Which is more real, the crime on page 1 or the crime on page 158? John Ireland creates a psychological autobiography that bends and blends crime fiction with the story of his own life. Killers, cops, movie stars, sexual fantasies, his own dreams and secrets, but where does the fiction end and the reality begin?
Eddie Franklin Boyer loved Los Angeles and its smog and its flatness and its pathetic attempt to be a tall city when ever since the Indians squatted here and ate roots everyone knew that Los Angeles would always be flat and now Los Angeles was like a glass of water that had spilled and was rushing toward the edges of the table. Los Angeles was flat and Eddie Franklin Boyer was fat and they both would always be that way forever and ever, amen.
Most of Eddie’s days began at night and they always began in front of a mirror. A fat man gets dressed either quickly or it will take forever, depending on the success of his first choices or some deep internal thing that will turn his guts inside out and make him want to vomit at the sight of himself. Today was an easy day because Eddie had done his laundry and he already knew what he was going to wear. The cotton khakis that fit loose but hung well, the tired and broken Nikes that gave him an athletic aura, the Gap sweatshirt with the sleeves cut off at the elbows like Steve McQueen in "The Great Escape", and the wide lapel double breasted blazer that he never buttoned. In the right pocket of his blazer Eddie dropped five extra bullets. In his waist band, Mexican style, he stuffed his stainless steel Smith and Wesson .38 Centennial. In his left hand pocket Eddie tossed his badge.
Eddie was fat but light on his feet. Eddie wanted to become an archaeologist and he wanted to play piano and he wanted to write a great book and he wanted to have sex at least four or five times a week and he wanted to run a marathon and he wanted to have lots and lots of money and he wanted to have his name on everybody's lips if only for a few moments and he wanted to own a Porsche. Like lots of fat people, Eddie’s chronological age and past ambitions had gotten lost among the folds of flesh. So far all Eddie Franklin Boyer had become was a cop and that was something he really never planned to do but since he seemed to do it well he was afraid to give it up until he had something else to hang on to. And it wasn't like he hated being a cop. In fact Eddie loved working Hollywood Division because the whole area had defied the politicians' dreams of rejuvenation and just inside even the smallest shadows life quickly decayed into seedy puss oozing urine smelling splendor with whores and fags and punks and bums and broken bottles and crying brown babies and angry voices behind frightened doors and dead bodies and it all made Eddie feel like he was in a movie and that made Eddie sometimes forget that he was fat. Not for long but now and then for a little while. And Eddie loved working nights so he could hunker down in the quiet shadows of his unmarked patrol car and unroll the top of the paper bag and let the salty hot steam from the double order of French fries fill the air. Eddie’s chubby hands picked five fingers worth of crispy small ones and slapped them between his lips and they were still falling down his throat as his fingers returned into the paper sack and deftly plucked out the double burger with creamy blue cheese and hickory bacon and fried onions on sesame seed buns and the French fries hadn't landed in his stomach before his teeth reached as far across the burger as possible and crunched down and the washing machine action of his cheeks and lips and tongue hadn't even begun to prepare the mouthful of food for swallowing when Eddie pushed a plastic straw between his lips and inhaled a massive surge of chocolate milk shake and Eddie sighed out loud and took a much needed breath of air as the cool hot lump avalanched through his chest and down into his belly. Lunch time. One hour when whores could whore and thugs could thug and carjackers and junkies and armed robbers and gang bangers and all the other crud in life could relax as Detective Eddie Franklin Boyer stuffed himself until he hurt.
About six miles from where Eddie was attacking his organs and arteries, a street of older homes was sweating through open windows. TV shows amd music and kitchen noises escaped into the thick air. Two kids in their early teen, Zits and Fat, skulked throughthe shadows, each carrying a basball bat.
Excerpted from "Man with Gun and The Sea of Ulysses" by John Ireland. Copyright © 2016 by John Ireland. Excerpted by permission. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher. Excerpts are provided solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
John Ireland was born into a garden of dreams, the theatre. His mother and father were actors. After his own successful career writing TV movies, Ireland turned to the stage and fiction. His play, "Johnny Morran" also became a movie. Ireland lives in Los Angeles with his wife, cat, and dog. However he sold the 17 year old Porsche and now drives a couple of Volkswagens.
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