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Nectar of the Lavender

Nectar of the Lavender

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Nectar of the Lavender

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Lançado em:
Jun 14, 2011


A recently unemployed man wracked by the guilt of his best friends suicide seeks revenge against those he believes are culpable. Armed with just a hard-drive, he must search for clues to take on the notorious Negatory Nine, the white collar thugs he holds responsible for Jeffs untimely death.

On his emotional journey he addresses his own psychological scars through the cameo appearances of eccentric and colourful characters who help remind him of lifes little pleasures. Ultimately he must decide whether he wants to sacrifice peace of mind in the pursuit of Jeffs honour, and whether the journey is more valuable than the destination.

Nectar of the Lavender is an exciting account of one mans interpretation of the world he exists in, and resolves the question of whether societys domineering bullies can get away with committing violations without remorse.
Lançado em:
Jun 14, 2011

Sobre o autor

Richard Segal, an American citizen, resides in London and works in the financial services industry, focusing on the global economies. He has written widely about emerging markets and public policy over the years. Richard’s Eleven is his first novella of 2013.

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Nectar of the Lavender - Richard Segal


© 2011 by Richard Segal. All rights reserved.

No part of this book may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted by any means without the written permission of the author.

First published by AuthorHouse 05/24/2011

ISBN: 978-1-4567-8043-2 (sc)

ISBN: 978-1-4567-8308-2 (ebk)

Printed in the United States of America

Any people depicted in stock imagery provided by Thinkstock are models,

and such images are being used for illustrative purposes only.

Certain stock imagery © Thinkstock.

Because of the dynamic nature of the Internet, any web addresses or links contained in this book may have changed since publication and may no longer be valid. The views expressed in this work are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the publisher, and the publisher hereby disclaims any responsibility for them.

To Tracey and Olivia

Would you like to swing on a star?

—Carlene Jacobson


Day One of My Story

Day Two

ELO vs the Disco Queen

Day Four

Smoke ’em Inside

Day Five

Mr. Zelman

Day Seven

Floats like a Caterpillar

Day Nine

Introducing the Hard

Charging Lawyer

Day Ten

Canon in D Major

Day Eleven

Hung up on a Dream

Day Twenty Two

Of Expectations, Uncertainties

and Correlations

Day Twenty-Eight

Introducing the Slushpile

Day Thirty-Four


Day Thirty-Six

How ’bout them Whalers

Day Forty-Six

Rock and Roll I Gave You all the Best Years of my Life

Day Forty-Seven


Day Forty-Eight


Day Fifty

Rollin’ In

Day Fifty-One

The Stogie Photo

Snuff on the Roof

Day Fifty-Two

Repercussions of the

Terrible Secret

Day Fifty-Five


The Jazz Piano Rises

Day Fifty-Six

The Minibar Diaries

Day Sixty

The Nice Nine

Day Sixty-Two

End of an Era

Doc and Doc

Day Seventy-Five

Annoying as all Hell Breaks Loose

Day Seventy-Eight

Welcome to Mitteleuropa

Method Writing at 34,000 Feet

Last Stand to Grand Central?

Day Seventy-Nine


Day Eighty-Two

The Fraulein & Fritz

Day Eighty-Three

Mr. Sonhodoce

Day Eighty-Seven

My Perfect Storm

Days Ninety to One Hundred and Eighteen


Day One Hundred and Twenty Two


Day One Hundred and Twenty Four

Goodbye Friend Glen

Was it something I said?

Day One Hundred and Twenty Five

Courting Trouble

Day One of My Story

It was a Tuesday, just like any other day—except it was a day for inheriting a hard drive. Leave it to Jeff.

There’s an infinite amount of material. It’s a most unusual way to say good bye to the world and I’d prefer to read his parting note on paper, rather than a computer screen, but it’s all I have, so here goes. The first message: ‘10,000 Maniacs.’

And the next: ‘I was turned on to 10,000 Maniacs by a woman named Margot in the early ‘90s.’ This much I knew. He loved everything the band and its era stood for, and if he had a girlfriend, he wanted her to be named Margot.

How do I start my process of reading and grieving? A glass of tequila in his honor? I could do that, I will do that, but how am I going to save his honor?

I’m writing this account from memory and therefore do know how the story ends, but what purpose would it serve to simply say ‘Hurrah for Karamazov’ and let you return to your lives without the seven hundred and two pages of character building?

But first, a third message: ‘Voices, especially HM’s, vivid memories of which are the cruelest part of nostalgia. One doesn’t need to be soothing, or heart warming, for me to miss when it’s gone. As soon as HM spoke, I had to identify his birthplace for him, my birthplace also, even though he claimed he hadn’t lived there for 55 years.’

So, not the voices in his head.

‘But boy can I recognise noise pollution in three notes or less.’

Sardonic are we, were we? But who, in the name of sweet Rosewood, was HM?

‘The books I love.’ Aha! He’s gone from sound waves to print! This oughtta be interesting.

‘Tropic of Cancer, by Henry Miller. At Dawn We Slept, by Gordon Prange. The Andromeda Strain, by Michael Crichton. Yukon Ho, by Bill Watterson. Doris Lessing.’ What can I say? The grass is singing. ‘John Steinlager.’ Did I read that right? Lest I begin to slur, no less in my internal dialogue, it is time to give the bottle a rest.

Stay with me. Be patient. I need to make sense of the Scavenger Hunt Jeff bequeathed me. I may be amorphous and think in crooked lines at times, but I definitely have something to say.

I tossed the bottle on the couch, beach horseshoe style, and forced myself to daydream until I reached a state of trance. Accordingly, his messages flowed directly:

‘In grade school, I couldn’t wait to mature, because I’d be free to swear with reckless abandon. I planned a career as an f-word machine. Until then, nicknames had to suffice. Little did my Language Arts teacher Marge know. But now that I’m grown, it doesn’t appeal, at all. It really doesn’t.’

‘What appeals is real poetry. Listen. When I was young I had a dream, of a sheltered meadow by a stream.’

I know it’s not the time, but I wrote those lines. Here’s another message:

‘We were driving toward the coastal town of Gloucester, waiting out the traffic jam, in hopes of arriving at the house in time to catch the CBS Sunday News with Roger Mudd. In the days before summer rentals were Saturday to Saturday. The road was single lane and no passing, and the cars were so tailed back drivers took breaks from listening to beach traffic reports on their AM radios to talk to people in neighboring cars.’

‘The atmosphere was surreal, like at drive-ins showing Martian SciFis. Yet, no one seemed to mind, because the destination known as Gloucester was worth the wait, any wait. The Cape has the same traffic and more attractions, but an angrier crowd. Traffic jam rumbles were a regular occurrence, according to legend.’

‘Me, I got out of the car and put my palms on the passenger door ridges where the windows open. I could vaguely hear D-Man’s favorite radio program, This is Howard William Cohen with Speaking of Everything. I looked into the distance and saw an imaginary friendly ghost at the front, lazy clouds behind. This was my first recollection of being mesmerised by abstract concepts.’

‘There are other seaside towns where you can drive in unnoticed, but they don’t have that being there feeling. Part of me wanted to stand there forever absorbing the atmosphere, while the rest wanted to flash forward to the next afternoon, when I could sit at the table nearest the counter and smell the ice cream toppings as they’re slathered onto the vanillas. Despite the hassles, it would have been empty if we spent our summer weekends anywhere else.’

‘I lifted my palms; they were dirty, so I wiped them onto my shorts before climbing into the car again. It was time to go, the jam was easing. It wasn’t the weight of traffic, but an inconsiderate driver who hadn’t thought to replace his battery before leaving Boston. Though there is no recrimination, because it’s a folks in glass houses crowd.’

‘I hope the inconsiderate driver tries this stunt on his way to the Cape sometime.’

‘We arrived at the house 90 minutes later than normal and from then on broken down cars would remind me of Roger Mudd. Later that evening, Channel 5 interrupted a rerun of The Pleasure Seekers to report on the incident and once it concluded its summary, closed by apologising and offering: We now return you to your regular program, which is already in progress.’

His teenage memories. How touching. I think commenting would only spoil it. More people should know about his poignancy. He should be alive to do more of it.

Several hours later and I’m none the wiser, but the bottle’s back, I’m in a haze and anything could make sense. It’s been two years since I’ve read anything weightier than a magazine, three years since I’ve drawn and four since I became addicted to road rage. Well, could you blame me? How could I top the poster-art-wants-to-become-rock-opera Back in Blue? But I’ve got all these pens and empty notebooks, and available disk space… what else would I do with them? Besides, I must find a way to honor Jeff’s memory before it’s too late.

I encounter the phrase ‘All I have are my visions.’ What does that mean? After which I read on the screen: ‘There wasn’t anything I wouldn’t do, to find a new life out there. Death is a Many Splendored Thing’—surrounded by musical clef symbols. Wait, that’s not the name of the song.

Whoa! That phrase then whacked me like errant sparks from a volcano. I paused to lose, then gasp for, my breath. I thought it was natural causes!?! This changes everything. I WILL do something about this.

Now all I can see is random words on a computer screen. Therefore, I stop before I begin to feel the lethargy. I decide to leave random notes around the apartment and tease myself with the answers. Let’s see if I remember who placed them there in the morning.

And then I completely forgot about my promise.

Day Two

ELO vs the Disco Queen

Here’s an early exchange I didn’t anticipate, shortly after Jeff came out of the closet.

‘ELO vs. the disco queen,’ he started with, ‘you make the call.’

‘Abba?’ I asked.

‘No, Queen,’ he said. ‘The real dancing queen.’

‘Queen, I suppose, I never thought about it,’ I volleyed.

‘Think about it,’ he returned.

‘ELO had this album Discovery, which we figured was code for ‘very disco.’"

‘Go home and look at their tracks, and compare,’ he insisted. He seemed determined on this topic.

‘But you of all people, . . .’

‘What’s that got to do with it?’

‘I suppose you’re right. I have their albums at home. I’ll do it tonight. Why, do you think?’

He wasn’t finished. ‘Go further than ELO, and beyond. Look at The Move and the Traveling Wilburys. They’re the same rock family tree.’

‘OK, I’m keeping an open mind. Why do you think Queen has the status of legend, whereas ELO is ignored by rock historians?’

‘Because nothing succeeds like excess. Plus, it was over for ELO after the one bad album. Verily, Queen was a three-hit wonder.’

‘Still, isn’t Freddie Mercury a gay icon?’

He paused for a moment, patiently. Jeff would forgive anyone’s faux pas’s. ‘You don’t understand how it works. Ocean Colour Scene is the icon, at least in my book. Ready for a musical interlude?’

Like a taxi driver who wants you to arrive as quickly, smoothly and safely as you do, he sang The Riverboat Song in its entirety, albeit not entirely in tune.

‘Jeff,’ I admitted. ‘This has been a very educational conversation.’

I saw Jeff in a whole new light afterwards. He helped open my eyes to many new matters, then and always. Was this because he was a different person and viewed life more laterally, or did he simply think about different things?

Verily that evening I listened to my old ELO and Queen albums. Perhaps ELO was overplayed and subsequently forgotten, whereas Queen has been overplayed non-stop. But he was right. Queen is pop and disco, and mainly ordinary. On the other hand, when ELO was good it was good, but when it was bad it was worse, and this accounts for its Chevy Chase moment.

And so, I played the opening thirty seconds of Do Ya, Showdown, Boy Blue and, most of all, Blackberry Way, with its desperate lyrics, repeatedly, until I could take no more. ‘Goodbye Blackberry Way, sure to want me back another day.’ In a sense, therefore, this song’s for you Jeff.

Day Four

Smoke ’em Inside

I wonder if I troll through the interesting diaries of others because I have no story of my own. I’ve been pacing around the rooms of my apartment for thirty-six hours because I have nothing else to do, and no one I want to do it with. And as much as I swallow, I can’t breathe.

Of course, my life wasn’t always like this. I once had a fulfilling job at State, before it was overthrown by self-righteous politically-correct thinkers, doers and speakers. I resigned in protest and joined the private sector, not realising managers in the real world were as ‘trying’ as those in the public sector. State was a thoroughly ‘bang my head against the wall’ experience, with the exception of the ‘misery loves company good eggs’ I worked with, such as Jeff and my former roommate Scotty Mac. Scotty Mac is his real name. In my world, real people deserve real names, whereas unreal people merit nicknames.

And the unplanned moments of good humor, for example a night the three of us went to the Burger Cottage. The substitute waiter was on hand when Scotty Mac asked for mustard, and the waiter replied, ‘Ah, sir, but the ancient Greeks didn’t use mustard.’

And the Burger Cottage wasn’t even a Greek restaurant.

And a few years later, I attended an impromptu State ‘alumni’ reunion at the awful Helarios Tavern. This was a post-script from the regular get-togethers half a dozen of us would share before we splintered into different directions. These sessions were ostensibly to save the world, such was our misplaced idealism. However, we called them Beer of the Month Club for the sake of sounding decadent. When a waitress I didn’t recognise asked if she should bring the

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