a novel of connected short stories
NYC 2020: Daydreaming philosopher Zeus Neon Woodson falls in love with Candy and in trouble with her heavenly Father, a member of The D.O.C. (Defenders of Christ), an emerging, yet secretive, religious force in America. His search for meaning intersects with Roosevelt’s poetic graffiti, Della’s provocative silence, and Suma’s literary forgeries—and reaches the horizon on a cold Wednesday night.
a detailed SYNOPSIS
The architecture of the book is designed with two types of scaffolding.
1) Communal Penance: Two years ago there was a major security breach that continues to affect the majority of Americans. It keeps exposed their most intimate and embarrassing secrets to the world. This causes a mass return to religion—a great reawakening. People of all classes want to publicly atone for their sins, even if they’re being disingenuous. Churches of different denominations are emboldened by the financial support of the outed sinners. Cathedrals used to be the tallest buildings in the city, but capitalism rose far beyond belief. Now they are about to reclaim the skies with churches that will pierce the clouds.
2) Divine Curves and the Theology of Charles Mingus: He asserts that God is an entity so complex that He had to break himself up into billions of pieces to figure out who he is—and that we are each one of those pieces. In Wednesday Night Meeting, the four main characters are pieces of me. They each follow the path of different mathematical equations that intersect over the course of the novel.
The story takes place over one week in Manhattan in the year MMXX. The city is under the watch of The D.O.C. (The Defenders of Christ). They are the enigmatic protectors of The Word and the keepers of the newfound believers. They’re concerned that with the increased flock, there’s a greater potential for wandering sheep to influence those on the periphery of the shepherds. They’re keeping a close eye on philosophers, artists, and others who raise questions about God’s omnipotence.
Zeus Neon Woodson is a minor celebrity, playboy, and occasional breakdancer. His recent wealth has taken him all the way up to his penthouse on the top floor of 8 Spruce Street. He is both reaching out to God and contemplating his presence. Early on, he meets Candice Lovinglace at a place called Wax n’ Rax, a lingerie store by day, a dance club by night. Their first conversation revolves around his curiosity about women who wear crosses deep in the valley of their chest. Suma Evers was born in Death Valley and confined to a basement room surrounded by thousands of books. She uses her knowledge of typography and storytelling to forge documents for both work and pleasure. Roosevelt is a poet and prolific graffiti artist who covers the boroughs with his words in the early morning hours. He also runs a newsstand in the East Village that doubles as a cell phone harboring service. Della Crème speaks with her body, not her voice. She’s a performance artist who’s targeted during an outdoor show near her apartment in Harlem.
Wednesday Night Meeting delves into a range of themes: religion and doubt, relationships and intimacy, baseball and jazz, art and fashion, mathematics and minor traffic violations. The story is told from the changing perspectives of the main characters that reveal the interconnectivity of NYC—sometimes the chapters end mid-sentence and are picked up on the next page as the characters pass by each other on the street. There is a concordance of endnotes with integral backstories and details like bar menus, slang dictionary entries, baseball cards, Venn diagrams, and poetic vandalism. The elements of surrealistic fiction mixed with philosophy, comedy, horror, love, and redemption all converge in the closing moments with an intense confrontation during a meeting on a cold Wednesday night in April.
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