The Death of Immortality

I’m not Methuselah’s kid. I wasn’t there for the birth of the Child in the manger and then for World War two. I wasn’t with the robots when the sun came up either. And I certainly wasn’t cutting off anyone’s head in the highlands, having any part of the weapon shop that caused the big bang, being born as a Star Child, or spending one thousand years chanting in Sanskrit. Sorry! I did see Nikita Khrushchev bang his shoe on a podium and say, “We will bury you.”

I was there before Eisenhower’s interstate highway system was finished and heard the news the day the music died. I was also there when the Institute for Immortality Research found that I was the one candidate genetically suited to be “fixed” so that I could live for five thousand years. I said no. Why would I want to outlive everyone I cared about, go on and on like reruns of Friends? One million dollars? The companionship of a lovely, intelligent red head? No and no again. I might wind up like Tithonus and I already felt like Sisyphus. So, you say I’m crazy: a million dollars; a lovely red head? Try a black government site, need to know and who trusts the US government? Most likely I’d be “harvested” and kept in a cage. Unfortunately, both figuratively and literally, choice is an illusion. Or as my friend Ray said, “What the fuck don’t you get about becoming practically immortal?” That was just before he and Chloe betrayed me, and I had to run. Run Eric, run!

The Lesser Man

Paul's life as a thirty year old beach bum was built around surfer friends, parties, the sound of the ocean, and a solitary existence in the last outermost house on Cape Cod. When he found his old girlfriend Penny murdered, he became of interest to the police, and to someone else who thought Penny might have given him something valuable. All he could do was gather a motley crew of surfers around him, and seek help from Arthur Dean Kaminski, an emotionally damaged Vietnam vet who knew how to survive in the toughest of circumstances. And the circumstances were about to get very tough.

The Lesser Man 2

It’s five years since Penny’s murder. Paul Morris still lives in the last outermost house on the beach in Easton, Cape Cod. He keeps trying to drink away the trauma of finding his mercurial ex-girlfriend with her throat slit. Paul keeps telling himself he has the ocean, red wine and the last beach house allowed on the National Seashore. What could be better? His friend Herbert keeps trying to get him to AA meetings with little success. The daughter he discovered after Penny’s death moved to London. His friends who helped him find the killer have moved on with their lives. Arthur Dean Kaminski, the damaged Vietnam vet who saved his life, has disappeared. Paul doesn’t even bother with a glass anymore.

‘Nothing,’ he decides, ‘can change my life,’ until, on a November day, he finds a teenager on the beach with a spear from a speargun in his back. Evidence begins to point to Paul Morris, the drunken beach bum.

How could this happen again?