Synopsis: Jeff Tapiaís collection Deep Tissue is written in a preposterously excruciating style that mimics the often preposterous and excruciating everydayness of modern life. In the title story, a man seeks revenge against his soon-to-be ex-wife by destroying her new kitchen appliance. In ďFearís,Ē a disgruntled security guard asks his good-natured buddy to help him cut off his foot. The middle-aged woman in ďThe Dark ContinentĒ keeps the lump in her breast a secret from her new partner only to discover Ė belatedly Ė that he has a secret of his own. Mimicking the soulless rummage of the information age, Deep Tissue explores the poignant needs and desires of everyday people engulfed in a phony world.
ISBN: 978-1-60489-088-4 Library Binding, $31 Sale $15.50
|About the Author: Jeff Tapia is the author of two plays and short fiction in German and the recipient of an Austrian national writing grant. He grew up in a suburb of St. Louis and studied German at Brown. He now lives in Austria and works as a translator.|
from the Book:
This happened. Kenís left arm was playing Velcro darts against Kenís right arm. Kenís right arm was beating Kenís left arm. Kenís left arm hardly ever won. It was bad. Sometimes Kenís right arm smeared Kenís left arm bad. He was keeping score on a pad of paper. It had the name of his travel agency at the top. Kenís travel agency was called Kenís Travel. Kenís travel agency was going out of business. Ken sat at his desk all day long. Sometimes he played darts. Ken was sitting in his deluxe business chair. It was the ultimate in office comfort. It had multifunction knobs to modify the angle of the back and control the forward tilt. There were not any customers in Kenís office. The lights were not even on. It was sunny outside. It was not very dark inside. The office had big windows. Houseplants were in the windows. One was a rubber plant. They told Ken rubber plants were perfect for beginners. It had glossy, leathery, large leaves. They were oblong to oval. Ken threw another dart. It stuck to the board. Ken wrote down 40. It was what his arm got. Ken had once been 40 himself. It was not that long ago. Ken was over 40 now. Ken made a stick figure out of the 0 in the 40. The 0 was the head. The face in the 0 was in anguish. Ken drew a box around the stick figure. The stick figure was trapped in the box. That signified Ken. The stick figureís hands and feet were out of proportion. They were too big. Kenís travel agency was located right next to a pet supplies shop. Next to the pet supplies shop was a Hallmarkís. Next to that was Shellyís hair salon. She cut hair. Next to Shellyís hair salon was Mail Boxes Etc. Mail Boxes Etc. had recently joined forces with UPS and was now the worldís largest retail shipping, postal, and business services franchise company. Next to that was the huge supermarket where everybody went. Ken liked their donuts. He thought they tasted good. He bought a chocolate long john there every morning. The bakery knew him there. Reuben juggled dough balls sometimes when Ken asked him to. Ken did not care what was on the other side of the supermarket. Ken did not give a shit. Ken threw another dart. It was his left armís turn. It barely stuck to the board. It was hanging by one Velcro. That was like Ken, too. Ken could not take it. Ken was just hanging there.