Olympia had been designated as the “Chloe Sevigny of her generation.” She was the girl everyone wanted to succeed so they could watch her fail and collapse. She disappointed on that front; rather than collapse, she just faded from view.
Lola looked at the ceiling for a moment, then at the new abstract painting, then sipped his martini. “Like that painting over there, we all harbor our complexities, Hopper,” he said.
The movie adaptation of Hopper’s first book had been sidetracked when Reese Witherspoon fell in love with his sister Olympia’s fake journal. “The whole story about 'Astrid' may be a lie,” Reese told Olympia’s mother, “but it is a brilliant, well-told lie by a representative of the new feminist literary wave.”
Hopper believed that his parents had agreed between themselves to use the phrase “My son, the bestselling author” whenever discussing or introducing him. Hopper had heard these five words uttered in the same adoring tone hundreds of times. Now his mother got to add, “I’m adapting my son’s bestselling book for the screen.”
“A friend of mine recorded an audio tour of the church,” she said. “You play a cassette tape, and you can follow along to learn about which popstars were discovered in which bathroom in the eighties, who f**ked who in which bathroom in the nineties, and which drug dealer was arrested in which bathroom in this decade.”
“Never, tyrant!” Silver shouted as she thrust the blade of a paring knife into his back, just below the right scapula. Hopper turned around, the knife still stuck in his back, and shouted, “Jesus, Silver! You could have just played rock, paper, scissors for it.” Silver shrugged her shoulders.
"Ulysses" is a novella set in New York City on Bloomsday in the year 2022. We follow Hopper Tilley-Blandin, a successful author and unsuccessful husband, as he travels by foot through Manhattan to find peace with his family and his past and to recognize and confront his future.
Hopper felt safe walking around in public with a face covering. He liked the anonymity he assumed by covering half of his face. He felt immune from being accosted by the harbingers of past mistakes who could not recognize him behind his mask.
At that moment, Hopper Tilley-Blandin was feeling mostly…annoyance. Once again -- in his mind -- his mother and his younger sisters Olympia and Silver had foisted upon him an act of fealty to a family whose ties were fraying following his parents’ sudden divorce and his father’s subsequent, freakish death.