Murder, mayhem, deep depression, and an attempt to contact angels or aliens - all in the wake of Oklahoma's oil bust of the 1980's. Germans, plans of apokalypse, a forgotten World War II invention, and the faint possibility of redemption - all a stone's throw from the baitshop and the trailer park.
Blaise Bohrs is a young man who is haunted by the suicide of his father. Can he overcome the temptation to follow in his father's footsteps and listen to the void for the voices of the eternal? What might he hear? Filled with colorful characters, Faustian temptations, and pure Old Testament wrath, Angels and Electrons is a different sort of 'coming of age' novel. PLOVANDO!
My name is Blaise Bohrs. I grew up in the sub-suburbs of an Oklahoma prairie metropolis in the 1980’s. I am in prison and am writing this journal to tell you about my life.
But first I want to posit this: there are no stories of our lives. They're things we try on like gloves, test for the fit, wear for a while, then outgrow and discard. We tell stories about ourselves but finally we just throw them away and the most they ever did was enable us to move between sources of cover.
Having said that, here's my story: My older brother Ben and his wife both had jobs in the first of this community's mega stores back in the early 1980's, and both were in their first year at the closest can't-decide-what-to-do-with-my-life community college, barely launched free from the diminishing inner-city neighborhood my family lived in then, where class-bounding blue-collar dreams blossomed.
My old man was stricter back then and so was hers and these two kids knew they mattered. They had seen friends go bad and didn't want to be losers. At that college barely more than a high school on steroids they studied all day, and then all night they worked at that first mega-bargain department store, wearing smocks and working in mile-high anonymous white aisles, she on the register he stocking shelves. They met sometime just after eleven one night when the other employees were orchestrating hijinks in the wide deserted aisles and both he and she hung back, too shy, and joked with one another to seem too occupied to be called on to participate in the foolishness. They talked about where they were from and where they were going, found that for eighteen years they'd lived in the same working-class neighborhood only three blocks apart; they mentioned their serious studies and their goals, went out that weekend, fell in love and got married six months later, and never looked back with regret. They lived every day still madly in love with each other. They had a nice house, not ostentatious but just right for them, warm, safe. They had a little daughter who really isn't that little anymore, and they were always growing but staying whole and certain of themselves and happy.
It must have been simpler back then. When I was a kid and my older brother would visit he would seem like nothing less or more than a mysterious happy god to me, and he could always outwrestle me with one laughing, easy pin but couldn't chip a golf ball worth a damn, and he got tired of even the most cordial visit by early evening and would shift his big shoulders uncomfortably on the sofa, herd his lovely wife and child into the car and disappear back to the glow of his own warm and orderly enclave in the inner city - a happy, geometric, centered space he understood, a place he could hold complete in his mind all at once.
It was the model I set for myself but it never materialized.
A girl I once loved knew a similar story and she'd tell it to me as we looked out at stars from the back seat of my car, and it was her goal to live up to it so it became mine as well. And she was young and beautiful and smart like the people in the story and I was too. But we were not so lucky and it turned out we had no straight road, and we made it too fast around the first curve and one of us got lost from sight of the other, and if I chose this minute I could get up from this chair and there would be no more waiting, no more watching for her, and everything could be new. But she left and Dad died and I got lost and stuck in time, and then the bad things happened.