I come upon books that sound like they will be interesting, and acquire them. Then, by the time I read them, because I have the memory of a flea, I forget what they are about. I somehow had the idea in my sieve-brain that this book was a mystery, and kept waiting for the mystery part as I read.
What a ninny I am! It is not a mystery, in the standard genre sense of the word. It is the story of a young man, and of the two big defining events in his otherwise mediocre life. How many of us can say the same — that we have two big defining events in our lives, especially by the age of 30-something? Damn few, I think. We, most of us, in spite of how special we are convinced that we are, live mediocre lives, filled with poor decisions, awkward moments, stretches of boredom.
Told in the first person, we get to see the daily life of a guy working in the hospitality industry. (That’s euphemism-speak for works at a hotel) in this case, a seedy hotel with a fair number of prostitutes renting rooms, drug users renting rooms to shoot up in, and lovers’ illicit trysts.
Putting one foot in front of the other each day, things begin to happen. Small things turn into bigger things. We begin to get caught up in this relentless march toward what we can see in retrospect is the inevitable, jaw-dropping conclusion.
The strangely compelling story of a flawed human, but as he tells us at the end:
While perfection is a state I will never achieve, these major flaws that I’ve obtained need not repeat themselves. This is not a vicious cycle as much as it has been the challenges I have faced. Flaws only become circular if I allow them, but I have come through hoping to salvage a life worth living.
Indeed, so do we all.