Burn Rate by Daniel Marcus

By Daniel Marcus

Ross and Lori Williamson reside the Boomer model of the yank Dream. Ross is a Silicon Valley entrepreneur, battered yet nonetheless status after the net cave in. Lori has surrender her upscale company legislation task to make pottery, learn martial arts, and begin a kinfolk. not able to conceive, they rent Annie Day as a surrogate to undergo their fertilized egg to time period. Annie has a couple of skeletons in her closet, together with an ex-boyfriend determined for money and at the run from the Italian and Russian mobs.

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They sat down to dinner. The halibut was good. A little overboard on the rosemary, but not bad. As they ate, they exchanged sparse domestic banter. The gutters needed cleaning. The washing machine was making that weird noise again. Autopilot stuff. After dinner, they watched something forgettable on HBO, a post-apocalyptic action film starring a postadolescent Patrick Swayze. Afterwards, Lori went to bed early, claiming a headache. Ross felt jumpy, guilty, and sad. He went into his home office in the converted garage he shared with Lori to do some work.

My brother, Ray – Ray Day, right? You can tell our parents hated us. Ray was always into something. He’d sort of test the waters and then pull me in. Grass, hash, acid, coke, smack. But other stuff, too –Dolphy, Mingus, Bach. Iggy, The Ramones. Burroughs, Donleavy, Bukowski. Bunuel, Scorcese. All this great shit that people did with their brains and hands. If I have anything you might call an intellectual life it’s ‘cause of Ray. I did a lot of drugs all through high school, managed to graduate somehow but couldn’t see myself going to college.

I was lucky, you can call it that. I had some help. A. and oh-deed. We were pretty close and it just blew me away. I didn’t stop using, but it blew me away. Then a girlfriend of mine, super careful, always uses her own kit, won’t even kiss a guy unless he’s wearing a condom, gets HIV. Okay, then another friend of mine gets busted for dealing and gets knifed with a sharpened spoon in Rikers. Different situations, but death by junk just like my brother. So all this shit is happening to people around me and I’m thinking what a bummer it is but I’m not making the connection that is has anything to do with me.

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