Wednesday, July 27

From Trout Fishing in America, by Richard Brautigan:

I had walked for miles and miles until I came to the rock under the tree and sat down. Every time a car would come by, about once every ten minutes, I would get up and stick out my thumb as if it were a bunch of bananas and then sit back down on the rock again.

The old shack had a tin roof colored reddish by years of wear, like a hat worn under the guillotine. A corner of the roof was loose and a hot wind blew down the river and the loose corner clanged in the wind.

A car went by. An old couple. The car almost swerved off the road and into the river. I guess they didn't see many hitchhikers up there. The car went around the corner with both of them looking back at me.

I had nothing else to do, so I caught salmon flies in my landing net. I made up my own game. It went like this: I couldn't chase after them. I had to let them fly to me. It was something to do with my mind. I caught six.

A little ways up from the shack was an outhouse with its door flung violently open. The inside of the outhouse was exposed like a human face and the outhouse seemed to say, "The old guy who built me crapped in here 9,745 times and he's dead now and I don't want anyone else to touch me. He was a good guy. He built me with loving care. Leave me alone. I'm a monument now to a good ass gone under. There's no mystery here. That's why the door's open. If you have to crap, go in the bushes like the deer."

"Fuck you," I said to the outhouse. "All I want is a ride down the river."