Wednesday, February 13, 2008

In Totality - My Most Recent Unfinished Novel: I Reveal Nothing

Commentary coming soon! - KL

I Reveal Nothing

By

Kory Lanphear


1.

How does one find oneself in these situations? Hanging by the feet from a tacky ceiling fan in a dingy San Fernando apartment - the walls of which having been decorated with some of the most appalling examples of post-modern foolishness one could imagine - is all fine and dandy as a recreational past time, but I find it incredibly humiliating (not to mention vexing) when there are more pressing matters at hand, namely finding a remedy to the pesky and persistent problem of the periodic losing of consciousness that I am...ungh...

...

..

...but let me begin again.


Matters of the heart are hardly stock and trade for chaps in my line of work. Success is almost exclusively predicated on the stoning of the ticker, even in the face of situations where prudence dictates otherwise. As the saying goes, never get involved with a client. I would like to amend that wise saying with the corollary: never get involved with a client’s sister, either.




2.


But let me begin again, again.

I awoke early in the afternoon, as is my wont, to find that I had a fresh recording on my new voice phone-answering machine. It is really no small wonder that the shrill cry of the phone didn’t wake me as I will not permit myself to be troubled by such a trifling nuisance whilst I am a-slumber.

As I sat down to break my fast I endeavored to listen to the message.

A potential client. Name of Veronica. Was referred to me by so-and-so, a mutual acquaintance who swears by my services, etc. Would I be so kind as to meet with her this very afternoon - say 2:30 - at a bar adjacent to a Hollywood shopping center so she might solicit my services?

I glanced up at the digital clock on the stove. 1:45. So much for my ritualistic morning repose. Nevertheless, I daren’t show up to this meeting tardy, as work has been scarce lately and I’ve been getting dangerously close to having to sacrifice my lovely craft beer habit in favor of mass-produced Philistine swill. No, this appointment I could not afford to miss.

Though, in retrospect, I almost wish I had. Almost.


3.

The aforementioned lounge was of the dingy, daytime-alcoholic sort, populated by rejects from a Bukowski novel. I’d never been there, but I felt right at home. I ambled up to the bar and beckoned to the barman.

“I say”, I said, “fetch me the craftiest of your craft brews! There’s a good chap.”

“Why do you talk like such a fag?” was the impolite response as the draft was poured and subsequently proffered.

I quaffed a large quantity of Angel City Abbey. “What ever are you on about?”

The barkeep chose to ignore this opportunity for witty banter. Undaunted, I surveyed the surroundings. Sensing nothing worthy of note, I began to wonder toward the darker recesses of the bar.

“Mr. X?” a desperate voice pleaded from within a burgundy booth.

“Tis I.” What else could I say? After all, ‘twas indeed me.

“Sit, please.”

“But of course.” I sat.

“This is a rather, eh, peculiar place for a day time meeting, is it not?” I said. "Lucky for you, I am a peculiar man, so it all works out capital.”

“Yes, I’ve – I’ve heard that about you. You seem to aptly fit the description.”

“Well, if any of part of that description was ‘handsome’, then consider me guilty as charged.”

“I believe ‘corny’, and 'fruity' was the gist of what was related to me.”





Notes

I could see that she had her wardrobe set on ‘stun.’ She disrobed to reveal unto me Victoria’s most private and profane secrets.




“So what are you, a cop?”

"Nosir."


"FBI?"

“Nope.”

“CIA?”

" ‘Fraid not."

"A private contractor?"

“Tsch! Well, I think the term ‘private contractor’ connotes the presence of a contract, a modicum of job security along with the hint of some sort of benefits package, and with a little privacy mixed in. None of which am I currently experiencing, nor am I expecting to experience anytime soon.”

“So, what the hell are you, then?”

“You might say that I am a snooping, compromised-privacy enthusiast with a special affection for the common grift.”





"This is a situation that calls for the palest of ales."



Entering the club, or whatever you are so inclined to call it, I was afraid that I might stick out like a soar thumb. As it turns out, I was shocked to find that I was not, by a long shot, the only aspiring dandy gent in the joint. Imagine my disappointment as all of the alienation I have prepared for (and perhaps even required as confirmation of my eccentricity) was diluted with each further step into this cavernous enclave. The place was literally awash with aspiring dandies!

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