Love Sick Love: D. A. Cairns
Love Sick Love is a brutally honest and confronting story of love, sexual obsession and hope.
D.A. Cairns will give a digital copy of Love Sick Love to one randomly drawn commenter.
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EXCERPT: Love Sick Love
She seems agitated, and although I know she is a nervy, jittery type of character, I sense heightened tension on this occasion and naturally so. I feel it too. She’s watching me furtively as I return to her with a schooner of beer in my hand. I offer it to her, and she smiles. Her actions are quick but indecisive. As I settle, I detect reticence.
“Is everything okay?” I ask. “Is this spot all right?”
Her nodding head juxtaposes her words. “Maybe over there is better.”
As she scurries to the other side of the room, I follow, exploding with anticipation. She sits in one chair, then moves before I can join her, and I’m just about to sit down when she moves again.
“Are we playing musical chairs?”
The meaning of the question, and its allusion to childhood games eludes her, and by the time I have settled she’s moved again and is now sitting on a stool directly in front of me. Our knees almost touch, and she leans forward, wide eyed as though she has something exciting to say. I wait, but she retracts, averts her eyes, then quickly glances back to me.
“Talk to me,” I say. “What’s on your mind?”
I study her face and note her blemishes and the lines which quietly assert her maturity. She’s in her late thirties, thirty-eight maybe, but she looks younger. Her expression changes rapidly through numerous emotional displays, but I can’t read anything except uncertainty. She wants to speak, but either won’t or can’t.
“I want to be with you. You like me too, so there is nothing to stop us,” I say.
“Except you are married.”
There is no conviction in her tone. No reproach. It is a statement of fact, which is perhaps not as meaningless to her as it is to me.
“Okay,” I say, cautiously. I’m convinced if I play this right, I can seduce her and make her my secret lover. There is an element of moral ambivalence. “Let me explain why I am chasing you when I’m married.”
She looks away, and sips her beer. I have nearly finished, while her glass is nearly full. My head and heart are also beyond capacity, verging on chaotic inundation. I’m going to justify my adulterous intentions, or at least attempt to.
“My wife and I have been married for twenty years, and we’re friends. We get on well most of the time, but our marriage is really more like a business arrangement. We both work and have little time together. Time we do have is taken up with shopping, and cleaning and visiting, or arguing about money or our children. She’s unwell. Mentally. She’s been diagnosed with depression, but I think she’s bi polar as well. We’re often at odds over little things. She tends to be very negative and critical. She’s miserable actually, and at lot of the time she makes me miserable.”
With the painful realization I’m slandering the woman I love—or perhaps once loved— and have committed to spending the rest of my life with, I pause and take a mouthful of beer. Lying too, with frightening ease. Cassy isn’t sick and we haven’t been married for twenty years; not even close. Chao-xing’s watching me intently, fascinated I suspect. I don’t want to speak ill of my wife. Actually, I don’t want to talk about her at all, but some of this is necessary so Chao-xing will understand where I’m coming from, and not think badly of me. Adultery is a bad thing to do, but I’m not a bad person. I blame circumstances. Years of neglect and sexual frustration. I blame my wife though I would never say that out loud. I don’t want to blame her but am less inclined to blame myself. The uncomfortable truth is I can’t help myself. I’m out of control, but rationalization is a better option than accepting the facts.
“I need some fun and excitement and I need sex.”
Chao-xing is typically unruffled by my directness, but she moves seats again, shifting to my right where she reclines as though tired. She’s staring at me, examining me, interrogating me with her eyes.
Heavy metal lover and cricket tragic, D.A. Cairns lives in Darwin in Australia’s Northern Territory, where he works as an English language teacher and writes stories in his very limited spare time. He has had over fifty short stories published (but who’s counting, right?) He blogs at Square pegs http://dacairns.blogspot.com.au and has authored four novels, Devolution, Loathe Your Neighbor, Ashmore Grief, and A Muddy Red River which is also available from Rogue Phoenix Press.
Website URL: http://dacairns.weebly.com
Blog URL: http://dacairns.blogspot.com
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Twitter handle: @da_cairns
ALSO BY D. A. CAIRNS
Shane Archer is solid, dependable and reliable while his younger brother, Rob, is reckless, selfish and unpredictable. Never close during their formative years, and further divided by distance in adulthood, they live disconnected lives until the corkscrew of life pits them on a collision course. They love, they laugh, they lose and with broken hearts and messed up lives they find strength in the women they love and in their family. Could each be the agent of salvation for the other, or will they be torn apart forever? A Muddy Red River traces the course of the lives of broken people who discover power to overcome adversity.
A Muddy Red River
D. A. Cairns
Reviewed by Jocko Lee
4 Stars out of 5
The Muddy Red River follows a short time period of two Australian brothers as they blunder their way through life. One brother, at home in Australia, is having to deal with his love for his wife and his attraction to other women. The other brother, on vacation in Thailand, mostly loves himself but finds himself attracted to a bar girl.
They both deal with death and escape, one from the law and the other from his guilt. How they cope with their circumstances brings them back closer together.
All through the book I found myself in a hurry to get to the next chapter. At first I was more involved in the conflict between Rob and Jam than the other brother. Cairn’s practice of alternating chapters between brothers left me, at times, feeling like I was watching a captivating movie and it went to a commercial break. I rushed through the chapters dealing with Shane and Angela just to get back to see what Rob and Jam were up to.
Later in the book Shane’s situation became as compelling as Rob’s and I was hurrying to read the exploits of both. This book has made me want to read more of this writers work.