This is another title, written by author Janus Kane, that will be released by March Books in August of this year.
What percentage of us are damaged, handicapped, or fractured in some way that we struggle desperately to hide from the casual, and not so casual, observer? How many of us can lay claim to total mental stability, renouncing any character flaws or defects that can adversely affect our relationships and interactions with others?
The French call sex 'Le Petit Mort', the Little Death, because it temporarily suspends the heart and the head. The 'Little Insanity' focuses on the equally crazy effects of relationships on our behavior, in the new millennium. Watch the insanity that ensues when six, seemingly sane, individuals mix and shake their own, not so healthy, personality cocktails together. Follow Jenn, Jason, Kyle, Kyra, Brad and Beth through the sexual and personal relationships that are 'The Little Insanity'. Don't mistake this for another knock-off of 'Friends'. This relay of relationships between these 30-somethings shines a light on the different faces we wear and the machinations we all go through to hide what is really beneath the surface. The setting for this little dysfunctional drama is a small town in Connecticut, although some of the story takes place in 'The Big Apple'.
With the pace of a literary soap opera, Janus Kane's first novel should appeal to readers who enjoy watching these fictional, but realistic, characters' lives unfold and unravel before them. These six characters are on a path of discovery that will lead them to painful truths about life, love, themselves and others. Like a car crash, we must watch as these events drive some of our characters, inexorably, toward a crescendo that is the ultimate insanity.
JENN -- This was truly the definition of insanity; repeating the same behavior, time after time, while irrationally expecting a different outcome. Too bad it didn't matter. Insane or not, this was her life.
Jenn leaned against the headboard wondering, for what seemed like the billionth time, why she kept doing this.
He rolled over and gave her thigh a squeeze before stumbling into the bathroom. "Can we hook up again tonight, Jenn?" he yelled.
'Damn, what the heck was his name?' Jenn was a reasonably intelligent person; she just had a short in the area of the brain where names were stored. In instances like these, it could prove more than embarrassing. What the hell, she had no intention of seeing him again anyways. "No Jack, I have to work late tonight, maybe another time."
He wandered back into the bedroom, toothbrush dangling from his hand, toothpaste foaming around his mouth. "Well, first of all, it's Jason, and I thought you said you worked in a bank. Since when do they have evening hours?"
'Shoot!' She really had to work on her story. Jenn never gave these guys her true work, or address, or phone number for that matter. If she wanted to see them again, which she never did, she would find them. Jenn had to work out the details of her lie, so she didn't keep getting tripped up this way. It seems that by now, she should be a more accomplished liar.
Jenn swung her legs over the edge of the bed, turning her back to him. "I work in the Commercial department, it isn't uncommon for us to do loan processing in the evening." She had no idea if that was true or not, but it sounded good. She just needed to buy herself enough time to get dressed and get out of here.
She grabbed for her bra and sweater which were mixed in with the pile of detritus on the side of the bed. 'God this guy was a slob.'
"It's just that I thought we had a great time last night and I thought you might want to do it again ...but then I thought you knew my name, so what do I know?"
"I'm sorry about that Jason, but it's kind of early, and I'm still a little groggy."
"Early! It's ten o'clock."
"Yeah, I know, but I'm not a morning person, I'm not usually fully awake until noon or so."
"Boy, your customers must love you."
"On that note, smartass, I'll say goodbye." Jenn hastily pulled her straight blond hair through a rubber band, leaving numerous ends shooting out in every direction. She grabbed her keys off the couch and tossed a "see ya" over her shoulder.
"But when will I see you again?" he asked.
"You have my numbers, just give me a call. We'll plan something."
JASON -- Things were so much easier ten years ago. Now, sex had become a chore. When you're 17 and the star running back of your high school football team, getting laid is no problem at all. Now, ten years and 90 lbs. later, working as a small town cop, pussy was not so plentiful.
Jason wondered where he had screwed up this time. "I don't know Kyle; maybe you have the right idea. Marriage has its flaws, but at least you know you'll get laid every night."
"Yeah right, tell me again what planet you live on." Kyle cracked another beer and raised his legs onto the porch rail that Jason had been promising to fix for the last three years.
"You mean that you and Kyra don't get busy at least once a day?" Jason asked.
"Lately..., I'm lucky if it's once a week."
"No shit! That's worse than my average."
"It's different after you're married," Kyle said. "For the first year things are hot and heavy, then stuff gets in the way. Don't forget, it's been eight years for us. Maybe things would have been different if I hadn't gotten hurt. Kyra certainly wasn't happy about going back to work, and I wasn't happy about being laid up. You know. We both wanted the traditional family; me bringing home the paycheck and her raising a house full of kids."
Jason belched and crumpled his can, tossing it over the railing into a growing pile of empties. "That was a shitty break, no doubt about it." He grimaced and belched again. 'God, he couldn't even hold his beer anymore.' At 27 Jason's rugged good looks were muted by the extra padding of flesh, but his hair was still as full and blond as ever, and his eyes just as blue. Maybe that was why he was attracted to Jenn. Minus the extra pounds, Jenn had the same Nordic good looks that he saw in the mirror every morning. Why the hell couldn't he get her out of his mind? "She couldn't even remember my name, and the phone number she gave me was for a take-out pizza place!"
"It's probably for the best." Kyle said. "What do you care? You got laid didn't you?"
"Sure, but from what you said I'm still doing better in that department than you are. Although with those stats you're not too hard to beat."
Kyle laughed. "Believe it or not, I don't want it as much anymore. I beg off almost as much as Kyra does."
"No way, not 'mister rough and ready, anyplace, anytime Kirkland', you were the Super Stud of the class of '87. You had my record beat by a mile."
"Not anymore. I guess maybe I grew up," Kyle said, unconvincingly
"Or maybe you're just growing old. Should I call you gramps?"
"Think what you want, but you'll see if you ever get married. It just changes things." Kyle pelted his empty, hitting Jason in the chest. "Are you going to put those steaks on or what? If I don't get some food in me soon, I'll have to stop drinking."
"Oh well! We wouldn't want that now, would we? I'll grab the steaks. You check the grill."
KYLE -- He tripped up the back stairs, slamming his head into the wooden screen door. "Shiiiiiit, shhhhh - don't want to wake Kyra up," Kyle muttered to himself as he manhandled his key into the lock. After 20 seconds he realized the problem. Kyle was trying to force the Chevy's ignition key into the door lock with only limited success. Okay, maybe he had gone one or two beers over his limit, but he was home now. All Kyle had to do now was get upstairs and into bed without waking Kyra up.
He stepped on a shoe that was lying in the middle of the floor, wrenching his back. "Dammit", he groaned through clenched teeth.
From all appearances, Kyle was an incredibly fit 28 year-old. Beer drinking, and the recent forced inactivity, had failed to relax his taut abdominal muscles. His shoulders and biceps continued to display the sculpted physique that was the product of years of quarry work. How cosmically unfair life was; this body, which looked so capable of moving mountains, had now betrayed him so completely.
Five years ago, Kyle's body had told him, in no uncertain terms, that it was tired of throwing around 100 lb. slabs of granite. The ultimate rebellion came when he blew three discs in his back. For almost a year, Kyle had divided his time between bed rest and physical therapy, as he watched his workers' compensation insurance run out. Ultimately, the doctor had rendered his final decree. If Kyle was fond of walking, he would have to find a career where the heaviest thing he could lift would be a phone book. That was kind of a tall order for someone who had spent his life using his brawn rather than his brain. So far, it was an order he had been unable to fill.
He moved more cautiously, looking for any other pain inflicting land mines. Kyle went back and took his shoes off in the mudroom. Five years of nagging had accomplished that much at least. Kyra should be happy about that. 'God, how had things gotten so screwed up?'
Kyra had been so much fun in the beginning; adventurous, energetic and up for anything, no matter how crazy. Being with her was like being with one of the guys, with the added benefit of unlimited sex. That bubble had burst pretty quickly. Now, after eight years together, Kyle was living with a scaled down version of her mother. An involuntary shudder raced up his spine at the very thought of it. Kyra had morphed into her mother's clone. The transformation was not a pleasant one.
Nora Blakely was an embittered, shrewish woman. Her one true joy in life seemed to be in creating a hell on earth for her husband Byron. Apparently enough was never enough for Nora, who needed little or no provocation to turn nagging into an Olympic event. Sadly for Byron, Nora's gold medal standing in this event was unchallenged. A picture of Byron's thin, bent frame flooded Kyle's mind as he wondered if that would be him in 20 years.
Kyle made his way up the stairs with one hand on the wall and the other on the banister. If the ground didn't stop wobbling under foot, he was gonna hurl. That would be a real crowd pleaser he thought, smiling to himself. The smile was quickly replaced by a grimace, as he thought of what retribution would be in store for such a transgression. Yelling, pouting, the silent treatment and a boycott on sex; Kyra would use her full arsenal.
Kyle had embellished a little for Jason's sake. Sex once a week was when things were going well. Things hadn't been 'going well', for a long time. Catching him coming in drunk like this could easily mean a month long dry spell. That was okay with Kyle. Tonight had been worth it. After all, lately the sex had not been anything to write home about.
They used to have mind-blowing sex. Now things were different. When Kyra did relent, she did little more than just lie there until he was finished. Kyle had seen packages of ground beef that were livelier than Kyra on these occasions.
Kyle paused at the bedroom door, listening for Kyra's breathing. It sounded regular enough. Hopefully she was asleep. Quietly, shedding layers of clothes as he went, Kyle walked across the room until he was beside the bed in his underwear. Moving the blankets aside, Kyle sat on the edge of the bed. He rejected thoughts of taking off his socks. Bending over to perform such a task in his current condition could have disastrous results. He eased himself down, gingerly raising one leg and then the other into bed. Hugging the edge of the mattress, Kyle struggled against any movement that would disturb the current calm. Little by little he allowed his muscles to relax.
"So...it seems like somebody had a good time," Kyra said from the darkness.
'Crap, all that effort for nothing.' "How long have you been awake?" he asked.
"I haven't been to sleep. How could I? I was too busy wondering if you were wrapped around a tree somewhere. Would it have killed you to call?"
And so it began.
Kyle got up to use the bathroom. If he had to endure this, he wouldn't do it with a full bladder...