Welcome to our last Hinge Story for the year! We’re pleased to bring you a story by John Rowell, excerpted from his upcoming novel People Come and Go So Quickly Here.
John will be checking in through Sunday, November 18th to respond to your comments and questions. We look forward to what you have to say!
Bowman of Manhattan
Soon after I arrived in New York, I was told that you could always spot tourists in Manhattan because they walk down the street with their heads craned up and tilted back, staring at the buildings in open-mouthed disbelief, in awe of the infinite, skyward reach of steel and concrete and glass that is Manhattan. That is true of tourists, and I had been a tourist once. But what I’ve learned more recently—about walking down the street—is that you can always spot a gay man in New York not because his head is tilted up, but because it is constantly swiveling around. Walk down the street, any street in the city, practically, and, if you’re a guy, maybe a guy of a certain age, maybe between, oh, 19 and 25, and registering somewhere on the looks and body scale from Stunning to It’ll-do-in-a-pinch, then you’ll most likely, on occasion, catch the eye of some other similarly composed male specimen. Now when that happens, when two sets of male eyes happen to meet and lock as they pass one another on some crowded avenue, I find that neither party ever just stops right then and there to chat, as you might expect. No. Almost always, both parties continue walking in the direction in which they were heading, as calmly as possible, despite that they are now both suddenly trembling with curiosity, desire and lust. Still, a few more steps must be taken in one’s original direction, and then the test: the heads go back around again, to see if the object of desire has swiveled his head in turn. And if, in fact, the object of desire has done the same thing, walked towards his intersection but turned his head around again, then a decision must be made by one or both parties. Either you both start heading back to the middle of the sidewalk to see what might transpire face-to-face, or you just cross the street, keep on walking, and forget about him forever, which isn’t nearly as Anna Kareninish as it sounds, since in another block or two, you’ll start swiveling around for someone else. And so will he. And all this head-swiveling reminds me of nothing less than Linda Blair in The Exorcist, the way her head constantly did a really impressive 360 whenever she lapsed into a Satanic fit. And wouldn’t it save all us gay men a whole lot of time if our heads could actually swivel all the way around and just stay there, like Linda’s, so we could keep walking forward and looking backward at our lust objects at the same time? And I say, this is New York: a primitive island of gay men hunting in the concrete woods for sex, maybe for love, at every moment, and imitating Linda Blair all day long. It’s a wonder anybody ever gets to the office.
And I’m not immune to doing the Linda myself; I picked it up pretty quickly after arriving here, a skill as necessary to acquire as learning the subway lines, and the bus routes, or how to get around in the Village and Soho, once the streets become named rather than numbered. Anyhow, this is the way I met Richard, by engaging in a mutual round of Linda Blair-ing on Fifth Avenue near Forty-Second Street during a lunch hour I happened to take one October afternoon.
I was temping at the New York Public Library, the big one, with the lions out front; I was assisting a research librarian named Arnold Hathaway in the Rare Literary Manuscripts collection. I had to wear white gloves to work in Arnold’s department, naturally, since on a daily basis I helped Arnold lift and display and file rare papers and manuscripts of long-dead but very famous authors whose work had suddenly been chosen to come out of Archives for an advertised public viewing. That was Arnold’s chief responsibility at the library, to curate the new exhibitions, which changed about every six weeks or so. I was extremely intrigued to have a job that involved the mandated use of a fashion accessory—I thought of the gloves as a costume piece that helped me get into character as a temp who worked in the Rare Literary Manuscripts collection of the New York Public Library—and I couldn’t help that the gloves, which were soft and slightly shabby in a vintage way, with a dainty mother-of-pearl-button at each wrist, made me feel like a person from a dressier, more formal and romantic time; truth to tell, not as much Mr. Darcy or Algernon, as I might have expected, but more like the pencil-skirted, red-lipped models out of the pages of a 1959 Harper’s Bazaar. Also the gloves made me think of those old movies set in New York of the fifties and early sixties, where young starlets like Hope Lange and Barbara Parkins were seen running around clean, gleaming midtown Manhattan on glamorous lunch hours from their office jobs, wearing smart suits, pillbox hats, spike-heeled pumps and, yes, white gloves, while gloriously made up in matte red lipstick and penciled-on eyebrows, and just generally popping off the screen in super-saturated Technicolor.
This is what I was thinking that morning as I helped Arnold transfer an exhibit of F. Scott Fitzgerald memorabilia out of locked oak and glass display cases, and back to the hidden archives, to make way for a new display on Dorothy Parker and the Algonquin Round Table. As usual, Arnold was taking an inordinate amount of time with each volume, each document; he was meticulous, one might say fussy, to a fault, and he preferred no unnecessary conversation while we worked. He pursued his job with a surgeon’s attention to detail, with no jollity and seemingly no interest in the manuscripts beyond the fact that they were made of delicate, aged paper which needed to be handled in the most painstaking way. I was curious to read them; he merely strove to keep them from being damaged. I tried to imagine Arnold having sex; I wondered if he was this careful and exacting in the act, moving everything into its proper place just so, grimly determined to do it correctly, frowning unconsciously, beads of sweat appearing atop his considerably exposed forehead as he fussed. Mid-morning, I decided to see if I couldn’t lighten the mood with old Arnold, who I judged to be in his late thirties or so, and clearly “on the team,” though so consumed with his job and the detailed minutiae of it all that I doubted he got out much after hours from the library. He probably dreamed in sepia tones.
“You know, Arnold,” I offered, “these little gloves remind me of old movies, where the women were glamorous all day long, even at the office. You know what I mean, all those fifties movies set in Manhattan?”
Arnold turned and looked at me down his nose, through his pince-nez glasses, the lenses of which were covered with fingerprints. “Do you have any idea,” he said, in his nasally, pinched voice, “how many male temps I’ve had tell me that?”
“I’m sure I don’t,” I said.
“Well, quite a few. All you wanna-be actors with temp jobs who have come to New York because you first saw some ridiculous old movie on TV in your ‘formative years’, where the gals all run around in white gloves and pearls. I’m glad you like the gloves, but you can’t keep ‘em. Property of the Library. And don’t ask me to provide the pearls, we’re fresh out.”
“Well,” I said, “Tiffany’s is just a few blocks away.”
He shot me a miffed look, which he then relaxed into something like weariness, and he removed his pince-nez with his white-gloved hand. “I can see you are susceptible to pipe dreams,” he sighed. “Now can we resume work, please?” And then we were once again, as my job description stated, “handling precious documents with utmost care.”
Despite Arnold’s attempt to dampen my fantasy, I nevertheless felt quite imbued with the spirit of looking for love in midtown that I had once learned—and I guess Arnold was right about this—from watching those old movies on “Dialing for Dollars” on sick days from school. And that’s the mood I was in as I walked down Fifth Avenue on my lunch hour; it was a sharp fall day, warm but with an insistent cool breeze blowing this way and that, enough to rustle your hair or lift your tie up and keep it back over one shoulder, like an aviator’s scarf. All I could afford for lunch was a hot dog from one of the street vendors that line Forty-second street every day along the edge of Bryant Park, whose clientele all seem to be tourists eager to sample their first giant, salt-encrusted pretzel, or young office temps like me who can manage only a hot dog and a soda and the all-important copy of Show Business Weekly, to check out upcoming auditions.
I had finished the hot dog, and was simply enjoying walking down the avenue, among all the other suited-up and business-casual’ed people ambling and bustling their way through a Manhattan lunch hour. At the corner of 39th Street, about to check out the windows at Lord and Taylor, I suddenly saw a tall, dark-haired man in a black suit walking my way who, even behind his dark glasses, even in the blur of the fast-moving pedestrian traffic, seemed to have singled me out in order to stare at me. As I got closer to him on the sidewalk, he lifted his glasses and brushed past me, giving me a half-smile. I kept walking, by now having forgotten all about the windows at Lord and Taylor, though I was directly in front of them. Almost automatically, I felt compelled to do the head swivel; Here goes Linda, I thought, having a devil attack on Fifth Avenue, but I couldn’t stop myself, so there I went… Swivel! And yes, fortunately, he had swiveled back, too. The game had begun. And yet, after a few more forward paces, when I swiveled back again, I saw that he had actually not kept going, but had instead rooted himself right on the sidewalk, staring back at me to see if I would walk back to him. Well, clearly no more Linda Blairing for us; now we walked towards each other like gunslingers in an old Western preparing for a duel, he the bad guy in all-black, me the hero in my white shirt, khakis and topsiders. We met in the middle of the block, wind blowing, cab horns honking, sidewalk people hurrying past us and around us, oblivious, while three stylish but dull-eyed mannequins in Diane Von Furstenberg wrap dresses watched us nonchalantly from behind Lord and Taylor’s gilt and glass frames.
“Hi. Richard,” he said, extending his hand.
“Bowman. Well, that’s an interesting name.”
I smiled, and looked down at the sidewalk. I felt like the proverbial cat who finally caught the bird, then didn’t know what to do with it. Yet, somehow I sensed that’s what he would want; I felt he would take the lead. He was older, after all, probably close to forty. Forty! Tall, handsome, deep-voiced, and…forty.
“Would you like to have lunch?” he asked.
“Oh. Well, I did already. I have to get back to the library in, like, five minutes.”
“You’re a student?” He took off his sunglasses, and brought the left earpiece up to one corner of his mouth, staring at me intently. Incredible hazel-green eyes.
“No, no. I just work at the library…for the moment.”
“Oh, you’re a temp. That means you’re an actor. Temp equals actor.”
“How do you know that?”
“I was an actor, too. Once upon a time.”
“Oh, cool. How long were you–?”
“I don’t really want to talk about that. I don’t do that anymore. I wised up. I wanted to eat and drink and wear nice clothes.”
I nodded and smiled, feeling slightly insulted.
Still, he continued to stare at me, half-smiling, head slightly cocked, sucking on one earpiece end of the sunglasses, and not saying anything, as if he were sizing me up for something, the way casting directors sometimes look you over in silence after an audition.
“You’re a very attractive young man,” he said, finally, putting his glasses back on his face. “You should do well.”
“Thank you.” I stared back down at the sidewalk again.
“You’re blushing,” he said. “That’s cute. Could be an act, but it’s still cute.”
“Listen, Bowman. I need to run. Here’s my card.” He reached into the side pocket of his jacket and produced a black leather wallet, and opened it up and took out a slick, black card, embossed with white letters. It read RICHARD J. GATES, and underneath it said: MARKETING CONSULTANT. Below that was listed an office address, on East 45th Street, and phone numbers. “Call me if you want,” he said, briskly. “Today’s Tuesday. If I don’t hear from you by Thursday, I’ll assume you’re not interested. Which is no problem, but I think you should call me. So, your move.”
“Yeah. Well, thanks for the card.”
“See you around,” he said, and he patted me on the shoulder, then turned away and walked up the avenue, without looking back.
I waited until Thursday afternoon to make the call. A little after five, after Arnold had signed my time slip and dismissed me for the day, I made my way down to a pay phone in the dark lower lobby of the library. The phone booths, lined up side-by-side, seemed foreboding and Puritanical: made of old, dark brown wood, each one was about the size of a coffin stood upright, but fitted with narrow, oblong windows in its door, which folded in and out like an accordion. Inside, there was a little pull-down bench shaped like a half-moon, and above your head, a dim yellow light. I laid Richard’s card on the short shelf under the phone, then dug out my dimes, which I’d learned to hoard ever since I arrived in the city, just for the sake of using pay phones. I dialed the number at Richard’s office, which felt both safe and a little scandalous at the same time, though I’m not sure why. Wouldn’t Hope Lange have dialed him at the office, fearing the possibility of a wife at home?
“Richard Gates,” said a voice after the first ring.
“Hi, Richard? This is Bowman.” There was a short pause, as if he were trying to place me, which immediately made me wish I hadn’t called.
“Bowman…Bowman! How are you?”
“I’m fine, how are you?”
“I’m great. Listen, I’m just about to step into a meeting. Can you call me back later?”
“Actually, no, I have a better idea. I’m busy tonight, I won’t be home until late. Can you meet for a drink tomorrow night?”
“Great. Oh…no, wait…actually… looking at my calendar here…I’ve got…do you know Sandra Bernhard?”
“You mean the comedienne? Do I know who she is or do I know her personally?”
“Obviously you know who she is. Do you know her personally?”
“I didn’t think so. Well, I know her personally, and I have tickets to her new show tomorrow night. Would you like to go?”
“Oh….Yes. That would be…that’s good. I hear the show’s… good.”
At that moment, a woman dragging a clingy, crying child appeared in front of my phone booth, giving me the “Will you please hurry up?” look. At the same instant, a rude click from the phone indicated that it needed another dime from me. I reached frantically into my pocket.
“Sandy’s always fab,” Richard continued. “The show’s playing downtown, on Second Avenue. Why don’t we have a drink first? Meet me at Piranha Bar at seven, then we’ll head over to the theater after that. You know Piranha Bar, yes?”
“Good. See you tomorrow,” he said. And then the phone clicked off from his end.
The woman with the child had obviously found another booth, so I took an extra minute to look up Piranha Bar in the fat, black notebook of Yellow Pages hanging from a wire under the pay phone. I wrote down the address on the back of my time slip. Piranha Bar was on lower Second Avenue. I would have just enough time to get back home to Ninth Avenue from the library, take a shower and get dressed before hopping on the N or the R train to head downtown.
I picked up the business card, and held it in my moist palm. I ran my finger over the raised embossed letters, RICHARD J. GATES. I felt just like Hope Lange. If it had been 1959, I knew I would be making up my mind to wear white gloves to Piranha Bar tomorrow night.
Of course, what I wore was khaki pants and a crew neck sweater, but I did throw on black Reeboks, just to give myself a hint of downtown respectability. It occurred to me Richard might still be in a suit from the office, and that I’d look underdressed next to him, but then…well, maybe that was the idea.
I got to Piranha Bar a little before seven. It was disco dark and jammed wall to wall with a boisterous, preening crowd. Suddenly, I was seized with a split second of panic that I might not, in fact, recognize Richard, since we had only stared at each other for all of about four minutes on sunny Fifth Avenue. I scanned the bodies: the bar was jumping with both men and women, mostly East Village types in black leather and fishnet tights, a few of them sporting bleached blond or turquoise Mohawks, stiff and sprayed and almost lethal looking, like weapons. Wall Street guys in conservative gray suits intermingled among them, probably hoping to crib a little of the cool that they couldn’t pull off on their own simply by unbuttoning their top shirt buttons and loosening their ties, and then knocking back Waspy-looking vodka tonics. Over the black, racetrack-shaped bar, a six-foot long neon fish with a large, open mouth and knife-sharp teeth kept biting fiercely, then releasing, changing colors from yellow to green to pink as it did so. I ordered a beer and grabbed the one empty stool I could find, and stared at the piranha. From the bar’s loudspeakers, Prince wailed good and hard about a girl in a raspberry beret, and I noticed that the woman sitting a couple of stools down from mine was actually wearing one; she sang along on the chorus—out of tune but with forceful drunken effort. No one paid her any attention.
Suddenly I felt hot, whiskeyish breath on the back of my neck and teeth biting my earlobe. “Hi there, Little Bowman Peep,” said a voice. I pulled my ear away and swiveled around on the stool; fortunately, it was Richard, in the same sunglasses and similar, if not the exact same, black suit that I remembered from Fifth Avenue.
“I bet people call you that a lot, don’t they?” he said. “Little Bo Peep. Little Bowman Peep.”
“Actually, they don’t,” I said.
He squeezed in next to me, onto a newly vacant stool, and cupped my cheek with the palm of his hand, holding it there as he turned away to quickly scan the crowd.
“Perfect,” he said. “Just as nice as I remembered.”
“Do you mean me or the bar?”
He turned around on the stool to face me. “You, Little Bowman Peep, you,” he said. Then he quickly slammed both of his hands down onto my knees, an unexpected move that took me so much by surprise I nearly did a spit take.
“You’re a saucy little boy,” he stage-whispered, seemingly unaware of how violently he had landed his big hands on me. “And if I were that piranha up there, I’d eat you up alive.” He pulled me toward him and gave me a big, wet kiss on the mouth, causing me to fall off my stool and into his arms. His cologne this evening was definitely Eau de Jack Daniels. Clearly, Piranha Bar was not Richard’s first stop since leaving the office.
I struggled back onto the stool. “In that case,” I said, “I’d better be careful where I go swimming.”
“That’s right, little boy, you better be careful. A lot of sick fish in the water these days, you know.” He flagged the bartender down for a “Jack and ginger, light on the rocks” and then grabbed my hand and held it, then stroked it.
Part of me wanted to pull my hand away, but another part of me—my heart—had started to beat in time with the chomping teeth of the neon piranha. I wasn’t so sure about Richard’s aggressiveness, especially in a public place, but I sure liked the way he drank me in with his big hazel-green eyes, fluttering his long dark eyelashes in the way of love-crazed sirens from silent movies, the ones who vamped coquettishly through the first and second reels in order to snag their man by the third. Still, I’d been around enough D.A.R. ladies back home to know that showing up even slightly soused on a first date would most definitely get you uninvited to the debutante ball and whispered about at the country club. Perhaps second impressions are really the thing, after all.
I decided to see if I could take charge. “Drink up, Dick,” I said. “We’ve got an eight o’clock curtain.”
“No one ever calls me Dick,” he said, “and I don’t expect you to start, little boy.” He took a long sip of his new cocktail. “So…you’ve never seen Sandy on stage, right? You’ll dig her, she’s divine. Afterwards, we’ll all go out, you, me…Sandy. It’ll be fabulous.”
“You know her that well?”
“Actually, we dated. Briefly.”
“Another life, I guess.”
“Something like that. Now hold on…hold on….” He peered at his left wrist, and kept bringing it up and then away from his eyes…. “ah, good…the Cartier says we’ve got time for another round. You want to stick with beer, or should Little Bowman Peep switch to goat’s milk?”
Before I could answer, he fluttered his eyes again, his right hand went up, and the bartender was suddenly at our command.
After the show, we stood outside on Second Avenue, waiting for the star to emerge from the theater. The October night had turned chilly, and the wind was picking up. We were the lone couple on the sidewalk; the performance had been over for almost a half hour, and I had watched as the audience filed out of the lobby, chatting and laughing, then hailed cabs, dwindled, and disappeared, leaving only Richard and me out front, waiting. The house manager had locked the double outside doors and turned the lights off in the lobby. Above us, the marquee abruptly went out. I imagined the stage manager inside, placing the ghost light on stage, and saying good night to Sandra.
“Do you think maybe she went out another way?” I asked, finally. “It’s been over a half hour.” I didn’t want to ask why we hadn’t simply gone backstage.
“Sandy always has to do a wind-down. She’ll be out.” He had lost his buzz from earlier in the evening, and seemed tense; he pulled out a cigarette, and lit it, which I hadn’t seen him do before. “Do you mind?” he asked, blowing smoke.
In a minute or two, Sandra and four other people emerged from the lobby doors—the house manager had to unlock them in the darkened inside vestibule—and spilled out onto the sidewalk talking loudly, and laughing and smoking. They started up Second Avenue without looking our way. Richard threw his cigarette onto the sidewalk, grinding it out, and called after them.
She turned and, after a second or two, said: “Oh, hi.” She bid her posse to wait, and walked over to us.
“I didn’t know you were here,” she said. She kissed him. “How are you, sweetie?”
“I’m good. How are you? You’re good?”
“Yeah, you know…we’re doing well. Frank Rich liked us, that’s all that fucking matters.”
“Fabulous. The show’s fabulous, honey. Sandy, this is Bowman.”
“Hello,” she said, offering her hand at an angle that seemed to suggest I should kiss it. I shook it instead.
“You were fantastic!” I said. “It’s an amazing show.”
“Oh, good,” she said, and turned back to Richard. “Thanks for coming, sweetie. Call me. We’ll catch up, okay?” She leaned over for him to kiss her cheek, then turned, swinging her large bag over her shoulder, and rejoined her posse. They quickly proceeded as one up the avenue.
“Okay, so,” Richard said, now all brisk and businesslike. “Do you want to go back to my place?”
I thought for a second. To make this happen, he would probably have to take up with Mr. Jack Daniels again. He would no doubt have to smoke another cigarette or two. He would inevitably stroke my knees and my thighs and bite my earlobes on the way there, as a warm-up. He would not mention Sandra Bernhard at all for the rest of the night. At his building, we would have to walk through the harsh fluorescent light of the lobby; he would be worried about me seeing him in bright light at midnight, so he would walk fast—and ahead of me—to the elevator. He would nod the briefest of nods to the doorman as he brushed past him, maybe even calling his name: “Hi, Domingues,” or “Hello, Ivan,” and the doorman would say, “Good Evening, Mr. Gates,” though it was technically morning, and then I would say hello also, just to be mannerly, and he would speak to me, so as not to offend the tenant, and everybody would pretend that this was business as usual, that not dawdling or dwelling on any of it made it all disappear instantly from memory. Once inside the elevator, Richard and I wouldn’t speak at all, the silence and the anticipation between us under that equally forbidding greenish-yellow halo of a light bulb a kind of prelude to whatever unknown things were about to happen upstairs. Once in the hallway, after four deadbolt locks had been keyed and turned, and the door opened, I would walk in and get an eyeful of his apartment, and instantly tell him—because the traces of southern etiquette that I still clung to would demand it—how spacious and beautiful it was, which it surely would be, at least compared to my own fifth-floor-walk-up, peeled-paint railroad flat on 48th Street. I would instantly freeze at the moment he began to reach under my sweater from behind—more Jack Daniels on my cheek—as we stood in his living room, gazing out onto the late night lights of Manhattan from the fifteenth floor—the city that never sleeps, but constantly screws around—and he would continue to roam his hands all over my body, unbuttoning this here, sliding that off there, as my eyes landed on framed photographs of Richard and friends scattered across his bookcases, black and white images of a younger, happier-looking Richard with other, younger men, especially one model-faced blond who keeps reappearing in photo after photo—in front of the Eiffel Tower, on the beach at Fire Island, at a birthday party. I imagined the next morning, waking up in a strange bed as the sun came up over the canyons, having to rush back to Hell’s Kitchen on the dingy N or R train in rumpled clothes to get ready for my nine a.m. stint at the library, and, later, donning those damn white gloves for yet another day’s work of standing next to sexless, lonely Arnold as the two of us gingerly, silently place Dorothy Parker’s letters to Robert Benchley circa March 1928 into an oak and glass display case, with Arnold working cautiously while I stand there like a good servant but unable to really concentrate, my head still in a sort of drunken, sleepless place, still with Richard in a building, an apartment, a bedroom, a bed I may or may not ever see again or even be able to find if I, in fact, ever have another reason to go looking for it.
And still I stood there face-to-face with Richard on the sidewalk in front of the darkened theatre, waiting to answer his question—and I also thought—of course I thought—what would the D.A.R. rule book say? What would my mother do? And lovely, virginal Hope Lange, in white gloves, at the end of a glamorous Manhattan evening, circa 1959, and aglow in super saturated Technicolor… what would Hope Lange do?
And I looked at Richard, finally, directly into his hazel-green eyes, eyes that were not fluttering now, but fixed expectantly on mine—we’re in the third reel, after all—eyes that waited—hopefully? nervously? frantically?—for an answer.
“Subway or cab?” I said.
John Rowell is the author of the short story collection The Music of Your Life, a finalist for the 2004 Ferro-Grumley Prize for Best Fiction Book of the Year. His stage adaptation of his book, with the same title, opened at the Jermyn Street Theater in London’s West End in November of 2010, and was a 2012 semi-finalist at the Eugene O’Neill Theatre Center’s National Playwrights Conference. A native of North Carolina, John holds a B.A. from UNC-Chapel Hill, and an M.F.A.in Writing and Literature from the Writing Seminars at Bennington College. He is the recipient of fellowships from The MacDowell Colony, The Sewanee Writers Conference, The Edward F. Albee Foundation, Blue Mountain Center, The Ragdale Foundation, Vermont Studio Center, Eastern Frontier/Norton Island Residency Program, the Kimmel-Harding-Nelson Center for the Arts in Nebraska City, Nebraska and The Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. John served for two years as the Reginald S. Tickner Fellow/Writer-In-Residence at The Gilman School of Baltimore, Maryland, where he is now a member of the permanent Upper School faculty, teaching English and Creative Writing and directing in the theater program. At Gilman, he also currently holds the John K. and Robert F. M. Culver Chair for Distinguished Teaching in English and Writing. John has previously taught literature and fiction workshops at Mediabistro in New York City, Loyola College, University of Maryland Baltimore Campus, and in the M.F.A. program at the University of Baltimore. His fiction, essays and reviews have been featured in such publications as Tin House, Bloom and Show Business Weekly, among others, and he currently serves as the Baltimore critic for the Theatermania website. Most recently, John was represented with a story in Long Story Short: Flash Fiction From Sixty-Five of North Carolina’s Finest Writers, published by UNC Press, and he is currently at work on a novel entitled People Come and Go So Quickly Here.