Publishing in an uncertain Orwellian world.

Publishing in an uncertain Orwellian world.

The world has turned upside down. War in Ukraine.  A civil war in Ethiopia.  A proxy war in Yemen. Repression in Myanmar. So many people are suffering external physical and mental duress. But then there are individuals who experience mental disorders caused by psychic pressures or by sexual abuse. The three major characters in the novel The Dead Enjoy Eating, Too are people who find themselves vulnerable to forces they have no control over.

A Journey into the Dark Corridors of the Mind
Charles ‘Charley’ Borromeo, the omniscient character, introduces Eric Haas, the author of The Dead Enjoy Easting, Too. Charley describes Eric as a hard-drinking, wounded individual. “I always thought he drank to drown the demons dwelling inside his head. The cause of his periodic bouts of depression. But who am I to say for sure? I’m no psychiatrist.” The introduction opens the door to the conscious mind of Charles Borromeo as he describes Eric Haas.
He meets Eric in Terrell’s Bar, a watering hole for people escaping from realities outside the door in a country called Japan. They form an instant friendship. Eric regales Charley with stories of his childhood and of his days in the seminary when he encountered a priest whose interest in him was more prurient than spiritual. Over time, Eric begins committing the stories he shares with Charley to paper. Charley reads Eric’s literary sketches and becomes upset at finding many of his own dysfunctional idiosyncrasies embedded in Eric’s writing about Julian, a character based on Charley. “Julian is not you,” Eric insists. “Julian is the universal you.”
Eric makes the decision to write a novel, a creative process that takes him nearly half a century to complete. At his 75th birthday party, he hands the finished manuscript to Charley to read. “Is it publishable or disposable?”
Eric dies before Charley has a chance to review the manuscript. After the funeral, Charley, sipping from his glass of Chardonnay, opens to the first page. In reality, he has rolled back the stone shielding the entrance into the cavern of Eric’s repressed memories. He becomes swallowed up in the vortex of Eric’s troubled mind, populated by demons lodged in the crevices of the Unconscious.
The demons manifest themselves in the forms of three characters, Kirk Thompson, Felix Gunther, and Cecil Pickwick.


Kirk Thompson
Kirk Thompson lives in the present tense and floats through his life imagining that he will become something more than what he is — but he is tied to his job at the Tokyo Research Institute. Fear and uncertainty shackle him from making critical life-changing decisions.
Two events shake him free from his inertia. During the season of Obon in Japan, the spirit of the dead Naomi Tanaka floats into Kirk’s life. Her arrival stimulates dark memories in the form of a nightmare. He wakes up screaming, “Death!” The screaming startles his partner Nancy awake.
He tells her about the dream, but he cannot remember Nancy’s name. In a tender moment, he holds her tightly and whispers into her ear: “God, I love you so much, Naomi!
Nancy pushes herself away. “Who is Naomi!”.
Kirk tells her he had met her three years earlier and had known her for only three days. She died in a traffic accident.
“What made you think of her?” Nancy asks.
“She just popped into my mind.”
Kirk drifts between reality with Nancy and psychic encounters with Naomi. Naomi tells him she has come to deliver his glimpse into the future. She guides him into his future, but the glimpse is vague, more like a delusional drug-induced experience. What does it mean?
The psychic glimpse leaves Kirk distraught. For the first time, he wonders what lies ahead of him. Meanwhile, in the world of reality, Nancy delivers to him an announcement that completely shatters the comfort of his life in the present tense. “I’m pregnant.”

To be continued


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