Philip K Dick
I just re-read Steinbeck’s “Travels With Charley”.
First time I read it, or thought I had read it, was when I was about 7. It was in Readers Digest. My motherly have missed issue of Life and The Post but she never missed an issue of Readers Digest.
She followed Readers Digest scrupulously because of the jokes.She read the Digest jokes only as research. At least twice a week my mother sent in jokes to them. They paid $25.00 if they printed your joke. Which meant that every day my mother would rush to check the mail, flipping through all the envelopes searching for the golden $25 check from Readers Digest. I think it was a check that would have justified her life.
“Humor In Uniform”, “Life In These United States” etc etc. She told horribly embarrassing stories on herself, such as how horrified she was in the army hospital when the nurse brought me to her as a new born. She was fifteen and thought I was the ugliest thing she had ever seen. She wanted to hide me from the world.
For some obvious reasons Readers Digest never published any of my mother’s jokes. That didn’t stop her from sending them in and running to get the mail searching for the check that for $25 that would save and justify her life.
She was never discouraged. The closest she ever came to discouraged, or to reality, was instead of sending in dozens of envelopes with each of her real life anecdotes she would print them on Big Chief notebook paper, each page clearly identified as to where she thought the jokes belonged; “Life In These United States”, Humor in Uniform” etc. and send them in a single envelope.
When Flash Comics published one of my letters she enlarged it, xeroxed it, framed it and hung it in the hallway by the bathroom door. She’d look at it and mutter, “footprints on the sands of time. . . “
1) The Mother And The Whore
2) The Man From Nowhere
3) The Naked Spur
4) Tom Yum Gum
5) The Unforgiven
8) The Fight of the Century
9) Charlie Varrick
10) Ride Lonesome
Everyday has become too much the same. Coffee, shower, walk the dogs . . . always with the same thoughts going through my head; the shaving ritual, the books read and considered, the state I’m in. Always the same. Not really mundane but the point and purpose.
It’s why stories get more important each and every day. The chance to feel again.
I’ve done a lot. more than most. Seen a lot, been through a lot. You have to live in the now and looking back at the past is always only beneficial when trying to understand the reasons for the now. Even when it’s pleasurable and even when its tragic. I think the pleasurable is the worse. Pleasure can trap you in places you don’t need to be in.