There is a man so sweet that when he writes a story, bees stop making honey. Some people can string words like pearls on a golden wire. Some people have a natural bent to take the dross of life and spin it into fools’ gold. There are some people who enjoy this kind of folderol. We haven’t met them yet, but they are out there.
Whalehead King is a man who hates drama and pat situations. He is a man who enjoys when things do not come together. He is a surrealist of the commonplace. He has been told more than once that his descriptions are like an acid trip in a supermarket produce aisle. If little happens in Mr. King’s stories, it is because little happens in his life. He enjoys his minor triumphs, and he takes his missteps in stride. He thinks literature should reflect what goes on around him. He doesn’t witness many murders or extortions or white collar crime or blue collar crime. He coasts through his days and he likes to escape into the crannies and confines of his routine.
Everything ends in the grave. Whalehead King is planning his mausoleum. It will be fit for Napoleon if it is ever erected. In the meantime, Whalehead King is busy making his life a work of art. Since Mr. King is a dandy rake, people often compare him to Oscar Wilde. Since Mr. King is the center of attention by making odd pronouncements and being different, he is sometimes compared to Andy Warhol. Like Mr. Warhol, Whalehead King is a social butterfly often seen, but rarely understood. Like Mr. Warhol, Whalehead King is a tastemaker, though few understand how far his influence reaches or why. Like Mr. Warhol, Whalehead King is bemused and bewildered by a world he has mastered.
A person’s life unfolds in convoluted, over-itself, patterns. There is rarely a discernable reason at the end. That is the beauty of living. The more you do, the more you see, the less sense the whole experience makes. It is wonderful and beautiful. Sometimes the cat doesn’t get out of the bag and the bag gets tossed in the river. Sometimes the tomcat escapes and cuts a swath though the garden, tossing litter all the way.
There is a man who enjoys life as much as he is able. He has a big heart. He slakes his thirst along the bank of Connecticut’s Thames River. He lives in New London, Conn. He shares his escapades with whoever has the patience to listen. He goes about his business like a monk on pilgrimage. He rarely leaves New London