When Dain Galdikas discovers his wife’s infidelity, he doesn’t confront her with her duplicity. He decides to go back in time to murder his wife’s mother in an effort to prevent the birth of his philandering wife. When he confronts his wife’s mother, a beautiful and sexy married woman, he finds he can’t go through with his original plan. Instead, he seduces her, but returns to his own present to find his wife still in the arms of another woman.
His actions draw the attention of the Messiah, who attempts to save Dain’s eternal soul. But Dain returns to the past again and again in an attempt to change his present circumstances, in time becoming obsessed with his wife’s mother, returning each time to 2014 to find slight alterations in his present, but always his wife continues to torment him with her betrayal.
Will Dain ever be able to undo the pain she’s caused him?
Forever a Philanderer is my new work in progress.
If you could go back in time, what would you do? Prevent the crucifixion of Christ? Maybe kill Hitler before he comes to power?
If your spouse committed the ultimate act of treason, perhaps you’d return to the past to murder their mother, thereby erasing their existence in your present. But would it erase your pain, or simply serve as the ultimate act of revenge?
For Forever a Philanderer, I once again explore the paradox of time travel: how undoing events in the past affect that past’s future, as well as how obsession can be our undoing. It is also my most provocative and graphic novel to date.
Below is a short excerpt.
“All movements go too far.”
Dain Galdikas didn’t have to watch very long: glistening perspiration, thrashing of naked limbs, the thrusting of a pelvis, soft moans and unrestrained squeals, the calling out of a name that wasn’t his.
He closed the lid of his laptop. There was Betty Boop, and then there was Betty Bitch. Dain’s wife had just become the latter.
Dain began to suspect Betty was having an affair a few weeks ago, when their sex life changed. After ten years of marriage one expects subtle changes in marital relationships as well as relations. But Dain had worked hard to keep his marriage fresh. He kept in the forefront of his mind what it was that first drew him to Betty. He maintained date nights, brought home flowers for no better reason than Betty loved them, cooked occasional meals because, frankly, he was better in the kitchen than she. He rubbed her feet at the end of the day, and did little things for her because he understood that marriage wasn’t for him. Foreplay began with breakfast in bed on Sunday morning, loving words throughout the day, a caress here, a kiss there, a romantic candlelit massage in the evening… it was all about her and the anticipation.
Prior to their wedding, a marriage counselor asked how Dain would feel about being told “no” to sex. He told the counselor that he didn’t expect to have to ask. Given the aforementioned foreplay, Dain suspected that he’d know whether Betty was in the mood—“the rhythm’s gonna put the woman in the mood, now you definitely want to…”
It was in giving that Dain received: the warm and sensitive man every woman claims to want only to, apparently, dump him in the end for the bad boy.
If that sounds strange, that marriage wasn’t for Dain, consider that successful marriages are those where both partners understand that the contract is for the other person. When one partner sees it as only about themselves, when one begins to take instead of give, the deal is doomed.
That didn’t happen with Betty, that Dain sensed she was taking or that she was taking him for granted. But something changed in their physical relationship. It was subtle: her touches seemed more decidedly obligatory—the mother’s lesson imparted to the new bride that sex was a necessary evil, her duty to spread her legs and allow the husband to get the dirty deed done; that the sooner she got pregnant, the sooner he would leave her alone in the dark—and she seemed to retreat from his touch, as well as his caress in the sanctuary of their bedroom.
When he noticed that she was arriving home later and more often, he asked her if everything was all right. He wasn’t a mind reader. If Betty wasn’t getting something from him that she needed, and she didn’t communicate to him what that something was, then he felt accountable for asking. She replied only that everything was fine. Then, instead of telling him, “Thank you. You’re a dear for asking,” she only sighed. So he pushed her—not hard, simply a nudge:
“Everything okay at work? You seem to be coming home later more often.”
Betty sighed again and told him she was feeling stressed. “I have a major project that’s nearing deadline, and it’s not going well.”
“Well, if there’s anything I can do to help,” Dain said.
Betty remained silent and went to bed early, turning down Dain’s offer to massage away her stressful day.
Convinced her sighs were hiding something, and dreading what he might learn was behind them, Dain hired a private detective to follow her after she left work. It didn’t take long. On the morning after his second night on the job, Dain got a call from Deke the private dick:
“You’re not going to like it.”
Dain gave his own sigh into the phone, then told Deke to stop by his office to present the evidence.
After Deke left, Dain dropped the disk into his laptop’s drive and watched, amazed by the clarity of Deke’s video, shot with his cell phone through the window of a seedy motel on Eight Mile Road near Woodward Avenue—an area of town noted for its topless bars, purveyors of triple-X rated DVDs, streetwalkers, and filthy motels for which patrons paid by the hour. Dain’s mouth went dry as his suspicions were confirmed.
You’re not going to like it was a gross understatement. What Dain hadn’t counted on was that Betty’s lover was another woman.
Another man might’ve felt excluded and popped a woody at the thought of a threesome that included a woman with different hair color and body type than his wife—like Mike Stivic on All in the Family, the episode in which he wanted Gloria to wear a black wig to bed so that he could, in Gloria’s words, “be able to mess around with a different girl without cheating on your wife.” That other man might’ve asked his wife if he could join Betty and her lover. But Dain wasn’t another man. Like his countryman Karolis Bučinskis, Dain was Lithuanian. Because of the House Un-American Activities Committee proceedings in 1954, and at the suggestion of his agent who feared that an Eastern European surname might damage his career, Bučinskis changed his name to Charles Bronson, taking the name from the Bronson Gate at Paramount Studios. Bronson of course became a major box office draw after his appearance in The Magnificent Seven, a movie in which he was cast as one of the seven gunfighters, Bernardo O’Reilly, not because he looked at all like an O’Irishman. Although Bronson married three times, Dain fancied himself a one-woman man. The idea of a life-long partner appealed to him, a rarity in the twenty-first century. Betty changed that, and he hated her for it. She would pay. How she would pay Dain didn’t yet know, but she would pay, and dearly.