Lunar Park

Lunar Park by Bret Easton Ellis Read Free Book Online

Book: Lunar Park by Bret Easton Ellis Read Free Book Online
Authors: Bret Easton Ellis
Tags: Fiction, Suspense, Psychological, Horror
“Hey, I’m an interesting date,” I’m somehow quoted as saying. Another anonymous source: “I think she’s with Bret because Jayne’s a fixer-upper—she has convinced herself that a good guy’s in there.” Another nameless source disagreed and put it more succinctly: “He’s. A. Dick.” My own conclusion was “Jayne makes my life complete—I’m a grateful guy.” The article ended—shockingly, I thought—with: “Good luck, Jayne.”
             
    B y this time, Jayne had moved out of Los Angeles and into the anonymous suburbia of the Northeast, close enough to New York for meetings and business but at the same time safely distant from what she saw as the increasing horror of urban life. The attack on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon was the initial motivation, and Jayne briefly considered some exotically remote place deep in the Southwest or the vastness of the heartland, but her goal eventually simplified itself into moving at least two hours away from any large city, since that’s where suicide bombers were blowing themselves up in crowded Burger Kings and Starbuckses and Wal-Marts and in subways at rush hour. Miles of major cities had been cordoned off behind barbed wire, and morning newspapers ran aerial photographs of bombed-out buildings on the front page, showing piles of tangled bodies in the shadow of the crane lifting slabs of scorched concrete. More and more often there were “no survivors.” Bulletproof vests were on sale everywhere, because scores of snipers had suddenly appeared; the military police stationed on every corner offered no solace, and surveillance cameras proved useless. There were so many faceless enemies—from within the country and abroad—that no one was certain who we were fighting or why. Cities had become mournful places, where everyday life was suddenly interrupted by jagged mounds of steel and glass and stone, and grief on an unimaginable scale was rising up over them, reinforced by the stained, tattered photocopies of the missing posted everywhere, which were not only a constant reminder of what had been lost but also a warning of what was coming next, and in the endless CNN montages of people wandering around in a slow-motion daze, some wrapped in American flags, while the soundtrack was Bruce Springsteen softly singing “We Shall Overcome.” There were too many fearful moments when the living envied the dead, and people started moving away to the country, the suburbs, anywhere. Cities were no place to raise a family, or, more pointedly according to Jayne, start one. So many people had lost their capacity for love.
    Jayne wanted to raise gifted, disciplined children, driven to succeed, but she was fearful of just about everything: the threat of pedophiles, bacteria, SUVs (we owned one), guns, pornography and rap music, refined sugar, ultraviolet rays, terrorists, ourselves. I took anger management sessions and went over “past wounds” with a therapist after a brief and heated exchange concerning Robby popped up in an otherwise innocuous conversation between the two of us. (It was all about what he wanted. It was all about what he needed. Everything I desired was overridden, and I had to accept this. I had to rise up to it.) I spent that summer trying to get to know this worried, sad, alert boy who gave evasive answers to questions I felt demanded clarity and precision, and also Sarah, who was now six and basically just kept informing me of how bored she was by everything. Since camp had been canceled, Jayne and I organized activities to push them out of their stupor: the karate class, the oboe lesson, the phonics tapes, the smart toys, the trip to the wax museum, the aquarium we visited. The summer was saying no to Robby (who considered himself a “professional” video game player) because he wanted to fly to Seoul for the World Cyber Games. The summer was getting acquainted with the wide array of meds the kids were on (stimulants, mood

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