Somewhere in Oregon Tavern Age country:
I overhead a story about a man who drank a fifth of Crown, sixer of beer and smoked multiple doobies during a recent crabbing adventure. He apparently lived. (What is it about Crown and this kind of excess? I need to ask my friend Christine, who loves Crown.)
Not too long ago, I found a third dildo on an Oregon Coast beach. Three! That’s got to be a record and there’s got to be a novella in that.
I overheard a line from a bartender: “I grew up on bologna.” Great story starter.
I recently finished Bukowski’s Ham on Rye. I think it’s far and away his best novel and holds up magnificently in a way Updike’s novels do not, could not. Bukowski never yielded. His blunt commentary about the debasement of American life by corporations and conformity is even more relevant today. This was 40-50 years before reality TV and social media and the new glaring debasement that followed. Sure, the woman thing with Bukowski, but I’ve known more women than men who love his writing. Far more. He cut through. He wrote with clarity. He never elevated himself while he wrote of the debasement. His honesty was brutal and without regret or irony.
I wish I had his courage to spill everything I have seen and lived. No equivocation. No parsing. Name names in fiction or memoir…it’s all the same thing. Just spill it all. One day, I think. There is other writing work to do first.
My collection of beaverwood grows.
I’ve met a person with a mobile recording studio. He wants to start a podcast of some kind, with me as the host. I’m considering it. I’d call it The Secret Coast. One segment would be devoted entirely to beaverwood, its realities, mysteries, and metaphors.
I overheard a story from a man who said he was running errands and his girlfriend texted him and said their daughter took a terrible shit and overflowed the diapers. It was his turn to change so he had to come home straight away. He was drinking a beer and gambling when he told this story. He didn’t want to go home, so he stalled for five minutes and then left.
The new bartender has a great voice and wants a typewriter.
I overheard a story about a family’s Thanksgiving plans. They’re gathering in some field, from all over Oregon, coming in trailers, fifth wheels, pop ups, motor homes, you name it. The kids get one rig to themselves, the drunks get another, the Trumpsters get another, and the potheads get a tepee. They’ll occasionally interact at the fire and, of course, the big meal, but only for short time.
I never thought I’d see a bartender drink the detritus from a pitcher of kamikaze jello-shots, but I did. It was green and she guzzled it down.
I overheard a story about a dog that comes into a tavern and plays a kind of pool. Apparently, his master breaks the rack and the dog comes over to the table, puts his paws up, grabs a ball in his mouth and puts it in a pocket! He always runs the table! This, I have got to see. I’ve got to see it in a movie, too.