Saturday, August 1, 2009


The following is a draft of Chapter 23 of my post-oil novel AMERICAN CRUDE. Comments have been disabled. If you wish to comment, please go to TheKunstlerCast at and join the discussion.


--Innocent Byproduct


I dreamt I held a fairy in my hand -- a beautiful small fairy who looked like a tiny woman with angel wings. She freely stood on my open palm with her back to me, her wings stretched high, her hands holding a miniature flaming torch. I smiled because as long as she remained on my hand, everything would be okay.

I woke up and looked across my apartment, deeply grieved that the fairy turned out to be just a dream.

The sun was setting. The clock read six-thirty.

I got out of bed, slipped my arms into my bathrobe, and headed toward my son’s bedroom. In there, among the Philadelphia Eagles decorations, he and I had hung a shelf together back in April --just five months ago-- for him to keep some of his trophies from school and sporting events. As I recalled the day we completed that task, I went to the shelf and reached for his Little League trophy. It bore a gleaming golden statue of what Jason mistakenly assumed back in April was a female angel. So I explained to him it was really the Greek goddess Nike.

“Is she the goddess of sneakers?” he had asked.

I laughed and said she was the goddess of victory. Then we went on the internet together where I showed Jason a statue of Zeus holding the tiny goddess in the palm of his hand.

“She’s pretty,” Jason mumbled as he ran his finger tip with a slow and trance-like methodicalness up and down the finely etched wings and womanly curves of the metal statue. Part of me grew slightly concerned about how much he might be enjoying the act of so intently stroking a facsimile of the feminine form. Yet I was also somewhat relieved that this particular rendering of Nike had her wearing a long elegant gown rather than depicting her in the nude as some trophies do. I decided to play it cool and not get too hyper about it.

“Yes, she’s pretty,” I nodded. “And she’s also very small and very delicate. So make sure you treat her with respect or you might hurt her. And then you won’t have any victory at all.”

As soon as I said that he stopped stroking her and looked at me with a grin. I grinned back. He resumed his attentions on the statue, but this time he merely stroked the very tip of one wing then placed her lovingly back upon the shelf again.

I now sat alone in my bathrobe upon Jason’s bed, holding the trophy. In a surreal daze I ran my own finger down her wings and her curves, thinking about how pretty she was, and how delicate. I sadly pondered the irony of the huge hulking figure of the almighty Zeus so desperately needing this tiny little wisp of a woman to help him achieve victory in everything he did.

-------------------End of Chapter 23--------------------