As a teenager, Axel who had a near death out of body experience recounts his often wild and unpredictable odyssey from LA to San Francisco to find himself. From the mansions and celebrities in the Hollywood Hills to the Greek islands, our hero a writer and failed fortune hunter encounters not only waking dreams and visions, but an array of memorable characters, including Sandra the buxom massage therapist, the toymaker and his android, the sexy Harem girl, Jacoline the erotic prima donna—and Uncle Jack, the great Zen master artist who becomes Axel’s mentor.
Will Axel find his calling? Will our hero escape the drug addled high life of Tinseltown. Will he break free from the nefarious clutches of wealthy Madame Defarge the demented new age dowager, or end up floating dead in the mansion pool like William Holden in the film, Sunset Boulevard? Show Less
ACT I: LAY WAY OVER
I’m wary when certain people call me, Sir.
“My name is Axel,” I said.
Her eagerness and thirst for knowledge about my canine status were not in my best interests.
“Mister Axel,” she said.
“No. Axel is my first name.”
She held a printout of passenger names and scanned the list. “Mister Lent, Sir …”
“Axel … call me Axel.” I remained calm.
She forced a smile.
It was four o’clock in the afternoon in Kansas City, my stopover from Los Angeles to Newark. A few people had plopped down their carry on bags and took seats in the waiting area.
“Yes, I am the man with the dog,” I admitted. I was dog-tired, but no accidental tourist.
Harry, my five-pound Yorkshire Terrier, was asleep in the nylon tote on the seat in front of me. He was a good traveler born of urbane breeding.
“Where is the dog, Sir?” she said, her pert self-turning curt.
Axel. Mister Lent. Axel Lent. Call me anything but Sir. It was hopeless.
I had left the tote loosely cinched so Harry could breathe. As if on cue, Harry awoke, stuck his cute face up, small wet black nose sniffing, brown eyes darting, and sparkling through his blond and dark bangs in the bright lights of the terminal. He resembled a miniature and debonair Ewok, the bear-like creature from the film Star Wars: Return of the Jedi.
The airline attendant stared at Harry in the flimsy nylon tote, then lifted her eyes. I was now the object of her suspicion. An odd grimace formed on her otherwise pleasant Flying Nun face.
“Would you please wait here, Sir,” she said. “I have to call my supervisor.”
“Yes,” I said, feeling more numb than calm.
As “Sally” rushed off, a beautiful fortyish blonde woman dressed in expensive clothing, possibly au couture, ran up to me. The woman kept checking her watch like the white rabbit in Alice in Wonderland who was late for a very important date.
“Is there a Starbucks in this god-forsaken airport?” said the high-strung blonde.
I shrugged, then looked around.
“That could be one there.” I pointed to a Starbucks signature green-type awning in the distance.
The fidgety lady blonde turned on her stiletto heels, which somehow didn’t snap off, and peered across the long row of shops and restaurants until she saw the awning. Before taking off into the din of the terminal, she took a breath of relief.
“Thanks and what a cute doggie, and you’re not so bad, either.”
A caffeine rush sounded luxurious. I was beat. Starbucks beckoned. I was ready to follow the fashionable femme for a cappuccino, but the zealous airline gal was detaining me. I was the man with the dog. My airport drama had begun