Brian’s previous collection, 37 Stories About 37 Women, earned him a reputation as a clever stylist who can keep you reading long after you leave your comfort zone.
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“Experience sex and drugs from the seamy side of the tracks in this Canterbury Tales for adults…. [37 Stories] is not a “happy” book. In fact, it contains more realism than most people would like. But that just may be what makes it such a unique book …. You should give this book a shot just see if you’re one of the unique readers that will become an instant fan.”
—Lynn Cunningham, Fresh Fiction
“No holds barred reading, 37 Stories About 37 Women is an enticing read that should prove hard to put down.”
—Midwest Book Review
“Murky, lascivious tales of sex, relationships and addiction.”
They lurk in cyberspace, inhabit the cubicle next to yours. They seduce you, enslave you, lie to you, take your money. And you let them, because they give you what you want, what you crave. Or you think you can save them.
The stories in Am I Pleasing You? are roiling with men and women addicted to sex, drugs, alcohol, love, pain … whatever makes them feel alive. And, little by little, you begin to “get” them, too, can’t avert your eyes from the runaway trains of their lives as they whiz past.
In Am I Pleasing You? it’s just a stumble or two from the wild party to the homeless shelter.
Says Whitney, “I’ve always been drawn to the crazy people—those that are considered strange or perverted. There’s so much darkness in so many minds, and everyone goes through their lives trying to hide it. These stories are about not hiding it. Even though I’m writing about the dark stuff, that’s not all there is to these characters. Everyone I meet is damaged in some way. Love isn’t simple. Just because someone does horrible things to you doesn’t mean you stop loving them. And you can do horrible things to someone and still love them completely.”
Brian Whitney has been a counselor, a landscaper, and a case worker at a homeless shelter. His interests include ruminating, perseverating and hanging out in bad places. If you have a Great Dane he will like you immediately. Brian has published two other books, Wasted Paradise (Club Lighthouse Publishing, 2013) and 37 Stories About 37 Women (Fanny Press, 2012). You can find him online at whitney.fannypress.com.
Keep Reading for an excerpt from the story: “Romance”:
So most people, when they say they want to slit their ex–girlfriend’s throat, you know what to do.
I mean it isn’t cool either way. Let’s be clear. Threatening to kill someone = not cool.
But you know it happens. Guys act that way at times. I don’t say shit like that. It’s uncouth. But some dudes do. And when they do it’s pretty easy to tell when they are somehow thinking that it’s funny. You know “I am gonna kill that bitch.” Ha. Ha. Ha. Yeah. Funny.
The other type is the one you call the cops on. Like, “Whoa, this dude is going to kill his girlfriend.” You can’t let that ride. Right?
But with Sean I can’t tell. He has said it about three times, “I want to slit her fucking throat” and I go, “Dude, you aren’t serious right?” But still I can’t tell. He usually says it when we are hanging out in the back of the homeless shelter. We work there. We aren’t homeless. Yet.
He is working there now because he lost his other job due to the restraining order out against him. Yeah, you guessed it, the chick who had it issued is the one he is threatening to kill.
My advice is that they get back together.
Hear me out.
So first, here is a little bit about Sean. Good looking, a former minor league baseball player, has banged about 150 women. He told me this. I believe him.
Sean used to work with his ex. He did child protective work. Yeah, really. She became his girlfriend. His obsession.
During this time Sean fucked a lot of women. He would ask me to fuck the women with him—I declined—and he often had whatever chick-he-was-screwing’s bank card with him. He was always broke. His phone was always being shut off. He used to bang this middle-aged chick with granny hair so he could do his laundry at her place. But for some reason there were all these women and then there was Heather, Sean’s ex. All these other women were fools for him, but he was a fool for Heather. And that seemed to drive him wild.
When I met him he was sober. I swear that if he wasn’t—if I had met him when he was partying—I never would have suggested what I did.
Sean could not drink because he was on probation for an OUI. An OUI he was charged with for driving over to Heather’s one night to see who she was fucking. He knew she was fucking someone. He knew she was lying to him about it. He was trying to get in, being loud, when the cops showed up. They arrested him with OUI because he drove over there. Of course the case all depended on her testimony. If she said he had been drinking over at her house and that he hadn’t just driven there, the case would not exist. The next day she put a restraining order out on him.
So he quit his job. He quit a job where he was making about $45,000 a year. He had to. He worked with her. He was humiliated. He was panicked.
He got a job at the shelter for around twenty-five grand a year.
Sean doesn’t drink anymore. He can’t. Bail conditions. He doesn’t drive. He rides his bike to work. He stacks chairs at the end of the day so the janitors can buff the floor. Sometimes the chairs have urine on them, other times they don’t. He does security in the soup kitchen and throws people out who are unruly. He wants to die.
He was sober. He had to be because of bail conditions. I didn’t know him when he was partying.
So anyway, hear me out ….