VV sent me this for my birthday. On the inside cover, she wrote, “Consider this a trade for Trout Fishing, which will take me the rest of my life to read.” Which was fairly apt for my experience reading this. My birthday was in November, it’s February now, so almost three full months. I should’ve seen the delay coming. My first note reads, “Not sure Brautigan’s what I’m looking for right now. Need speed and aggression, not quirky pastorality. But it’s short stories and I have to get up early for work tomorrow.” It never really became what I wanted.
“He was selling a vision of eternal oranges and sunshine door to door in a lad where people ate apples and it rained a lot.” This is the sort of means-everything/means-nothing non-sequitor sentence I yearn to get away with writing, but never will.
Image of a man finding a man who has died while burying his money is quite funny. But the self-centeredness of needing to write a story about standing in line at a bank, and how much of an inconvenience it is, is such a hippie thing to do.
“innocent people who talk to the movies because the movies are just as real as anything else that has ever happened to them.” Are the movies too real, or their lives not real enough?
“he looked as if the only mail he had ever gotten in his life were bills.” Brautigan is a series of images and if the images affect you, personally, enough, you trick yourself into thinking it’s a good story, but there are no stories. It’s a fucking poem.
(Those two quotes both came from the same story.)
“I stared at the watercress in the creek. It looked wealthy. Whenever I see watercress, which isn’t very often, I think of the rich. I think they are the only people who can afford it and they use watercress in exotic recipes that they keep hidden in vaults from the poor.” Um, it’s growing, free for the taking, right in front of you. Good image though. (I know watercress is pricey.)
Finished reading as dinner came out of the oven, which feels like a Brautigan moment.