He has swallowed enough suffering to never be naively whole again. His entire tragic empire could fit into a cheap drifter suitcase. He is a creature in harmony with the brutal way of the world, and also the recent recipient of a very bad jailhouse haircut.
He had been expecting me. He’d been waiting for me. He wondered (because I was ten minutes late) if I’d had any trouble finding the house. He asked me to clean my shoes on the rug in the hall. I did as he asked, vigorously shuffling my shoes across the rough rug. He asked to see the bottom of my shoes. Slightly humiliated, but desperately in need of a place to live, I held on to the banister at the bottom of the stairs so that I could raise each shoe for his close inspection. He then asked me to wipe my shoes again.
At the bedside ledge is a paperback library where God and salvation and the ghosts of literary kingpins loiter. Faulkner, Melville, Updike, Kafka, Twain and Hunter S. Thompson. Desperadoes all. Together we mock the absurdity of the human race.
And I’ll carry the firm sentiment in my holster that mankind is conceived in ignorance and born into squalor and grief and then it all goes downhill from there.
I’m secretly terrified of waking up one day, frozen stiff in the saddle–a hunch-backed, keg-bellied, bullet-eyed 59-year old jerk with a wicked/sad comb-over who has just spent the last 20 years bingeing on Pringles and pull tabs and second-rate pleasures, wondering how things could have slipped away like this.
My good friend Luke and I were at the Red Stag in NE, Minneapolis, tossing back a couple cold ones when I noticed that there were a couple of young ladies making eyes at me. Now, I’m a man and half-narcissist, but I know enough to let them come to me. After our third beer, […]