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J Russell Rose

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In Search of Himself
By J Russell Rose   
Rated "PG13" by the Author.
Last edited: Wednesday, December 26, 2007
Posted: Wednesday, December 26, 2007

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Imagine how you would feel if one morning on waking you realize, you don't know where you are. It happens to people who travel - a momentary lapse. But, imagine that not only do you not know where you are, you don't know who you are.
The telephone rings - further adding to your sense of confusion and disorientation. Your breathing becomes labored; your pulse is racing; heart pounding.
This is the opening scene for successful writer Phil Martin whose recent life's excesses and pursuit of Bachanalian pleasures have backed him into an acceptable corner.
He must somehow figure out who he is. Where he is. And exactly what is going on.
As he sets out in search of his identity, his life, he uncovers things about his past he can neither explain nor justify.
Ultimately his journey leads him down the backroads of Appalachia, In Search of Himself.

In Search of Himself
A novel by: J. Russell Rose

He awoke that Monday morning – a lifetime ago now, it seemed; in another man’s world; in another man’s house; wearing another man’s beige silk pajamas. He tried sitting, only to be greeted by a sudden sickening pain in the back of his head, which caused him to question the wisdom of any movement.
After several minutes, he opened his eyes again; very slowly this time, and only when the pain had subsided sufficiently to make the effort possible. He surveyed the darkened room – a living room. He was lying on the sofa, in what seemed to be the approximate center of the room, facing a dark cold fireplace. Hints of the bright sunlit day outside slipped in around the edges of the heavy draperies on the windows. No other light was visible.
With sudden ear-splitting shrillness, a phone came to life in the darkness, causing him to clasp one hand over each ear pressing in hard, praying that the pressure and the noise baffle would prevent his head from exploding with each ring. He sighed in relief when an answering device stopped the sound.
“Hi. This is Laura. Phil and I are not here at the moment. Please leave a message…”
“Phil. Are you there? It’s me. I’m sorry for leaving without talking to you. It just didn’t seem there was anything further to say. I thought I could catch you before you left this morning, but, I guess not…”
Silence returned as the voice of the caller trailed off.
“…I’ll talk to you later.”
Confused and disoriented, he tried rising again, this time with a little more success and a little less pain, bringing his body to a seated position. He didn’t recognize the voice on the phone and he didn’t know anyone named Phil.
Whatever was going on and how he got here were a total mystery. He sensed there was probably no one else in the house – though he couldn’t be certain. And, he felt no particular threat or danger - after all he was wearing silk pajamas. Whose they were, though, and how he got into them were questions yet to be answered.
He gently placed one foot on the floor; then the other. Just as he felt sufficient bravery to stand, once more the phone came to life, sickening resounding shock waves raced through his throbbing head. He gasped as he grabbed his ears again.
The same message as earlier was followed this time by, “Phil, it’s Barry. Goddamn it Phil, where are you? You were supposed to be here already. Call me.”
Overcome with a flood of nausea, he forced himself to stand. He knew he was going to be sick; hoping he could navigate the spinning room and find the bathroom before it happened, he groped his way toward the darkened interior of the house.
His reward for the arduous quest, the cold tiled floor, soothed his burning feet as he stepped from the thick carpet of the hallway into the large bathroom. The unknown troubling contents of his stomach having left his body, he turned on the shower and stepped into the icy cold spray, first giving his body another momentary shock, then followed by soothing relief from the nausea. He stayed in the shower for what seemed a very long time, alternating the cold water with very hot, letting the steam open his head and body pores at the end.
Shaky, but feeling less pain, he stepped from the shower and wrapped the large towel around his waist after rubbing his head and body hoping to stimulate enough blood flow to his brain so as to figure out a few dozen things – not the least of which were: who he was; where he was; and how he had gotten here?

Web Site:, The Southern Appalachina Writers Guild (

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