An E-book written by Gregory Patrick
It’s the ultimate slacker dream — growing up in Berlin at the end of the Cold War. Daddy’s in the diplomatic corps, mommy’s on valium, and with Berlin’s excellent public transit system, sex, drugs, and rock and roll are at hand long before most of us were allowed to drive that country squire wagon. Patrick grew up in this rarified environment, passing from an awkward and buck toothed prepubescence into a perfect little goth boy. And with no guidance, no goals, and no need to make much of himself, that’s about as far as he got with his life. One day, the wall came down, his grades were crappy, and the goth thing went out of fashion. Banished to central Florida and its nascent open mic scene, he did the only thing he could — he became a gay hooker and moved to Key West where he found God. And just as God made man in his own image, Patrick makes God to be HIS own image, picking and choosing divine qualities as if he were selecting options for a laptop. A monastery has appeal (this guy is wide-ranging, if nothing else), but the monks in Dade City are a bit reluctant to let him join. Just as well, he’d be on to something else in a few months anyway.
Foe is a touching and well-written story of a man lost in himself and lost in a world he didn’t grow up in. Often times, the writing drifts into he world of spoken word ruminations, the sort of stuff that is so much better to hear than to read, but there is a search here that isn’t resolved and may not resolve itself in this guy’s lifetime. There are also a number of extreme graphics and disturbing tales of gay sex and gay survival on the streets. It’s not a pretty picture, and Patrick is not a pretty soul.
And what of the E-book format? The copy I have is a Word document, and reading it for any length of time made my eyes burn and my shoulder sore from mousing around. The text is double spaced and set in the easy to read Times New Roman, but long periods of staring at a computer screen are in no danger of replacing the paperback for casual reading anytime soon. The text was peppered with curious spell check errors, such as “bight” (a curve in a shore line) instead of “bite” (a small mouthful). Self-publishing electronically is a low cost option today, but there are still useful services a human editor may provide.
As I write this, Foe is available for free download at http://www.geocities.com/afront242fan, but a charge for it will be instituted after November of 2000. It’s an interesting tale, but not the sort of thing you can wrap and leave under the tree.