures and his eyes began to burn. The figures became infinitesimal and they became less prominent than the prickly shadows from his hair and he noticed these and started making shadow puppets with his hand; a rabbit, a dog, a chicken, a squirrel.