MLA Gold Award Site

Excerpt from Disappearing Into View by Andrew K. Stone, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reviews |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

Disappearing Into View

A Novel

by Andrew K. Stone

Disappearing Into View
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • Paperback:
    Nov 2001, 260 pages

  • Rate this book


Buy This Book

About this Book

Print Excerpt


"What's wrong?" Vince asked.

"I'm just not used to this place in the daytime. I'm not used to...to the people."

"Ignore 'em. That's what they do to you, isn't it?"

I snorted.

"What?" he said. "People ignore bums whenever they can. You think I didn't see that bag who wouldn't walk past us? But I would think you'd be able to tune her out the way she tuned you out."

"It doesn't happen like that. She didn't tune me out. She's probably still thinking about me."

"Aren't you flattering yourself a bit?"

"It's true. People feel guilty. They think they should help me - they feel obligated to do something."

"But you make your own way."

"That's right."

"So, why do you give a shit what other people think?"

"Because," I said, "there's no way around it. Their thoughts may stay with them for an hour, a day or may leave them as soon as they pass me, but they always occur. If you look in the people's eyes, you can see it. Sometimes I feel as if I have a whole store of averted eyes in my mind which I could bring out and look at like the world's largest collection of marbles. And they're all the same. Behind each set is the same feeling of guilt. The truth is, I don't care if people pretend to ignore me. And I don't care what they think of me. I just care that they think of me."

Vince cocked his head. The sunlight reflected in his gel, giving his hair the appearance of ice-filled cracks in asphalt. He took a bite from his sandwich and, after chewing, said:

"There's not a lot you can do about it, is there, Birdman? It kind of comes with the territory."

"Yeah, I guess it does."

"Well, you're smart. You'll figure some way out."

"It hasn't happened yet. Not in ten years."

"That how long you been out here?"

"Yes."

He looked at me, up and down. His eyes scraped against my unshaven chin. They watered at the smell of the two mismatched shirts I wore. Over every inch of my body, his eyes roamed, probing like fingers reading Braille. They wondered about the blisters on my feet, how often I ate, what bathrooms I used, and what I did when a bathroom wasn't available. Vince looked at me as no one ever had - not with sympathy, but with genuine interest.

This was frightening and consoling at the same time. I imagined it was not unlike what the young boys on the street felt when the vans came around. Every winter night, city-funded vans cruise the streets in hopes of picking up homeless people and bringing them to the shelters. Some go, but many refuse out of fear. The young kids are the most scared. They know that no matter how cold it might be outside, and how hungry they may be, they're safer on the street than in some shelter where they might be raped or killed. It's not an irrational fear; it happens to the kids. They're defenseless against the bigger, stronger men. I've seen them refuse the van drivers with tears frozen in their eyes. They want to go; they want to believe they will be safe. But despite the guarantee that the pain of freezing and starving will stop, the possibility of a worse pain is enough to make them turn the vans away.

As I bit into the sandwich, I squirmed under Vince's gaze and saw many conflicts arising behind my own eyes. The most prevalent was the same that the young kids felt - the battle between the possible and the guarantee. I tried to fight it, but felt myself slipping. For reasons I wasn't yet aware of, Vince was tempting me and he was backing up his propositions with real guarantees. As I took another bite, I felt myself starting to give in to the guarantees, regardless of the promise I had made to myself ten years ago. I was astonished at my sudden irrational lack of will. I was astonished, too, at how good a turkey sandwich could taste.

Copyright 2001 Andrew K. Stone. All rights reserved. This book, or parts thereof, may not be printed in any form without permission. For permission to reprint this excerpt, please contact www.sotherebooks.com.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Support BookBrowse

Become a Member and discover books that entertain, engage & enlighten!

Join Today!

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
Victoria
by Daisy Goodwin

"A hit…The research is impeccable, the attention to detail, perfect." - The Sunday Mirror (UK)

About the book
Join the discussion!

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    The Second Mrs. Hockaday
    by Susan Rivers

    A love story, a story of racial divide, and a story of the South as it fell in the war.

    Read Member Reviews

Win this book!
Win No Man's Land

No Man's Land
by Simon Tolkien

Inspired by the experiences of his grandfather, J. R. R. Tolkien, during World War I.

Enter

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: A List of Cages
    A List of Cages
    by Robin Roe
    Robin Roe has written one helluva young adult debut novel. Alternating first person narratives by a ...
  • Book Jacket: Homesick for Another World
    Homesick for Another World
    by Ottessa Moshfegh
    The frizzy, freaky, funky, and frazzled all pile on in this much anticipated short story collection ...
  • Book Jacket: Conclave
    Conclave
    by Robert Harris
    Although best known for his fact-based historical thrillers, in Conclave, best-selling author Robert...

Word Play

Solve this clue:

H W S W T Devil S H A L S

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.