Influenced

My dad fished with Richard Brautigan along the McKenzie River when they were both eighteen and best friends.

I remember my parents at the breakfast nook when I was seven. You sat around the table on benches beneath brightly-curtained windows, and the bench-seats had hinged lids, perfect for lifting up and climbing beneath after breakfast. A personal cave to crawl through, dark on top of slippery magazines my mom stored there.

My dad handed me a book written by his best friend. “He’s really made it big, now,” Dad said to Mom. On the first page I glimpsed shocking words we never used at the breakfast nook. They were the words of my dad's friend Richard, who lived a different life far away in San Francisco.

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