Slip Sliding Away

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Release Date: March 2014
Author: Sean Mulcahy
ISBN Paperback: 978-1-935460-66-4
ISBN eBook: 978-1-935460-67-1
LCCN: 2013951283
Edited by: Ti Locke
Cover Artist: Stephanie Flint
Pages: 148

Recession. Unemployment. Student loan debt. Moving back home. This is the rude “welcome to adulthood” that college graduate Michael Reilly is striving to come to terms with—just like so many other Millennials.

Now living with his father and stepmother, the only work he can find is a part-time retail job at the local mall. With few prospects, a failed romance and nothing but time on his hands, alcohol is fast becoming his only source of comfort.

When his older brother is called back up to serve a third tour of duty in Iraq, Michael heads down to New Jersey to say goodbye—possibly for the last time—hoping to send his brother off with a wild weekend party. But his growing depression and frustration with his situation lead to dramatic and unexpected confrontations with his past—and his uncertain future.

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“Take a road trip with Michael Reilly, the Holden Caulfield for today’s disillusioned Millennials. Slip Sliding Away vividly portrays a young poet’s risible & poignant post-graduate launch into life (a four-letter word), aided and abetted by family situations, sex, booze, and rock & roll.”Kaye George, author, Eine Kleine Murder, the Imogene Duckworthy series and Death in the Time of Ice

“Sean Mulcahy’s debut novel is a hard-driving story fueled by the angst and honesty of Michael Reilly, a native New Jersey Millennial stuck in Vermont with his father and stepmother.  Mulcahy presents a candid and distressing view of the pressures faced by new adults who played by the rules, only to discover that current economic and political realities no longer value those efforts.”James M. Jackson, author, Seamus McCree series and One Trick at a Time: How to Start Winning at Bridge

These links were provided to online performances of the musical pieces mentioned in Slip Sliding Away by author Sean Mulcahy. If you’d like to get an feel of the mood suggested by each of them as you read the book, click the links and listen.

ChapterTitlePerformed By
1Blue Rondo a la TurkDave Brubeck Quartet
2Eve of DestructionBarry McGuire
2Mr. CellophaneFred Ebb & John Kander
3Subterranean Homesick BluesBob Dylan
4Mission: ImpossibleLalo Schifrin, Music from Mission: Impossible
5El Cuarto de TulaBuena Vista Social Club
5Concierto de AranjuezJoaquín Rodrigo
6American PieDon McLean
7RippleThe Grateful Dead
7Truckin'The Grateful Dead
7Further to FlyPaul Simon
7Obvious ChildPaul Simon
7Up Around the BendCreedence Clearwater Revival
7Stuck Inside of Mobile with the Memphis Blues AgainBob Dylan
7Blinded by the LightBruce Springsteen
8Son of a Preacher ManDusty Springfield
850 Ways to Leave Your LoverPaul Simon
8Girls Have ExpensesStephanie White & the New Jersey Philth Harmonic
8Drunken LullabiesFlogging Molly
8Us and ThemPink Floyd
9Won't Get Fooled AgainThe Who
9Pleasant Valley SundayThe Monkees
9I am the WalrusThe Beatles
9Got to Get You into My LifeThe Beatles
10 Night MovesBob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band
10Light My FireThe Doors
10Riders on the StormThe Doors
10Walk on the Wild SideLou Reed
10The JokerSteve Miller Band
11Shaman's BluesThe Doors
11People are StrangeThe Doors
11Don't Stop Believin'Journey
11Yellow SubmarineThe Beatles
11Still Crazy After All These YearsPaul Simon
11December, 1963 (Oh, What a Night)The Four Seasons
12Piano ManBilly Joel
12Combination Pizza Hut & Taco BellDas Racist
12Sunshine HighwayDropkick Murphys
12Turn the PageBob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band
13Glory DaysBruce Springsteen
13Can't You SeeThe Marshall Tucker Band
14Mr. Tambourine ManBob Dylan
14Against the WindBob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band
14Old Friends/BookendsSimon & Garfunkel
15Everybody's Talkin'Harry Nilsson
15Slip Sliding AwayPaul Simon
15Scenes from an Italian RestaurantBilly Joel
15Only the Good Die YoungBilly Joel
15You May be RightBilly Joel
15St. Judy's CometPaul Simon
15PBS Pete Seeger SpecialAmerican Masters Series
15PBS Paul Simon SpecialAmerican Masters Series
15Remember (Christmas)Harry Nilsson
16MargaritavilleJimmy Buffett
16Heroes & VillainsBrian Wilson
16Mother & Child ReunionPaul Simon

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Life. A four letter word. Summer rain runs down my windowsill as dreary spring anoints a wet summer, steadily mystifying the Green Mountains. Familiar poses identify my state: an old notebook resting on my lap and my feet stretching limply into the basket of clothes I’ve neglected to fold. Two empty bottles of Bass Ale signal my downfall. As my eyes glaze around the room, and Blue Rondo a La Turk shuffles onto my iPod, I drift through dreams of Pulitzers and fame.

I’m in life-block, which is like writer’s block except that this mental malfeasance sucks the joy out of all existence. It’s pathetic—I’ve been struggling but find myself inconsolably uninspired, still waiting for the “right moment” to hit me as the beer bottles pile up. I call myself a poet, but the only ideas I come up with are infantile little jingles, quick and catchy. I try to hide meaning in the lyrics but they are as shallow and dirty as the puddle in my driveway. These jingles of mine are easier to compose than any serious attempts at writing.

I hoped the booze and daydreaming would calm my nerves for a few hours, but the elephant in the room is stamping its feet. Tomorrow I’ll be making the six-hour trip back to New Jersey on family business. I wouldn’t mind the hours by myself but meandering in and out of dreams while driving could certainly end badly. Wouldn’t that be ironic? A boy who spent life with his head in the clouds plummets back to earth at 75 mph. I wonder if they’d print that in my obit?

That reminds me… I want to be burned, not planted. I have no plans to become the mess hall for a bunch of free-loading maggots. Any friends and family that still remained would gather on a beach, do a shot of Irish
whiskey and cast a handful of my ashes into the water at sunset. I fully expect my people to mourn in the Irish tradition—and by that I mean get hammered.

Death permeates my thoughts these days. Aside from concern about my own mortality, I keep dreaming about a woman from my past, a woman I lost. And while it’s been many years now…

But no more of that. If I start telling her story again, I may very well tumble off the deep end.