The Pool Boy’s Beatitude

Sweat Street: Justice in the Street


Contemporary Fiction

In space, the expansion of the universe exceeds the speed of light. In a jail cell the speed of light slows, time ages and deteriorates slowly to a crawl.


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In space, the expansion of the universe exceeds the speed of light. In a jail cell the speed of light slows, time ages and deteriorates slowly to a crawl.

Jack Joseph understands physics. He understands the nature of quarks, leptons, dark matter and the desire to find the God particle. What Jack doesn’t understand is Jack.

He has a Masters degree in particle physics, an ex-wife, a sugar mama, a passion for cooking and chronic dependencies he needs to feed. He cleans pools to maintain this chaotic lifestyle.

Spinning about in a Large Hadron Collider of his own making, the particle known as Jack is about to collide with a particle known as Sarah.

Chapter 1

 If in fact there are aliens from outer space I suspected one had landed on the bar stool next to me, researching the effects of bourbon on the Martian brain.

“I’m not getting anywhere and I’m fucking sick of it,” the Martian said to the bartender.

The bartender poured him another shot and commented out of respect for his customer with typical bartender indifference. “Yeah, it’s tough out there.”

My own observation: Aliens like this Martian made bartending a tough way to earn a living. You had to be a saint, a martyr or a masochist.

The alien downed the shot, slammed the glass down hard and motioned for another. “I’ve fucking had it with the rat race, working my ass off for nothing, being passed over, getting nowhere.”

I took a long drink of beer. Why me? Why on the stool next to me? Why in this bar of all bars? “It’s impossible to be getting anywhere in infinite space,” I said, and set my empty mug up on the bar. I motioned for another, “There’s no place to be getting to.”

The alien looked at me. “I don’t live in outer space. I’ve got a flat on Cass Avenue.”

“Your flat you can get to,” I said, as the bartender approached. “Detroit is a closed manifold. But the universe is infinite, it’s impossible to be getting anywhere. You aren’t the only one not getting anywhere, nothing is.”

“Fuck you.”

“No thanks, I have Elle for that.”

The alien turned away and stared at the neon red Frog Lounge sign in the bar’s window. I wasn’t sure why, but I continued to explain the laws of motion to him. “If you had a Porsche that could go a hundred millions miles an hour and you drove it for a hundred million years and then stopped, you’d be no closer to getting anywhere than you were when you started.”

The bartender laughed as he refilled my glass. “That’s funny. But it makes me feel better about being a going nowhere bartender. What do you do for a living?”

“Pool boy, Elle’s pool boy,” I said.

“I thought maybe you were an astrophysicist or a cosmologist.”

I laughed. “I clean swimming pools.”

“Are you in grad school?”

“No, I’m thirty. I have a Masters in particle physics, did my thesis on pool cleaning.”

“Jim Hines, bartender, degree in Philosophy, minor in lit,” the bartender said.

“Jack Joseph,” I said, extending my hand. “No joke, physics is my game, but pool boy’s my trade. What about you?” I said to the chubby alien, who had loosened his tie and turned to listen.

“Jeff Reamer, logistics analyst.”

“And not getting anywhere,” I added.

“Skipped over for a promotion, he said.”

It was getting late and my head felt even later. I looked at my watch. It was after ten and I did have some pools to clean in the morning. And Elle would be looking for me. “Well, I need to be getting somewhere.”

“Where’s that?” Jeff asked.

“To Elle,” I said.

“Going home to the little woman?” Jeff sniped at me.

“She’s not so little, 36 double D.”

“Does she have a pool that needs cleaning?” Jim asked.

I nodded. “Yeah, there’s a pool.”

Jim wore a huge smile. “The pool must be tended to. Don’t forget to check her chlorine.”

I looked at Jim-the bartender-Hines. I thought for a moment, a long moment. “The pool is covered, closed for the night. There won’t be any swimming.” I nodded at my empty glass.

“What about Elle?”

“She’s afraid of water.”

“Then you might as well swim here, physicist,” Jim said. He poured me another beer.

At eleven-twenty when my cell phone rang, my head was ringing, too. I fumbled to get it out of my pocket, and by the time I did, it had quit. I looked at the recent calls, it was Elle. I should go home to my wife. I should not drink anymore. I should look for a real job. I should do a lot of things. But tonight I wasn’t going to do any of them. I closed the bar with Jeff the logistics analyst and Jim the bartender, and I drove home blind. In the morning I wouldn’t remember driving home. It was not the first time.

Alas! Poor Yuki

“Sweat Street: Justice in the Street”

Sweat Street is a gritty narrative that draws the reader in from the get-go. One minute you’re bouncing along on the rap-poem that opens the book, the next you’re holding your breath over Yuki, her rough-edged life and the dangers all around her. When she witnesses a killing and the bad cops have her on the run, she goes into hiding with a most unusual companion, and the two surprise one another (and themselves) with their degrees of involvement and the goodness at their centers. The story’s not for the faint of heart; it’s compelling, raw writing you can’t easily put down, nor easily forget.

– Donna D. Vitucci

A Love for Wolves Movitated Her Life

“Maggie Elizabeth Harrington”

This is a wonderful book, and I loved it! It has a second book in this series coming out soon! I have a special love and connection to wolves, and I strongly identified with this character Maggie. I think it’s such a tragedy that wolves in the past (late 1800s to early 1900s) have been killed off simply because of a bad rep. The truth is not one healthy wolf has ever killed a human. Maggie finds some wolf pups during the time when a bounty was put out for killing wolves for a reward. It’s the beginning of her role as wolf-protector as a young teen. It’s a beautifully written book, and the description told from the protagonist’s point of view is vivid and lyrical. I can’t wait for the next one. Check it out.

Detroit Dirty Fiction experience that will have you scratching right along ...

“Three Fingered Jack Davis”

DJ Swykert has given us another dark, at times poignant, at times raw to the bone, Detroit Dirty Fiction experience that will have you scratching right along with the addicts he so adeptly brings to life.

Swykert tells it like it is. He pulls no punches as he drags you into the hard hitting, nail biting, fight for life occurring daily on the mean streets of Michigan’s toughest city. DJ Swykert’s brilliant, “no quarter given”, look at the lives of real people fighting for their piece of the American pie is bound to move you in so many ways … it rattled my bones and I’m from Compton. JBB

Diswater blonde with a gun...

“The Death of Anyone”

If you’ve read a Swykert novel, you’ll know what to expect: vivid characters, great dialogue, and raw, titillating material. The author’s experience around police matters is obvious; the story’s details are authentic and believable.

Detroit detective, Bonnie Benham is driven powerfully to track down a brutal child rapist/murderer, all the while struggling with her own demons, and the effects of lost love.

There’s not a boring moment in the book, very fast-paced, no sag in the middle. Highly recommended!


Awesome Story

“The Pool Boy Beatitude”

Wow! This book is so good! I couldn’t put it down.

Jack is an alcoholic. He disappoints everybody around him, especially his wife. She has had enough, and she wants a divorce. He finds himself homeless, penniless, and in dire need of a drink. He has hit bottom and can only go up, and forward. He finds himself facing a chance to rise up from the life he has known. Not one but two chances, both in different directions. But first he has to pay the price of his constant alcoholic state. What path does he choose?

This is such a good story. You’ll find yourself cheering him on, hoping he makes good choices. Don’t miss this one. It’s so worth the time it takes to read it. Great job.

Carole McKee

Modern Noir

“Children of the Enemy”

Children of the Enemy zips along at a quick clip due to a visually graphic, tension-filled plot that kept me turning “just one more page.”

But it’s the juicy characters that make the book sizzle. So many bad guys are featured that I found myself rooting for the least barbaric among them. Even the few good guys are willing to bend their morals and the law.

A bit of sex; a cast of miscreants motivated by greed, power, and vendettas; and a whole lot of violence–readers who like their novels roughed up and riddled with grittiness, will find it all in Children of the Enemy.

Sue Ann Connaughton

A Story that Won't Let you Go

“Alpha Wolves”

This is a story that won’t let you go. The hard lives these people live in a tiny mining town at the turn of the century is depicted very well. You can see everything clearly in your mind movie as you read the book. The book title was misleading. There were no alpha wolves in the story – just one wolf. If the author meant to portray two men as alphas, I didn’t find that. There were times the story was overwritten with repeated phrases and past memories. The ending was satisfying. I’d read a sequel.

Dawn Ireland

Romance in Bits and Bites

“Nude Swimming”

Voices of men propel these stories and flash fictions, and that’s a welcome perspective when it comes to romance. The title, Nude Swimming, is apt as the tales and, yes, the narrators’ voices flow over the reader like water; the women’s voices are even a tad subdued as if our ears are under water.

The tales criss-cross a range of time periods, from World War of the past and into the present of smart phone fascination. They amuse, they subdue, they talk blithely of sex and alcohol, as much as they render a mirror to the miscommunication in relationships. They are commentary. They are an escape.

Donna Vitucci

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