Neighbors Behaving Badly

There are few things in life worse than your next door neighbor hating you, and you hating him. It’s not just a one day thing, it’s every day. Whenever they drive by you have to feel that anxiety, and on and on for weeks, months and even years. I hope I never experience that but […]

Ed & Me

Why does Ed Denson get to eat hamburgers, french fries, and a milk shake and I don’t? Why does Ed get to live for now, eat anything he wants, and I have to worry about the future? Unlike the rest of us nobodies Ed is a Somebody. When people were posting birthday greetings on his […]

New York

I was walking down the street with my friend and a guy asked us for money.

“I can give you some food,” I said. He walked on, then turned back and said, “You got a samwich?”

Outbreak: The Heartbreak Of Psoriasis

This winter of my discontent reminds me of my last health crisis about seven years ago when the scourge of psoriasis inhabited me. I had to take oatmeal baths twice a day to combat the itch and wear gloves and socks to bed so I wouldn’t scratch myself bloody at night. I walked around town […]

Summer of 72

My friends and I were renting an old farmhouse in Solsbury, Indiana for $45 a month, ice cream cones were five cents in the little store down the road. I was almost eighteen and felt pretty lost in those days finding momentary solace smoking a joint sitting on the defunct tractor out in the field […]

Travelers Then & Now

When I see the travelers on the street today I think about how different it was when us hippies poured into Garberville in the early 70s alarming and annoying the rednecks with our casual airs and long hairs. We didn’t have cell phones or dogs and after an hour or so in town buying a […]

One Stump Town

He was a mean ugly slumlord, pushing 80 with a big chip on his shoulder. Every week he drove his old yellow van into town to pick up groceries that grew rancid on the shelves of his country store in downtown Whitethorn. He also bought hot items from the junkies and thieves, usually paying too […]

My Roller Derby Date

After Roller Derby in Eureka, after lots of sushi and sake in Arcata, after she drove home to Trinidad at 11pm I walked around the corner to the Arcata Hotel where I found a No Vacancy sign, oops, I had not really thought this out. I sat in the car wondering if I was drunk […]

Mexico Roadblock

I still don’t know why I blew through that checkpoint outside Mazatlan on my last drive North up through Mexico even though the police went out in the middle of the road with his machine gun motioning me to stop. I exited onto the autopista (superhighway) and sure enough soon noticed flashing red and blue […]

Goodbye Fort Wayne

I sat in my dad’s house, empty except for a chair and the phone. It had taken me weeks to sort it out, clear it out, give a lot away, ship books, letters, photos, and throw the rest out. Most of the time I languished at the Firefly coffee shop nearby trying to get organized […]

An Afternoon With Sherman Alexie

There was a crowd gathering outside the College of the Redwoods auditorium, we had all come to hear one of my literary heroes Sherman Alexie give his talk. Indian kids had been bussed in from Hoopa and other areas, financed by the casinos, and as we filed in there was an adolescent buzz, most of […]