THE ART of LOVE
ALL THAT ARTHUR KIMBLE WANTS is for life to go back to the way it was, but as the head writer of a literary magazine that may or may not be going under, a pill-popping alcoholic struggling to stay sober, and the close friend to a quick-witted imaginary pigeon, the odds aren’t exactly stacked in his favor. Fueled by the love of his two teenage children who currently reside with his ex-wife, he nonetheless holds onto the belief that all is not lost.
It isn’t long, however, before Arthur’s haphazard attempts to recreate the past have damaging effects on the present and, even more dangerously, on the future.
THE FIRST PAGE
Every year, thirteen people are crushed to death by vending machines.
It’s not the most romantic way to go, and it doesn’t leave much contribution to a memorable epitaph. In fact, it’s a bit sad in a pathetically human way. The most likely cause of this accident—if we are to call it that—is from said victim was trying to retrieve the nondispensing item they had paid solid money for. Sometimes all it takes is a good whack on the side of the machine. Other times, however, it takes everything you’ve got to get what you want, the thing that is rightfully yours, and it ends up killing you.
Within a single year, the odds of being killed by a dog are one in 11,273,142. The odds of being murdered with a gun are one in 24,974—depending on your demographic of course. Choking, one in 100,686. Alcohol poisoning, 150,681. Falling down a flight of stairs, 157,300. Bee sting, 25,364,571. Asteroid collision, one out of 74,817,414. Chances of winning the lottery, one in 175,000,000.
Now, I’m not a mathematician. I got all those statistics from the internet, so there’s a vulnerable certainty I feel in those numbers. Yet, as I stood in the convenience store watching the old man in the yellowed t-shirt and faded jeans recycle his money for more scratch-offs, I wondered what he thought his chances of winning actually were. Not just winning but transforming his life. Something in my gut told me that even if he did win, he’d end up right back at that convenience store counter gnawing at his toothless gums, smelling like piss and PBR. I considered telling him that he had a better chance of get-ting killed by an asteroid than winning, but I couldn’t recall the last time I’d even heard about someone being killed by an asteroid. It made me curious as to who this mysterious 74,817,415th person was each year—the lucky bastards. – CONTINUE READING
STEPHEN DANIEL RUIZ’S DEBUT novel, The Art of Love (& Loathing) is the ingenuous narrative of a human in the modern world trying to find what truths are hidden beneath all the contradictions of life. This novel seeks to inspire fresh perspective, self-examination, and the exploration of answers that might otherwise seem too intimidating to face. Perhaps, it may even spark a little courage.
Click Here to purchase The Art of Love (& Loathing): A Novel by Stephen Daniel Ruiz, available from Amazon as a Kindle eBook, in hardcover, and in paperback.