This revision, I went a step further. There is now a wild lagoon flute being played by none other than me, that Tokyo-bound David listens to as he lies on some remembered Mindoro beach. That is maybe nifty as an inside joke––if an AP series was ever conceived, I could appear in a cameo playing the flute with a Philippine reggae band, ninja* style.
Then I happened to be chatting with the novel's German translator Nils Sens and his words brought out an even more original concept: "So... I am actually the guy playing flute that David hears. The 15 years older doppelgänger of that younger self."
Now that would be a mind-flip. David's "future self" as a recurring, mysteriously heard harbinger of.... this could be used cinematically to great effect. Donnie Darko, Fight Club, Memento, that one about the layers of dreams... passé.
Closing his eyes, David cast thoughts along the well-worn grooves of a vacation he was at the burnt end of. Snorkeling in the islands off Mindoro, fish darting in and out through a dying coral that still held tenacious patches of life. Thick strums of guitar and flute over a faint lilt of reggae from the bar down the beach, bamboo in the wind.
Painful massages in a nipa hut, his limbs kneaded into some kind of ecstatic submission. A sense of reawakened wonder at sea turtles grazing on sea grass along a gently shelving bottom. Their sudden flight to the surface with a grace rivaling condors’ mythic excursions to the sun. Head breaking the surface with horselike harumph, an earthy expelling of oxygen. Then a return to the floating element, avian seafarers putting quick distance between themselves and unacknowledged intruder.
In the evening the moon had come up over the palms as David lazed in a hammock, drinking pale pilsen. Three Danish women––tans bearing evidence of topless adventures on secluded inlets, smiles holding holiday secrets, studiously ignored him as he tore beer label from sweat-beaded bottle, plotting hello. He wound up playing billiards with barefoot Hans and the scuba instructor Voltaire, drinking one too many pilsen and dreaming of kaya.
Read the rest of AP 1.4 Gaijinhouse.
All Rights Reserved Damon Shulenberger.