First, I want to say welcome to all the new readers of the blog, I'm very excited about how the giveaway went and I can't say how much I appreciate all the tweets and Facebook shares and other types of support everyone has shown. You're all my heroes! :)
I've already sent off emails to the winners, and I just want to say congratulations! I hope you guys and gals all like your SWAG. I'm especially excited about the custom stuff, I would love it if I could see pics of the Gavin English stuff in use at some time in the future.
And now, since I've been busily working rather than thinking of something to write a blog about, I'm going to post an excerpt from the newly released, On The Edge (Gavin English Stories).
In 2002, Olivia Teeter turned fourteen years old. Her birthday party was small. Very small. Only her mother showed up, and she drank too much brandy and passed out before they could light candles for the cake.
It wasn't that Olivia couldn't make friends—she was a cute girl, with short, sporty hair and a great sense of humor (by fourteen, Olivia was convinced that her sense of humor, and most of the other things she liked about herself, had been passed down by her father). No, the reason that Olivia sat eating cake by herself in front of the tv was that she didn't know any kids her age.
She was home-schooled because her parents mistrusted the public school system. Too many kids with guns and teachers with dirty minds and school lunches filled with gluten and processed sugars. So, for five or six hours a day, five days a week, Olivia sat at a lone desk in her dad's trailer while he taught her about Science and History and English.
Once her slice of cake was finished, Olivia rinsed off her plate and sliced a piece for her father. She knew he wouldn't eat it, but she wanted him to know that she was thinking of him.
Her dad was mysophobic, so terrified of germs and getting sick that by her ninth birthday, he had moved into his own sterilized trailer in their back yard. For twelve to fifteen hours every day, Chris Teeter cleaned that tiny trailer with bleach and a handful of other toxic chemicals. Every week, he filled his own garbage can with rubber gloves and sponges and those thin, white hospital face masks. None of it was ever used more than once.
But Olivia loved him. Her father didn't cut into her every chance he got, like her mother seemed to. He never called her stupid or told her she was worthless. In fact, he made her feel like the most special person in the world. Olivia was the only one allowed in her dad's trailer, and the only one that he would allow himself to touch. He could still hug her, brush her hair, tickle her til she was afraid she might pee her pants. Chris Teeter never missed a chance to tell his daughter that he loved her and was proud of her.
That's why, even though his trailer smelled bad from all the cleaners, Olivia loved to visit with him there. In the trailer, she could pretend that her mom was nice, or that she didn't even exist, or that she was the one who locked herself away from the world.
As she opened the back door, her mother yelled from the living room, her voice slow and slurred from drinking, “Tha's right, 'Livia. Go on out to yer daddy. Tell him how mean and drunk I am. Tell him you love him like you alwaysss do. But don't f'get to tell him his wife is still here, doing all the hard fuck'n work while he'sss out in that gordamm bubble he built...”
Olivia rushed through the open door and slammed it behind her. She didn't understand why her mom had to be like that, why she had to be so angry with her dad all the time. He couldn't help the way he was. It was in his brain, and you don't always get to choose the things that happen in your brain.
She hurried across the back yard with her dad's slice of cake balanced safely in both hands. When she reached the front door, the smell of bleach was overpowering like always, and there was a note sticking out of the doorjamb. Olivia frowned. When her dad put notes out like this, it usually meant he wasn't up for company and had probably spent the whole night cleaning something nobody could see.
The young girl sighed and pulled the slip of paper from the door.
-My dearest Olivia and June,
I'm sorry for being broken. I'm sorry for so many things. Unfortunately, I know that you will never understand how much I have loved you both.
June, I wish I could have been the husband you deserved. I hope that one day we'll meet again in a world where I don't have to worry about things like I do in this one. Maybe there I will be what you need and deserve.
Olivia, you are an entire world of joy, wrapped in a glowing smile and knobby knees. One day, I hope you look back at the time we spent together and know that I couldn't have done that for anyone that I didn't love with every fiber of my being. Don't grow up to be afraid like me. And never settle for a man that is less than perfect, because you are perfect.
I love you both,
Tears covered her face before the door was even opened. She knew that everything was different. Worse than before. She dropped the cake, barely noticing as the plate exploded on the ground at her feet. She stepped inside.
It was nearly four hours later when her mother found her out in that trailer, sobbing with her arms wrapped around her father's legs.
June screamed when she saw her husbands face, purple and swollen, his tongue dry and sitting just outside his mouth. The noose was made of electrical cords, wrapped in rubber gloves so that the cords never touched his skin.
As always, thanks for reading,
buh bye then