A Random Day

A 47-year old Nabokov paperback for four bucks. Never cut. Never read.

A man in a loincloth steps out of his RV with his mutt and throws bread into the rain for the gulls. They swarm around him and don’t let a single crust hit the ground.

I recently sat across the table from a 75-year-old Oregon poet who has written a collection of Oregon-themed poems of extraordinary vitality. We must find a way to publish them.

A woman told me she is saving her tips for a special meat order to fill her freezer.

I grow weary of celebrities leading our civic discourse.

A man orders a shot of whiskey and a shot of tequila and a beer. He says George Clooney has a a new brand of tequila on the market. He says robots are taking over. He says his uncle buys wrist watches on QVC and then sells them to his friends. He says he wants to own a Rolex.

I saw an orange feral cat at the jetty. He was nicked up and looked straight into my eyes. I’m not a cat man but I almost became one. I had a chance to save a sentient being and failed.

There is a lower to middle class, largely white, diaspora going on, in the cities, in the small towns, in the incorporated rural areas, people leaving the rat race to nowhere, to check out. I have witnessed it everywhere I look. It’s been somewhat reported in the news media, but mostly in connection with the opiod epidemic. Many of the people of this diaspora are bringing their dogs and cats with them. They are rustling up ancient RVs building makeshift shelters. They have stopped working. If they don’t find shelter, they are going to fade away. They are not Tom Joads. They are not On The Road. They are something entirely new in our unique history of transiency.

There is the next great American novel in this diaspora. I sometimes think I am the only writer noticing this but I could be wrong. I don’t believe the talent of a novelist resides within me to handle this material, but if I join the diaspora as a kind of reverse Nick Carraway observing the underclass, perhaps it would emerge.

You can’t help but notice this novel when a man in a loincloth feeds gulls outside his RV and he was happy doing so. It was raining, too, and the man was exuding tinges of a Raymond Carver character, but just tinges. I wonder what Carver would have made of him in a short story.

(If you found this post enjoyable, thought provoking or enlightening, please consider supporting a writer at work by making a financial contribution to this blog or by purchasing an NSP book.)