Buddy Hayes is an ugly, defiant little man, a would-be Don Juan trapped in Quasimodo’s body. He lives with his mother and ailing grandfather in a decaying, post-industrial city. The mother is Emily Post with a color changing and a mood-indicating harelip scar. The grandfather is a one-eyed, double amputee, who spends his days happily dangling in a hydraulic patient lift. Their life is a working-class hallucination of blueblood extravagance. They luxuriate over gourmet meals and perform dramatic readings, complete with costumes and prop weaponry. At night, Buddy slips away for covert liaisons with women he meets on the internet. “I’m a connoisseur of the unwanted; a sommelier of deformity; a coveter of the unloved. I am forever chased by the shadow of my ugliness. In darkness, no shadow remains, and it’s all diamonds.”
Buddy is also at war with his neighbor, a “slum empress,” and landlord to nearly all of 1st Street. There’s the question of a stolen artifact. This mysterious item once belonged to Buddy’s family and is now in the hated neighbor’s possession. There are outrageous acts of casual sex. There’s a love interest, an attractive librarian, who tempts Buddy with desires for the “normal” kind of love he knows he cannot have. So it goes, until Buddy’s mother calls a service to assist with the grandfather’s care. They send Terrance: a tall, impossibly handsome black man, a lapsed Broadway performer, virtuoso singer, and banjo player. Naturally, Buddy and Terrance strike up an unlikely friendship that drives Yetto’s surreal, tawdry, and poignant, comedy of errors on acid.
Nick Yetto is making his major literary debut. He started his career as Senior Web Producer for Car and Driver magazine, and has worked as an independent web designer/developer for the past twelve years.