Wednesday, 29 May 2013
Book Spotlgiht: My Life as a Myth by Huston Piner
by Huston Piner
Available from amazon | amazon uk | prizm books
My Life as a Myth -- 1969 freshman Nick Horton has problems. He suffers bouts of depression, he’s a high school social outcast, and he doesn’t understand why he’s just not attracted to girls. So when a series of misunderstandings label him a troublemaker, he’s delighted to have Jesse Gaston and his gang befriend him. Nick just wants to explore his attraction to Bobby Warren, but Jesse promises to give him a new image and soon transforms the shy loser into an anti-establishment student hero.
Thanks to his new reputation, Nick finds himself besieged by would-be girlfriends and expectations that he live up to his public image. As Jesse’s PR campaign becomes more and more outrageous, Nick’s road quickly becomes littered with ridiculous misadventures and unexpected psychedelic explorations. Meanwhile he struggles to understand his emerging romance with Bobby while dealing with the Vietnam War’s continuing impact on his family and the dangerous goings-on at school.
Nick’s freshman year is a remarkable journey of struggle with his unwanted reputation and his deepening passion for Bobby. Can he accept who he really is and the meaning of his love for Bobby? Is a world still reeling from the sexual revolution, Acid Rock, and the illicit pleasures of underage drinking and pot smoking ready to accept two boys in love? Will Nick and Bobby’s love survive or will the world’s prejudices drive them apart?
I lay there on the bed looking up at the ceiling. I hadn't noticed before, but Bobby had found some kind of luminescent paint; little painted stars sparkled on the ceiling, which seemed to melt away and become one with the night sky. I felt like I was floating upward to travel across the universe like the guy in 2001, but without any of the fear and uncertainty. When I closed my eyes the vision just got more brilliant. The frog became a space ship that could take us anywhere we wanted to go. It was like a Technicolor dream, except it was real.
I heard the bathroom door open, and Bobby stood there dripping in front of me.
"My God, you're beautiful," I said as I went to dry him off.
First, I hugged him and let the water share itself with both of us, then slowly ran the towel over his head, around his shoulders, and along each arm. The music continued and the vibration of its colors crossed over with the melody that seemed to ring out every time my fingers touched him. When we looked into each other's eyes, it was like we looked into each other's souls. We were becoming one and I never felt closer to anyone in my life.
We lay down on the bed next to each other while our magic starship drifted out on another voyage. This time, the room seemed to rock and turn, and we held each other. We twisted and explored the stellar vistas and held on tight. Then I sighed and just looked at him.
I've always thought Bobby is handsome, well cute really; but as we lay there together how totally beautiful he is overwhelmed me. I had never kissed a guy before, but there in the darkness, it not only seemed natural it seemed called for. I kissed him, and a rush of emotion erupted inside me. Kissing him turned me on like nothing ever had before.
He didn't pull away. We let our fingers roam and felt the tenderness of each other's skin. The vibration between us became harmonic and resonated through us. It was unlike anything I'd ever experienced. Our starship frog meandered its way through the galaxy, and we kissed, and touched, and caressed each other and grew in a spiritual union. He became me, and I became him, and we became one.
I don't know what I dreamed about, but it was sensual and wet, and I woke up sometime in the middle of the night feeling peaceful and content. Bobby's head lay on my shoulder with his arm wrapped around me and his leg draped over mine. I kissed his forehead and lay there lost in the moment of a new reality. As I fell back asleep I remembered something I had read in Leaves of Grass.
For the one I love most lay sleeping by me under the same cover in the cool night,
In the stillness, in the autumn moonbeams, his face was inclined toward me,
And his arm lay lightly around my breast -- And that night I was happy.
Yesterday morning, neither of us felt a need to discuss our shared mystical experience. To talk about it or try to define it would only cheapen it. It's enough to know that it happened and united us in a friendship that will be ours forever.
Even though we had showered the night before, we showered again, and later Bobby made breakfast like last time. We cleaned up the dishes and went for a walk. The day passed uneventfully, and we had leftover pizza for lunch. The afternoon became glowingly beautiful and when it faded, we counted the minutes till Louie would pick us up and we would gather with the others for our night on the town.
This night on the town was pretty much exactly like all the others. We just went to the Beat Cave and checked out other venues in The District. The only difference was that everything seemed to glow.
Incidentally, when we go to The Beat Cave we always sit at the exact same table as the first time we went there; Jesse insists on it. This tends to work because The Beat Cave is usually not too crowded. But anybody from school who sees us there more than once would think they really had reserved it as "our table." And, of course, that's exactly what Jesse wants people to think.
Last night Jesse, Louie and Matt did most of the talking. As usual Gary only threw in a word or two. Bobby and I spent most of the time just listening to the others. We also spent a lot of time looking at each other and smiling. At one point our feet touched and I felt a shiver of excitement that was just magical. Bobby looked absolutely fantastic.
At the end of the evening, Louie dropped Bobby and me off, and we had some more leftover pizza and beer before retiring. I seem to remember having psychedelic dreams. When I woke up in the middle of the night to piss, it felt like we were back traveling the universe again. I got back in bed, pulled Bobby close, and fell back asleep. As I closed my eyes I remembered something I'd read.
Sweet Child, thou star of love and beauty bright,
Alone thou lookest on the midnight skies;
Oh! That my spirit were yon Heaven of light
To gaze upon thee with a thousand eyes.
Plato, translated by Shelley
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