The Awakening of Russell Henderson

Every Sunday, I try to post an excerpt from my novel, The Awakening of Russell Henderson. Here’s another. The book is available at

“Retreat? What’s a retreat?”

“I not only committed to work, but also a rigorous meditation schedule, study, and silence.”

“Silence? You’re talking to me now. You texted me. We talked. I don’t understand.”

“I know. I know. I’ve broken my vow. But I had to talk to you. I talked to Rinpoche about it and he encouraged me to contact you. Then to talk to you about — .”

“Who’s this, what, Rinpo . . . who?”

“I’m sorry, Rinpoche is the head of this center. He’s a Tibetan monk and teacher, incredibly smart and compassionate. I love him like a father. He’s helped me before and is helping me now. I can’t disappoint him.”

“Sounds like a cult.”

She pulled away and stood up, glaring at me with venom in her eyes, “Dammit, Russell! I thought you were over all that shit! It is not a fucking cult! When my retreat vow is over, I’m leaving with or without you. So you can fuck off if you want or be with me. I contacted you because he told me to.”

I sat there wide eyed, immediately regretting what I’d just said, “I’m sorry. That was a really dumb thing to say. I’m sorry, really, I’m sorry. Please tell me whatever you want and I’ll shut up.”



“Okay, thank you for your consideration and patience,” she said slowly and deliberately, letting me know to shut up and pay attention. “I have made a fucking vow and I fucking intend to keep it for One! More! Fucking! Month! Get it?! You can stay or Fuck! Off!”

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