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The Angry Buddhist excerpt

The Angry Buddhist excerpt

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Published by scprweb
By Seth Greenland
By Seth Greenland

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Published by: scprweb on May 22, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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The Angry Buddhist
a novel
Seth Greenland
Everyone knows that when a certain kind of single American female on a Mexicanholiday drinks too much tequila she will get a tattoo. And when she is in a sybariticseaside town like Puerto Vallarta with a girlfriend, they will get matching ones. Thewomen in question were an attractive pair. They had fallen into the sensual thrall of Mexico for nearly a week and into the sensual
thrall of each other’s arms
whenever thedoor closed behind them in their cliff top hotel just north of a curving, white sand beachringed by gentle green hills. They were visiting from the dry precincts of the MojaveDesert in Southern California and the aromatic salt breezes wafting in off the PacificOcean released the gossamer ribbons binding all of their
inhibitions.The single woman, lithe, alluring and in her early twenties, and her married lover, twodecades older but no less attractive, had spent the warm early December days playingtennis, tanning beneath deferential palms, splashing in the turquoise waters, and chasingthe flavorful local seafood with endless pitchers of margaritas, each night at a differentlocal bar that catered to the crowds of well-to-do tourists who flocked to these shoreseach winter. And every evening, pleasantly buzzed, they would stroll back to their hotel,past Tango Tattoo, a raffish place nestled between a florist and a souvenir shop, whichdisplayed a sign in English that read
Your Design or Ours.
The drawings offered by theartisans at Tango drew inspiration from the locale and featured a variety of mythological,architectural, and religious motifs borrowed from indigenous culture. Mayan, Incan andAztec creatures vied for space on the tattoo parlor walls with, skulls, serpents and saints,Day of the Dead-inspired designs proliferated alongside popular cartoon characters and
flowers of such vivid reds and yellows, they seemed to emit a scent.Intoxicated by the combination of anonymity and alcohol, the women would dare eachother to step inside and each time they would laugh and keep walking. But this was theirlast night before they would take the plane back to Los Angeles, the connecting flight toPalm Springs, and car rides back to their separate lives. The holiday had been a lark,taken at the behest of the single woman and paid for by the married one, whose husbandthought she was deserving of a break with a girlfriend and remained unaware of his
wife’s Sapphic procliviti
es. Their revels now were ending and this finality lent a sense of portent not evident in the course of the previous week. The married woman was nothappily married and this splash of freedom had been mitigated by her knowledge of itsimpermanence. She was going to be returning to her family the next day; running off withanother woman, making the kind of drastic change that most people never evencontemplate, was simply not in her character. But the thought of commemorating thisweek of liberty with nothing more than some photographs to be stared at forlornly,
accompanied by the sounds of her husband’s snoring, nearly made the wedded woman
weep.For the unmarried, a tattoo acquired on a Mexican holiday requires no explanation. Amarried person vacationing without their spouse has no such luxury. Upon the returnhome, there will be an unavoidable moment of reckoning when the human canvas canonly hope that the body art will find favor. So credit her for crossing the threshold of thetattoo parlor, where she hesitated, second-guessing her impulse until her lover suggestedthat they get matching tattoos. If I get one, the younger woman had asked, will you? If I
 pull up my white linen skirt and let this tattoo artist do his magic, won’t you?
Whether it

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