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Chapter 1

     The Story The Authors
Whether spoken or unspoken, Barbara carried these sorts of reveries with her everywhere. Her eyes were shot and ringed with them. Someone a former lover, Jim Winkens, an abstract paint, sadly now gone from this earthly plane as well had once told her she had the Saddest Eyes in the Whole Wide World. Philip
Dear Jim. Dear, dear Jim. At times like these she missed him terribly. Those beautiful hands of his and that pathetic attempt at a goatee he wore. It really was laughable. The shy sheepish little boy lost look he would give to her when he was feeling randy. Those six foot by six foot swaths of black and red that were his calling. His art. (Now fetching astonishing amounts of money thanks to the art crowd ghouls who spat on him while he lived and fawned over his memory after his suicide.)"The Saddest Eyes in the Whole Wide World"
She like to remember those wonderful late autumn days just before it all fell apart. laying on the ratty couch watching him paint. Wearing an old shirt of his with his scent still in it. Watching his hands paint and daub the canvas with life. And in the end it was her that had driven Jim away. Her and the booze, anywise. She liked to think he really loved her. She certainly loved him. But always there was the booze between them, bringing out the worst in both. The screaming fights, the name calling. And later on the fists. So eventually she left him. She found her higher power and he sunk deeper into the bottle.
She'd heard about his last days from a mutual friend shortly after he'd hung himself. He'd been broke. His Abstracts were not selling. He couldn't afford any more big canvases. He was being evicted for failure to pay his rent. What little money he could scrounge from his remaining friends went to the liquor store. And he'd been forced to pay his bills by painting on velvet for the money. Pictures of small children and puppies and kittens. All with huge sad eyes. Her eyes. The Saddest Eyes in the Whole World.
Lanark
"Stop feeling sorry for yourself, you old boob!" That was Joselito, Barbara's Higher Power, chirping in. "Look at yourself, will you? You're drinking again. Hanging out with the soda-jerks from the office. It's Friday night, Barbara just think! You could be playing miniature golf!"
And with that final pronouncement, Barbara shut her Higher Power off. Just like a television set. She looked across the table at Monty, without the faintest paranoid suspicion that he'd been somehow able to watch her little internal dramas. But Monty was still just Monty. Nursing his beer and lighting a fresh cigarette.
Philip
Little did Barbara know that after Joselito got turned off like a television set, he had called his understudy, Kerry. Kerry was really mean. He was meaner than Joselito. The first thing he did was to smash Barbara's face into her martini (the butler had gotten the order wrong again). Barbara almost broke her nose and she had lots of cuts from the broken glass. Then the table flipped over. Barbara could tell from the angry looks on her friends' faces that she was in big trouble. Carolyn
But she didn't care. Her hair was let down and her spirit was freed. She was so tired of playing the school marm fuddy-duddy. She wanted to be free! Free from the strict confines of polite society. Free from the corporare code of conduct. Free to express herself, her true self in all her creative and sensual glory. She climbed up onto the bar and tore off her blouse.
"I wanna be loved by you, just you and nobody else but you. I wanna loved by you, alo-o-one. Boop boop-a-doop."
cuddles
Monty's jaw dropped with an figurative thud onto the table in front of him. These were the first real live three dimensional nonpixilated breasts he'd witnessed in months. And on top of that they belonged to his uptight senior administrative boss. And on top of that they were a rather stunningly nice pair. And then on top of that she was waving them in his sex starved face and singing directly to him.
It really must be true, he thought to himself as Barbara stumbled off the table and began drunkenly leading him towards the stairway by his tie, the reformed librarian types are always the wildcats. Surely he was going to hate himself in the morning for this, either way, but there seemed no turning back right now.
Lanark


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