Sunday, May 10, 2009

Cadillac Juke Box

From Singles 2009

Morgues deny all the colors the mind wishes to associate with death. The surfaces are cool to the touch, made of aluminum and stainless steel, made even more sterile in appearance by the dull reflection of the fluorescent lighting overhead. The trough and the drains where an autopsy was just conducted are spotless; the water that wells across and cleans the trough's bottom could have issued from a spring.

But somehow, in the mind, you hear sounds behind all those gleaming lockers, like fluids dripping, a tendon constricting, a lip that tightens into a sneer across the teeth.

I've gotten pretty far behind here and writing this entry is made more difficult by the disjointed way I read the book. I started it in Brisbane before we left for the US, but I didn't finish it. I couldn't renew it long enough, so I returned it. Fortunately, Steve works for the Columbus library system and I was able to borrow a copy while I was in Ohio. Let's see. That means I finished the book about April 8. And,today is May 15.

Here goes.

Cadillac Jukebox.

Dave is entangled in the case of Aaron Crown, a man who is accused of shooting a civil rights leader 30 years ago. So, that means that Dave is caught in the middle between Aaron, Aaron's daughter, the soon to be Governor and his wife (who is an old lover of Dave's.) We've got Mexican drug dealers, the mob, an enormous, psychotic hit man, the daughter of the New Orleans mob boss and her pimp husband, and an old schoolmate of Dave's who is living on the edge between legal and illegal activity. Clete, Dave's new partner (whose name I can't remember) and Bootsy.

The governor was largely responsible for getting Aaron convicted. Aaron wants Dave to investigate his case. The governor doesn't. The mob doesn't. Aaron escapes from the penitentiary with the intent of finding the governor and assassinating him. The governor's lovely wife is intent on sleeping with Dave or, failing to do that, at least accuse him of inappropriate sexual advances. I found the mob and the Mexican drug stories to be harder to follow. This might have something to do with the multi-week gap in the middle of my reading!

Unfortunately, since I don't have a copy of the book, I cannot share many of Burke's lovely words with you. (You can pick up your own copy used from Amazon for 1c! That is 1/100 of a dollar for you Australians. I guess in your terms it would be free! Why not pick up several?) So, I'll leave you with two lines that were short enough that I wrote them down in their entirety while I was reading.

...and got back to the office with a headache feeling I had devoted most of the day snipping hangnails in a season of plaque.

Haven't we all had days like this?

And, finally, just a reminder that Dave is not consumed with violence and evil and work - but has an appreciation of beauty, nature, and god.

Catfish fillet with etouffee' on top. This is food you expect only in the afterlife.

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