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Part 8 of Trout Fishing in America Analysis

Author: Poetry of Richard Brautigan Type: Poetry Views: 238

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story<font face="Times New Roman"><strong>A RETURN TO THE COVER OFTHIS BOOK</strong>Dear Trout Fishing in America:I met your friend Fritz in Washington Square. He told meto tell you that his case went to a jury and that he was acquit-ted by the jury.He said that it was important for me to say that his casewent to a jury and that he was acquitted by the jury,said it again.He looked in good shape. He was sitting in the sun. There'san old San Francisco saying that goes: &quot;It's better to rest inWashington Square than in the California Adult Authority. &quot;How are things in New York?Yours,&quot;An Ardent Admirer&quot;Dear Ardent Admirer:It's good to hear that Fritz isn't in jail. He was very wor-ried about it. The last time I was in San Francisco, he toldme he thought the odds were 10-1 in favor of him going away.I told him to get a good lawyer. It appears that he followedmy advice and also was very lucky. That's always a goodcombination.You asked about New York and New York is very hot.I'm visiting some friends, a young burglar and his wife.He's unemployed and his wife is working as a cocktail wait-ress. He's been looking for work but I fear the worst.It was so hot last night that I slept with a wet sheet wrappedaround myself, trying to keep cool. I felt like a mental patient.I woke up in the middle of the night and the room was filledwith steam rising off the sheet, and there was jungle stuff,abandoned equipment and tropical flowers, on the floor andon the furniture.I took the sheet into the bathroom and plopped it into thetub and turned the cold water on it. Their dog came in andstarted barking at me.The dog barked so loud that the bathroom was soon filledwith dead people. One of them wanted to use my wet sheetfor a shroud. I said no, and we got into a big argument overit and woke up the Puerto Ricans in the next apartment, andthey began pounding on the walls.The dead people all left in a huff. &quot;We know when we'renot wanted, &quot; one of them said.&quot;You're damn tootin',&quot; I said.I've had enough.I' m going to get out of New York. Tomorrow I'm leaving forAlaska. I'm going to find an ice-cold creek near the Arcticwhere that strange beautiful moss grows and spend a weekwith the grayling. My address will be, Trout Fishing in Ameri-ca, c/o General Delivery, Fairbanks, Alaska.Your friend,Trout Fishing in America<strong>THE LAKE JOSEPHUS DAYS</strong>We left Little Redfish for Lake Josephus, traveling along thegood names--from Stanley to Capehorn to Seafoam to theRapid River, up Float Creek, past the Greyhound Mine andthen to Lake Josephus, and a few days after that up the trailto Hell-diver Lake with the baby on my shoulders and a goodlimit of trout waiting in Hell-diver.Knowing the trout would wait there like airplane ticketsfor us to come, we stopped at Mushroom Springs and had adrink of cold shadowy water and some photographs taken ofthe baby and me sitting together on a log.I hope someday we'll have enough money to get those pic-tures developed. Sometimes I get curious about them, won-dering if they will turn out all right. They are in suspensionnow like seeds in a package. I'll be older when they are de-veloped and easier to please. Look there's the baby ! Lookthere's Mushroom Springs ! Look there's me !I caught the limit of trout within an hour of reaching Hell-diver, and my woman, in all the excitement of good fishing,let the baby fall asleep directly in the sun and when the babywoke up, she puked and I carried her back down the trail.My woman trailed silently behind, carrying the rods andthe fish. The baby puked a couple more times, thimblefulsof gentle lavender vomit, but still it got on my clothes, andher face was hot and flushed.We stopped at Mushroom Springs. I gave her a smalldrink of water, not too much, and rinsed the vomit taste outof her mouth. Then I wiped the puke off my clothes and forsome strange reason suddenly it was a perfect time, thereat Mushroom Springs, to wonder whatever happened to theZoot suit.Along with World War II and the Andrews Sisters, theZoot suit had been very popular in the early 40s. I guessthey were all just passing fads.A sick baby on the trail down from Hell-diver, July 1961,is probably a more important question. It cannot be left togo on forever, a sick baby to take her place in the galaxy,among the comets, bound to pass close to the earth every173 years.She stopped puking after Mushroom Springs, and I carriedher back down along the path in and out of the shadows andacross other nameless springs, and by the time we got downto Lake Josephus, she was all right.She was soon running around with a big cutthroat trout inher hands, carrying it like a harp on her way to a concert--ten minutes late with no bus in sight and no taxi either


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