The Horrorshow of Modern Life: An ORANGE RAIN Excerpt

agent orange spraying

This is a one-page section from my e-published revenge novel Orange Rain; click on the title to learn more about it! I’m working with a professional editor on it–we’re almost finished, and hopefully I’ll have a print edition available soon, stay tuned!

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Max considers saying something to Andre about taking Valium—that he needs to be careful not to get hooked. But Max can hardly blame the kid! He’s had a hard fucking run. Deserves a little relief. Max pops his fair share of benzos; who’s he to talk? He keeps wondering how the human psyche can take so much trauma, so much shit, and stay intact. Stay functional. It’s like wailing on an engine with a sledgehammer: eventually the damn car has to break down! And with life in mid-1980s America, this sledgehammer is getting bigger, heavier, the vitriolic blows more frequent and fiercer all the time. This grotesque horrorshow of modern life.

How are people managing the pain? We know how Max did it. Soon after he first stared into the jagged-toothed, rapid-dog-maw of this increasingly horrendous world, during Vietnam, he dashed for morphine and reveled in its sweet, soft comfort. Numbed himself ravenously.

Hey, you know, that’s what most people do in this culture. Whether it’s junk or blow or speed or pills, or the most popular of all, alcohol, or whether it’s a little less obvious—like television, sports, pop culture, silly gossip and human drama, the mindless drivel of newsstand paperbacks—we all have our drugs, our agents of analgesia.

Max thinks of something he once heard, probably from a tweaker (those people are veritable encyclopedias of obscure information and spare gadgets). Apparently, the eminent jazz saxophonist John Coltrane ate so much candy that his teeth became cavity-ridden and unbearably sore. He started doing heroin to numb the throbbing pain, and ended up hooked on it for years. That’s nearly the perfect symbol for Max’s decade-plus Monsanto dilemma, and the dominant culture as a whole. Treating symptoms instead of attacking or eliminating the root of the problem. Shirking responsibility. From there, we displace the blame and hate onto ourselves instead of hurling them like a heavy rock through a glass window at those who really deserve it—at the pyramid of power, as Lance would say.

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6 thoughts on “The Horrorshow of Modern Life: An ORANGE RAIN Excerpt

  1. Pingback: The Horrorshow of Modern Life: An ORANGE RAIN Excerpt | THE REWILD WEST

  2. dweezer19

    Hey Jan! I just wanted to let you know I haven’t forgotten you buddy. I had to postpone my reading for a week due to working in a book cover project for someone. I am back into the book now though. Max and Mai are headed off with Andre. I am still loving the story.

    Reply
      1. dweezer19

        Great. Oh! You said to remind you about reading my short story, Smoke and Mirrors on the blog. I have new chapters of my novel up, but they might be too tame for your taste. 😉

        Reply

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