Tuesday, July 22, 2014

#Excerpt from So Go On & Live by Erick Galindo by @ErickGEEE #AmReading #Literary

Even before the Scrabble war started, White Jesus and Red Rock had been playing Scrabble most of their adult lives. Not perpetually or anything, but quite often. It brought them pleasure. And though it was contentious, it even brought them closer.
In his youth, White Jesus was athletic, handsome, charming, and possessed a childlike sense of humor that made him that much more likeable and that much more annoying. Now, as an old man, White Jesus was still all that to some degree. And though his athleticism had diminished, his wit, wealth of knowledge, skill and over all silliness had sharpened.
Red Rock was somewhat intelligent, substantially silly and well-read but only 25 when they met. So to say that they both had played Scrabble their whole adult lives, though technically accurate, was a bit misleading.
It was pretty obvious to both men from the start that they were kindred spirits. After their first game, White Jesus and Red Rock played Scrabble about once a week for the better part of five years. They played it all night and day, all over the country and on several planes of existence. The young man held his own, but White Jesus was a master gamer. He was also quite a shit talker. Red Rock enjoyed the challenge and banter. But they went beyond the superficial jokes and slams at each other. The duo also talked about everything ranging from intimate feelings to philosophical absurdities. Most nights went like this:
Red Rock would arrive at around 6 or 7 p.m., sometimes earlier in the day if he was off from work that Friday. He would give his old friend a hug and drop like the giant rock that he was onto the couch. White Jesus would lean back on his recliner and grin through his white-whiskered face as he sliced up a guayaba with a very sharp pocketknife.
“So how have you been, mijo,” White Jesus would usually ask Red Rock. It wasn’t usually a superficial question, at least not in Red Rock’s mind.
“I don’t know, man,” Red Rock would say before running his hands through his locks and adding something like: “I feel like life is chasing me down or something. Like I’m running away from life but trying not to get too close to death. It’s the weird battle to find that sweet equidistant spot or some shit. I don’t know. Does that make sense?”
White Jesus would say something like: “Oh yeah. I think a lot of people feel the same way but are unable to articulate that feeling so well.”  Or: “Gosh. I see a lot of myself in you when I was your age.” Or: “The murkiness of today, will resolve itself into the dawn of tomorrow. Mijo, you have your whole life ahead of you.”
Invariably, one of them would say, “Fuck it. Let’s play.” And they would hit the gaming table to throw down. After a while, White Jesus, gracious host that he was, would bust out the wine, whiskey, cheese, fruits and crudités. The games would go on for hours. Sometimes for multiple games and multiple nights. The liquor and hors d’oeuvres would flow to try and keep pace with their killer moves, witty wackiness and preposterous debates.
“Always is a stupid word. It doesn’t mean anything.”
“What are you talking about? Honey, Red Rock says always is not a word. Tell him it’s a word.” White Jesus would sometimes implore his wife, an English professor who hated playing Scrabble, to intervene.
“I’m not saying it isn’t a word. I’m just saying it has no meaning.”
“Same thing.”
“I’m just saying always doesn’t mean anything because there is no such thing as always.”
“But you’ve just used it several times,” White Jesus could barely get out the words. “In fact, you probably always use always!” White Jesus would always laugh at his own jokes.
Sometimes, White Jesus’s best friend The Magician would come over and partake in this ridiculousness. “He’s right there’s always an exception,” The Magician would say and they would all laugh at this so-called joke.
“Geez,” The Professor would chime in. “All this mental masturbation.” And The Magician would toss a box of tissues at Red Rock and say, “Here, I always use tissue when I mental masturbate.”
The laughs would continue as such. The Magician would usually bring good sake and then things would get a little wild.
On more than one occasion, The Magician and White Jesus pulled out their respective pocketknives and lunged at each other. Red Rock found this amusing and a bit frightening but never let on to that fact. Eventually the knives would go away and they would go out to the backyard and smoke a bowl of marijuana.
The games would go on and on, and even years later when White Jesus got sick and they played them straight and sober, the fun times would only ever be interrupted by serious moments of needed advice or times when either needed to vent about personal worries.
“I’m sick. Really sick. It’s my liver.” White Jesus and Red Rock were standing in the kitchen while their women watched TV in the living room. They both squeezed their souls tight to hold tears back. After the serious moment, Red Rock said something irreverent like, “Well you’re not going to use that as an excuse when I beat you are you?”
They brushed it off and went on with their lives. Red Rock was convinced White Jesus would receive a transplant. White Jesus was pretty sure this was his “last hurrah.” At his lowest moments, White Jesus would freak a bit and text or call Red Rock just to vent. It was after one such moment that Red Rock decided to challenge White Jesus to a Scrabble war.
A winner of the Hollywood Book Festival, So Go On and Live poignantly and bitingly captures the angst and restlessness of modern American youth. Pedro “Pete” Salcedo, a young but worn down journalist, is on a figurative and metaphorical journey through the absurdity of life, America and beautiful women. 

After accepting a prestigious job in Washington, D.C. and subsequently losing the love of his life, Pedro loses himself, first to his work, then to the road and eventually to the apathy, alcohol and cynicism that permeates through youth culture. Pedro struggles, like many of his generation, to get his life in order and hang on to love, sanity and pathos in this modern world, where women, relationships and sexuality are constantly evolving. 

So Go On and Live is a wild and emotional expedition into the existential and farcical perspective of a drunken, Mexican-Irish, would-be poet offering a new breed of optimism that comes with a nihilistic twist.
Buy Now @ Amazon
Genre - Literary Fiction
Rating – PG-13
More details about the author
Connect with Erick Galindo through Twitter


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