Jack Joseph is an alcoholic physicist who drops out and is cleaning swimming pools, or as he calls them, infinite ponds, to support his lifestyle. In space, science believes the expansion of the universe exceeds the speed of light. So, why don’t we live in the dark? Jack’s darkness is of a different kind, addiction. His life is a human orbit around alcohol, broken relationships and trying to stay out of jail. He finds himself caught between two women, one that he loves, and one that he needs, in a constant struggle to reclaim his life.
A very short excerpt from the book which appeared in Antioch University’s Lunch Ticket, follows:
I believe God thinks in numbers. Most of what I know best can be described with an equation, numbers predicting an outcome, relating the position, velocity, acceleration and various forces acting on a body of mass, and state this relationship as a function of time. And isn’t that what we are, what everything is: accelerated particles in space time.
And this velocity of motion is what creates gravity and holds everything together. But what creates the motion? I think about this (…) all the time. Until I feel like I only know one thing: nothing.
I sat out on the grass and opened a bottle of Mad Dog 20-20. Drank it to the bottom, sucked it in like a black hole swallowing light. Alcohol goes through the brain in stages, first the cerebral cortex, the thinking brain. A friendlier, more daring person emerges, and becomes ever more creative, imaginative, as the drug continues deeper into the brain. Last to go is the limbic brain. That’s when you go numb.
I got ultimate this night, left the past, present, and flew into my future. It was brilliant, until in the morning, when I stared into the eyes of a cop. I realized I had evolved, I was homeless. Passed out on the lawn I had merged my present into my future and lost the past. I had become what I refused to change. There are no corners in a round expanding infinite universe. But I had turned one.
Note: This book contains adult material unsuitable for minors!
The Pool Boy’s Beatitude was a semi-finalist in the Faulkner Competition last summer.
DJ Swykert is a former 911 operator. His work has appeared in The Tampa Review, Detroit News, Monarch Review, Lunch Ticket, Zodiac Review, Barbaric Yawp and Bull. His books include Children of the Enemy, Alpha Wolves and The Death of Anyone. You can find him at: www.magicmasterminds.com. He is a wolf expert.