Duke Haney left Los Angeles sometime during the afternoon. Having struck out through the rain from the city bus, he was already soaked by the time he sat on the Greyhound.

I imagined Duke pinned up next to some Joe straight out of prison or a VA hospital. “Looks like we may be headed into snow,” he texted. I wondered if he at least had a window seat. Didn’t matter. It soon got dark. The bus probably reeked of wet clothes as it shot into the mountains.

Soon I would be headed to a bookstore. Duke was on his way to co-teach the Random Writers Workshop. He had written more than twenty films, and “Banned For Life,” a novel as dirty and raw as any bus ride over storm-soaked mountains.

I thought about our crossroads. He was Dead Generation—like me in a way: MTV sucked rebellious youth of the 80s. Rebellious and dead. No war back then, just rebels everywhere not even knowing what the hell they were angry at. We were all angry. Only I pictured Duke back then cursing at his television, telling Duran Duran to “fuck off,” while I was out buying U2’s “War”. Forget that new wave bands behind the scenes were friends of punks, or like the Go-Gos, who some say were wallowing in shit and dirty needles with Darby Crash before selling out. It was cool to be punk. But punks hated the mainstream. DIY, bitch.

I should have checked the weather. The Tejon Pass was closed. Duke’s bus was rerouted and the 4,190-foot Cajon Pass wasn’t looking much better. I tried to tell him to get off the bus in Lancaster. “What can I do? Bus doesn’t stop till Bakersfield,” he said.

Before I went to Russo’s Books, I prepared to read from Duke’s magnum opus. He was coming to talk about “setting.” I told him he’s a master of it. I flipped open to page 165. There was the imaginary Peewee and Jason under the big New York steel sky, on streets as bare and ashy as a fire-bombed market: The park itself was pitch-black, and some of the surrounding buildings were burnt-out hulks, and people would pass us with scarred faces or missing eyes…

I imagined the Greyhound caught in a snowy grey apocalypse in the dark. Barreling aluminum bullet. Duke unnerved, wanting to shove whoever sat next to him straight out into the night—the burned-out night of dead summer—and all those August ash clouds from raging LA fires still somehow caught swirling beneath thunderheads, finally tangling with frozen air and falling, drifting past Duke’s freezing bus window.

Inside the bookstore, a hodge-podge of chairs sat empty. I smiled at Jeannie Hart who soon sat with her laptop hanging wide open, her social commentary novel filleted like a prose fish, pages open and words like delicate guts and bones on her computer screen.

I lost hope. I couldn’t stop thinking about driving from Las Vegas to Bakersfield in 1998. The normal four-hour journey turned to thirteen because of the dead Cajon Pass. Time then had become near-frozen winter ants moving in slow motion. Flies, lethargic in the freezing air. You can catch them with your hands. That kind of time. And my mother dying in Bakersfield from an exploded aorta and I couldn’t reach her. DOA.

“I’ll let you know when and if we make it through the pass,” Duke said.

The chairs filled and I started talking about “setting” in fiction and film. I blah-blahed and there was Duke’s bus, barreling down the 58, shooting past the Mojave Spaceport—the current last frontier of everything—and then toward the hump of the Cajon covered in broken, burst windmills, and a cement factory in a field that could have doubled as the factory in “Outland” with Sean Connery. Even Jack Kerouac talked about that goddam cement factory, which sits across the freeway from apple orchards and the city of Tehachapi. And here was Duke on a bus, weaving through it all—the big bus bouncing down the freeway like a yo-yo pulled into the valley where Bakersfield sat like a wet baby, tugging it.

Here I was at the workshop talking about weaving characters and setting and action. I read some about storms from my own stormy book. Dust, rain, fog was even tempest-like. We all felt creepy.

And then just as if that baby gave one last huge tug toward the Great Central Valley, and the bus went tumbling through the air, Duke flipping out of it, here he came walking in. His torn orange hoodie and his gangster hat and blue clothes’, dulled by rain, and his face really looking starburnt, like he’d been somewhere, like he’d really slapped the cold out of his way hyperspacing to get somewhere.

Soon everybody was laughing. About fifteen of us. A guy I call Prose Junkie, and Patty Wonderly with her pink-tipped hair—her wolf book heavy on her heart. She was laughing too. And this was one of those blessed moments. The Nervous Breakdown, the Dead Generation, wet L.A. and wet Bakersfield streets and prose all smashed together.

I soon got Duke talking about movies. We talked about the famous death scene he wrote about a girl getting killed in her sleeping bag. “I used to fantasize about doing it [sleeping bag slaughter] to my sister because she annoyed me so much,” he said. We all roared and wondered why kids in horror films have a death wish. I secretly realized: They’re like writers, every one of those filleted kids in horror flicks. We do it to ourselves. We walk right into the goddam monster. The bus ride. Duke walking into the storm. Fucking idiots. Neither one of us checked the weather…

And just then, and afterwards when we all sat around at a restaurant eating, it all made sense, especially when Zara Potts called, her New Zealand accent sounding like it could have sprung flowers from Duke’s phone. She was right there for just a moment. Three points of the TNB generation flashing into a moment in time.

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NICK BELARDES is illustrator of NYT Best-Selling Novel by Jonathan Evison West of Here (2011), author of Random Obsessions (2009), Lords (2005), and the first literary Twitter novel: Small Places (2010). An author, poet, and screenwriter for Hectic Films, Belardes turned TV/online journalist overnight after blogging his way to success. His articles and essays have appeared on the homepage of CNN.com and other news sites across America. You can find Nick on Facebook and Twitter.

319 responses to “Duke Haney and The TNB Generation”

  1. Jeannie says:

    I’m popping my TNB cherry for you on this post. Very cool interpretation of the night’s events. And yes, we have a death wish. “We walk right into the goddamn monster,” knowing we may not survive as we risk our sanity for the written word.

    • Oh Jeannie, I knew you would come! hahaha. You know, I’ll never forget you sitting there and writing. It was a fascinating moment. But why? Why do we walk into the monster??

      Duke was hilarious and cool! I hope he comes again to hang out…

      • Jeannie says:

        You would see more of my writing on a regular basis if you ever stopped by ‘my’ Starbucks. I think those club chairs have a permanent impression of my butt in them.

        We walk into the monster because we have a story that needs to be shared. A commentary—whether social or not—that needs to be told. And because apparently; we are lunatics.

        Yes, Duke was awesome. You’ll have to let me know the next time he’s down.

  2. oh and go to gravatar.com and you can have your very own avatar for this site.

  3. Greg Olear says:

    I saw all the FB updates about the storms in LA, and I thought, “Shit — Duke is on that bus to Bako!” Of all the days to go…

    Did he channel the boys from Superego and break the chairs at Russo’s when he was done? That’s what we want to know. ; )

    • Oh man, I should wait for Duke to answer that. I texted him about this piece. hahaha.

      • D.R. Haney says:

        Yes, but I was out looking for a fuse. See, I came home that night to find that a power surge had caused a cord to short-circuit, with ash on the floor around it, and that in turn had caused a fuse to blow. The apartment (which is very old, in LA terms, hence the fuse box) was half dark for the day that I spent recovering from a journey on Hell Bus. But it was definitely worth it.

        Oh, and you know I love any reference to BFL, Greg. Yeah, them Superego boys, huh? They lived up to their name (or the way non-Freudians would interpret it). But Russo’s is too nice a place to smash up.

        • And don’t forget the family-friendly atmosphere. I actually had to censor mine and Duke’s books while reading, so as not to scare any nearby God-fearin’, book shopping folk.

        • D.R. Haney says:

          Yeah, that was an interesting moment, as was hearing you read my work out loud. Never experienced that before, and may never again. But when you said “messed up,” I thought for a second, “Wait a minute, didn’t I use the f-word?” Then I realized, before you explained, that you were being a gentleman, as I am not.

        • I plan on reading more of your work aloud as the moments arise. Maybe even tomorrow as I teach a four-hour workshop at a local art gallery…

        • D.R. Haney says:

          Oh, man. Please do. My poor book can use all the promo it can get. Though I did just get a message from a guy in Mumbai, India who proposes to review it on his website. That was interesting. He must read TNB, though he didn’t say so. But India’s a very populous country, and, well…

        • Jeannie says:

          “so as not to scare any nearby God-fearin’, book shopping folk” that’s brilliant. Thankfully you couldn’t really tell you were editing as you read.

        • D.R. Haney says:

          Well, except that, the first time he did it, we both took time to point it out.

        • Connie says:

          “God fearing”? You didn’t hear what the employees said in the area behind us.

        • Connie says:

          BTW Duke , Eulalio asked me where to find your book, next time you come to Bako bring a copy or two. I am sure a few of us would love to purchase and read.

        • Jeannie says:

          Connie now I’m intrigued! What were they talking about?

        • I think the Russo’s are staunch Catholics. Now, there are plenty of Catholics in my family who love a great sailor curse word. But I gotta respect the wishes of the Russo’s. Very nice of them to let us congregate in their midst… Been looking for a place to hold a workshop for a year. I did notice a YA book started out cursing like a sailor in their store. Love it! Curses all around!

        • D.R. Haney says:

          Gratitude for the link, Nick.

          I would’ve brought copies, Connie, if I’d had any to bring, though it felt a bit presumptuous on my part. But next time for sure.

        • And I’m not giving up my copy, though I can’t believe I STILL haven’t gotten it signed. Arghhh!

        • Connie says:

          @Duke when I buy your book I will most certainly expect it to be personally signed.

        • Connie says:

          @Jeannie .. I only heard snip-its.. one line was classic.. “Get up off your ass and do it yourself!” said by the workers in the area behind us the other night.. Prose Junkie and I look at each other and laughed .

        • D.R. Haney says:

          I’m laughing just hearing you repeat it, Connie. I sympathize fully. Yeah, get up off your ass and do it yourself, whoever you are.

          And of of course I’ll sign your copy of my book. It would be my honor. In fact, it occurred to me when I was in Bako that I might not have signed Nick’s copy (I couldn’t remember, still rattled by the bus ride), but I never got around to mentioning it.

          Ah, well. It’ll happen. I’m sure to see you all again.

        • Sign my goddam copy of “Banned For Life” already!

        • D.R. Haney says:

          Boarding a Greyhound immediately, damn it.

        • Zara Potts says:

          Goddamn, sign my copy too!!

        • Me too! But mine is being lent out to my therapist at the moment – fan in the making.
          Hopefully will have it back before June!

        • Sounds like you’re the one giving the therapy if you’re loaning “Banned For Life” to a shrink. 😀

        • D.R. Haney says:

          That Steph’s therapist is reading it makes me nervous.

        • Why? You are silly.
          And you may be right, Nick. She wanted to read it
          because it had such a great effect on me – true story.

        • Why did Banned For Life have such an effect on you? Do tell. I’m sure you’ve told Duke, or posted about it before. Feel free to direct me to a post I might need to read.

        • Ducky Wilson says:

          I’m only 100 pages in, but I’m already drawn into it. I’ve sat in a parking lot two days in a row reading it. I keep saying, “One more chapter, one more chapter,” but Duke is like fucking JJ Abrams: King of the cliffhanger.

          Very hard to put down.

          In fact, I’m logging off to go get lifted and read a little more.

          goodnight all!

        • I don’t really know where to direct you – I’ll just say here in the most
          concise way possible…(and Duke – hope you don’t mind me telling this story again)
          becoming a mother made me not able (for lots of reasons that I didn’t foresee) to do my music anymore. I never thought that would be me. I went from performing my music for ten years – writing all the time – to completely dropping it. Motherhood kind of kicked my ass.

          Anyway – I had actually gotten to the point where I had accepted it – that oh well – it’s just not me anymore. I wanted to get back into it, but I just couldn’t – I was scared or who knows. Even though it was the thing that totally saved my life – gave me everything in my life. Oh, god – this is such a long story. But anyway – long story – short – I read Banned and it had a profound effect on me that made get back into my music. I’ve been writing and will be recording soon and playing out soon. It basically thawed this very frozen part of myself. It came at the right time and I’ll be eternally grateful for it.

        • D.R. Haney says:

          I don’t at all mind your telling that story, Steph. I’m very honored that the book had that kind of effect on you.

          And I was just kidding about the therapist remark.

        • It’s great to be inspired. I once inspired an author to NOT sleep with her boyfriend after she read my creepy novel. That’s about the most success I have ever had.

        • And thanks for sharing your story. I worked really hard with my kids to get them into music. They’re phenomenal musicians. I could play a few chords. But that was it. They are true musicians as you are — never gone for long from the world of music as life around them inspires to keep it up…

        • D.R. Haney says:

          Oh, and your comment was greatly appreciated, Ducky. I hope it continues to hold up for you.

          — J. J.

        • Ducky Wilson says:

          Ah, yeah, it’s action packed. And those cliff hangers! Why do you do that to me? You know I have to get up early. Damnit!

          And I love your characters. I’m in PeeWee’s story right now. What a kid. But I’m mad at him for breaking Jason’s records.

          Hope you’re writing a screenplay to go along with it. A musical perhaps?

        • D.R. Haney says:

          No screenplays as yet. I don’t see how it could be adapted. It was suggested that a miniseries would have to be the way to go about it, but I’m a long way from receiving any offers.

          And, yeah, I love Peewee. I agree: what a kid. But he does redeem himself for the records, I think. Moral of the story: Beware the little man.

  4. Connie says:

    What an inspiring evening.

    As we all know , I am not aspiring to become a novelist as much as I am trying to overcome a fear, and Wed nights workshop knocked some bricks out of the wall of fear I live behind.

    Thank you Nick and special Thanks to Duke

  5. kungfoobeezee says:

    ” We all felt creepy. ”

    Awesome. I laughed out loud a few times and managed to slightly freak out my cats.

    • Freaked out cats are awesome!

      • D.R. Haney says:

        I had a terrible feeling that I’d creeped out everyone at Russo’s by speaking of my sister as I did. I mean, I never seriously thought about eliminating her in a sleeping bag. It was just an odd thought that passed for a second through my head. I’ve written about that kind of thing here at TNB in a post called “The Dark Undone.”

        • Must have been during my TNB hiatus over the past few months. TNB consumes the soul you know, when you’re in it deep.

        • D.R. Haney says:

          I was going to write something along those lines! “I think I posted that when you were on hiatus, Nick.” Then I decided against it. TNB telelpathy, yes?

          And I know only too well how TNB can consume the soul. Um, believe me.

        • TNB: you can spend 24 hours straight just maintaining one article properly. You have to, in order to interact with folks kind enough to leave comments. BTW, you’re not creepy. Storms are. Our works are at times. Not you. Not unless you transformed into a villain before our eyes.

        • D.R. Haney says:

          Er, that’s *telepathy.* And while I’m at it, here are a few thoughts that I’ve been meaning to add during my comment spree:

          1) I’m honored to have been subject of a TNB piece, and I thank you for it, Nick, and also for the way you wrote it. It’s flattering to have been painted by the same brush that created “Dead Generation.”

          2) No one knew the weather was going to be as it was, so no blame necessary. I was thinking of the ole postman thing on the bus: “Neither rain nor snow…” or however it goes. And why was I taking the bus? Because my car died last September, when Simon and Zara were visiting L.A. and with them in the fucking thing at the moment of its expiration, which was pretty embarrassing. And we were headed to dinner with Brad, who very kindly kept me company till the tow truck arrived — which was very late, as in 3 a.m. or some such. I thought about writing a post about that incident, and started one, but never finished it.

          3) I was indeed soaked to the skin as I dashed to the bus station. Wet, cold clothes clinging to the skin is one of the worst feelings I know. Plus my shoes were thoroughly drenched. While on the bus, I took off my shoes and socks and hung the socks over the foot rest so they could dry a little. Weird, huh? But necessary. As for the person sitting beside me, it was a guy from the West Indies, or someplace, who’d just been fired from his job for sending a letter telling another employee to “stay away,” and the other employee gave the letter to management, who canned the West Indian guy, who claimed the letter wasn’t threatening in any way. However, as he sat next to me, he was on the phone constantly with: “You tell that n*gger I am going to cut his throat like a pig! It’s only a matter of time! It’s worth it to spend a few years in jail!” At one point he asked what I was reading (it was the short stories of Katherine Mansfield, perhaps New Zealand’s most famous international writing export), and I took the opportunity to, as tactfully as possible, suggest to the guy that he may not want to cut anyone’s throat like a pig; that revenge is a dish best served cold. He agreed with me. I hope he sticks to it. But I’ll never know for sure.

          4. The bus driver was a total drama queen. When he announced that we were going to be late, I asked how late, just so I could phone Nick to give him an ETA, and you would not believe the tirade I received. “They shut down the Five! People are having accidents everywhere! I’ve never heard anything like it!” And so on, for a good two minutes. This continued on the bus, where he was constantly on the loudspeaker to tell us all how very dangerous the conditions were, and he didn’t even know if we were going to make it, that we might have to turn around, and the company hadn’t even put his name on the route, or some weird work-related thing that no one understood but he nonetheless felt impelled to share. Also, he kept bickering with some guy in the back of the bus, who, recognizing the driver for the drama queen he is, baited him constantly with “Let’s stop at McDonald’s” or “I need a cigarette,” inviting still more monologues on the loudspeaker: “You want to get off this bus? Do you? Here, I’ll stop right now so you can get off the bus. It’s very dangerous conditions, and the company didn’t put my name on the route,” etc.

          5. Moral of the story? Never take the goddamned bus anywhere. I mean, you’d think I’d know this by now, but…

        • Now yours was an amazing story. The guy next to you. He really was headed somewhere, wasn’t he? Once you survive such journeys, they are great to write about. That is, once the hell is over, and your socks dry, and your emotional energy stabilizes… Thanks for coming, Duke. It was a real treat.

        • D.R. Haney says:

          It’s true. Almost anything is worth it if a fun story results.

        • D.R. Haney says:

          Oh, just seeing your villain comment. I don’t think I transformed into one quite yet. Though in the eyes of certain others…

        • Jeannie says:

          I’m sorry Duke, your comment about the sleeping bag was perfect! I think every kid has the same ideas. Heck, being the baby with three older brothers, I can tell you first hand there were many ideas of murder and mayhem in our household!!

        • Jeannie. I bet you thought up way worse. Imagine if YOU wrote Friday the 13th. Muahahaha

        • D.R. Haney says:

          I’m glad, Jeanie, that I didn’t appear the psycho I’ve been told I resemble. Now, you on the other hand…

          I jest, I jest.

        • Jeannie says:

          @Nick you have no idea…. bwahahaha! There were times when my brothers and I actually had competitions to see who could come up with them most creative death machines, nough said.

          @Duke I’ve been told that I’m so sweet and innocent that I cry kittens. And then they find out the truth…

        • Oh Jeannie. I bet in your sci-fi social commentary brain you’ve come up with some doozies. In a story I once wrote I had this machines picking up body parts on battle fields, harvesting them to resell as organics for computer companies. Of course, there was a scene where a living man ended up inside of one of the machines. Gruesome to the core… Heh.

        • D.R. Haney says:

          To take your remark literally, Jeannie, “the truth” is true of every one of us. I think we all live in fear of being found out, one way or the other.

        • Jeannie says:

          Duke: And that conversation will have to wait for the next time you are in town.

          Nick: I am both grossed out and completely engrossed by that story! I think the deepest I’ve ever gone (in a story) was to have a person be beat so bad that the tormentors tore the ‘person’s’ flesh off his bones revealing that his beating heart was electronic. He was a hybrid which in my commentary mind is how I deal with racism of any form.

        • Duke, you poor thing – when I asked yesterday if you had fun on your trip –
          I had no idea this was went down. And sorry – but I just laughed out loud at all of it.

          I’ve taken some pretty awful bus rides. Like the time – it started to smell really awful,
          for about hour until I realized the man behind me had taken off his shoe and he had his
          hot smelly socked foot on my arm rest – I had been napping within an inch of it.
          I just dry heaved remembering this. I had no trouble asking him to take his foot
          down and he gave me this look like,”How could you?”.

        • Jeannie: If I grossed out your imagination then I will take that as a serious victory…

          Stephanie: I thought you liked my feet. Hahaha. reminds me of a guy who I worked in a factory with. He didn’t believe in deodorant. We stacked boxes for 12 hours a day. I’ll stop my story there.

        • D.R. Haney says:

          It was meant to be funny, Steph. I think it is also, though I wasn’t exactly rolling in the aisles at the time. At one point I had to make use of the facilities, and talk about dry-heaving. I would gladly have traded that for a smelly foot near my face.

        • Nick – I’m glad you didn’t truly take offense when I asked you to remove
          your foot from my arm rest – you’re the best!

          I had to take a bus once from Michigan City, Indiana to Chicago and
          the facilities smelled so bad that I had to peel this orange that I had with me
          and hand out bits of peels to counteract the stench to the people on the entire bus – so that we could all survive. Then I lost my wallet on that same bus and had to go back on the bus after we docked in Chicago and feel around the floor of the bus for it – it wasn’t there.

          Ah, the memories.

        • Oh I didn’t take offense. BTW, remind me to give you back your wallet.

          (The orange peel incident is hilarious).

        • D.R. Haney says:

          That’s a neat trick with the orange peel, Steph. I’ll have to remember that.

        • They come in handy – many uses.

          Thanks, Nick – I tell ya – you’re the best!

  6. “like he’d really slapped the cold out of his way hyperspacing to get somewhere.”

    Wow, talk about your images!

    Did he channel the boys from Superego and break the chairs at Russo’s when he was done? That’s what we want to know. ; )

    I second!

  7. Mary says:

    Really beautiful post. I just wish I could’ve been there for real. The tone throughout this piece is so moody and solid. I really like that. mm mm mmm. Could eat it up.

  8. Zara Potts says:

    Oh Oh! I like that I was there just for a moment. I consider any moment I spend with the TNB generation a moment to be savoured. Thanks for including me in your evening and in your piece. xx

    • Seconds can last forever. Do you think someone will find TNB one day and wear it for a turban of some kind, one that soaks all our thoughts into a brain, religiously…

      • Stefan Kiesbye says:

        Only if Zara’s voice is audible whenever you wear that Turban, like putting on a giant shell and hear Zara/the ocean.

        • Imagine. A giant shell of TNB. Zara narrating. The ocean in textures of love.

        • Zara Potts says:

          Well, now. That is just beautiful.

        • It would start with your shipwreck piece and end with one of Brad’s wild pieces that make us think how ironic the world really is…

        • D.R. Haney says:

          I’m glad you called, Z. It sealed the night. And you know how I love handing off the phone to any nearby TNB’ers — or just about anybody, for that matter. But you’ve done the same with your sister and mum. It was so nice to speak to Tina that day in Venice, though as I said at the time, a second Kiwi accent coming through the phone amounted to a strange kind of stereo effect.

        • Zara has a thicker accent than I imagined. It’s heavy but soothing, feminine, strong, with a melody in it perfect for growing flowers through phones.

        • D.R. Haney says:

          I loved that you wrote that about her, but she may not dig the “thicker accent” bit. I understand the Kiwi temper is hellacious when unleashed.

        • Personally, I’d take a Kiwi accent over an American accent any day. I mean, don’t we Americans sound weird to people outside the country when we attempt the spoken word?

        • D.R. Haney says:

          Like our mouths are stuffed with mashed potatoes, I’ve been told again and again.

        • What? I’ve never heard that? Hilarious!! hahahahaha

        • Zara Potts says:

          THICKER?????? Oh no…… I must sound like I’m in the Flight of the Conchords!!
          But still I like your description of my voice, Nick. But you are being far too kind!
          And Duke – you don’t sound like mashed potato.. You have a great voice and an even better laugh. I’ve told you that you should bottle it and make a fortune from it…

        • Now I must be hungry because suddenly I want some thick garlic mashed potatoes…

          You have a delightful accent. Is that better? 🙂

        • D.R. Haney says:

          Zara really does have a great voice, doesn’t she? I’m sure she’ll think I’m just saying this, but the first time we spoke, I was taken aback at how much I liked the way she sounded. I’d expected a slower, deeper voice with a touch of iciness, maybe because some of the Kiwi women I’ve known in the past (all five of them) had slow, deep, icy voices. But Zara was, and is, very different. I only wish everyone could have the pleasure of speaking to her.

        • Zara Potts says:

          Oh you two are the best! The BEST – do you hear me?? (I’m shouting this in my delightfully thick kiwi accent.)

        • Oh snap! Now I like that! Delightfully thick Kiwi accent. Yes’m. But will you sing to us??

        • Zara Potts says:

          Sure… I take requests! What’ll it be??

        • “Beautiful Day”. Can you croon some Bono? If not, just some Kiwi songs will do. And one about drunken Hobbits.

  9. Connie says:

    wonders why Nick always looks so ominous in his pics?

  10. D.R. Haney says:

    Yes, well. You must have been standing in what’s literally called Jack Kerouac Alley, or something like that. I was at City Lights not so long ago myself.

    • We should do a reading there. Some poetry spoken word crazy shit. I got friends there. We can do it. And there’s a shitload of Fresno Poets literally wanting do take the train in from the Big No. I’m calling it the Peace Train… It will be worthy of a monumental post on TNB.

      • D.R. Haney says:

        And we have a Bay Area TNB contingent. Tony DuShane and Thomas Wood and Lauren Becker, do you hear someone knocking at your door? Resistance is futile.

        • This is what I’m saying. Just a big group of us tearing it up at City Lights. Poetry I’m telling you. Spoken word and storytelling.

        • D.R. Haney says:

          Knock, knock, knock. Anybody home?

        • Greg Olear says:

          Don’t forget Zoe, your evening’s hostess.

        • D.R. Haney says:

          My God, how could I? And I’ve been meaning forever to tell Zoe that I appreciate her giving me a ride to the TNB event in September. I hope she happens to read this. If so: Thanks (at last), Zoe.

        • i just heard the knocking — sorry, the screaming in my head was too loud … and yes! zoe and i met and she said something about doing a tnr thing in the bay area AND i just saw tony dushane and mentioned the idea, and though i don’t recall an enthused “yes!” on his part, there was not an unenthused “no” either. (he seems pretty focused on his book at present.) sorry — i did not read through all 7 billion comments here (you are a popular man!) but i count me in for a bay area tnr reading!!

        • D.R. Haney says:

          Thanks, Lauren. Let’s see if we can make it happen. And no explanation necessary about the seven billion comments, but it’s not just me, it’s also Nick.

      • Ducky Wilson says:

        I’ll drive all the way from Texas if you guys really do something at City Lights. I’d fucking die first, but then I’d come back to life just in time for the reading.

        I met Ferlinghetti there one time. He wanted my coat. I have a picture of that day. Awesome day.

        • I’m telling you. We’re going to plan something. Been talking to Fresno poets about it, and I know a guy who works at City Lights and some folks in Frisco. We can make it happen. Ferlinghetti? Sweet.

          My editor wrote “Women of the Beat Generation.” She did a reading there with the son of Neal Cassady and some others a few months ago the night I rolled into town. They were honoring Jan Kerouac in a new book that’s out about her.

          Talk about an estate mess. You been following all that Kerouac news about the alleged forgery on the will by the Sampas family? Crazy stuff…

        • D.R. Haney says:

          I haven’t been following it, Nick, but I read some things about one of the Sampas brothers, I’m not saying which one, that don’t make me doubt it for a second.

          In all the times I’ve been to City Lights, I never once had the good fortune of running into Ferlinghetti. But if Ducky were to attend anything we put together in SF, I have a feeling it might just happen.

          Or, come to think of it, maybe not. How old is he at this point? Ninety at least, yes?

        • Ducky Wilson says:

          It was a curious meeting. I was nervous, and I don’t get nervous too often. (He isn’t even my favorite of that group. I’m a much bigger Burroughs fan, or Di Prima, but still…)

          It was right before Y2K. He was nervous about what would happen. Asked my opinion about whether to board up all the windows. I thought he should. Looters. I didn’t believe in Y2K, but I hadn’t forgotten the riots. People love a good reason to riot. At any rate, he agreed with me. We lamented about the fact that no one reads anymore. That the bookstore was really a labor of love. I’m sure Amazon has killed whatever revenue they were making. Poor City Lights.

          He wanted my coat. I wouldn’t trade. Some girls love shoes, I love coats. No way was I parting. This one came from a thrift store in Memphis when I was on tour with a band called Crown Hate Ruin. Do you remember them?

          At any rate, he signed my journal. It took me several years before I would write in that particular one. I didn’t want to taint it. Then I moved to NY and money got tight, so the journal was finally put to use.

        • Ducky Wilson says:

          Nick, if you make it happen, let me know. I would love to read at such a historical place.

        • When I was at City Lights I was allowed into the restroom. As I was whizzing into the toidy, all I could think of was all the great writers who might have pissed there… I took a photo in the mirror while washin’ up.

          Never heard of The Crownhate Ruin. But I just looked them up.

          Heck, don’t part with a favorite coat unless you really have to. I learned my lesson. I’ll let you know if we get the Peace Train and TNB City Lights gig rockin’…

        • Great story about the journal.

        • D.R. Haney says:

          I don’t remember Crown Hate Ruin, Ducky. As I said elsewhere, I’m not the music encyclopedia I wish I were. But that is a great story about Ferlinghetti. It’s going to be a sad day when City Lights closes its doors, though, thank God, I haven’t heard of any plans for it.

        • Ducky Wilson says:

          Thanks, Nick.

          And yes, it will be a sad day when City Lights closes. As sad as when CBGB’s closed.

        • D.R. Haney says:

          I’m so glad that you spelled CBGB’s as you do, and I did in BFL. One of the copy-editors who worked on the book took me to task for that. “It’s CBGB,” I was told, and I said, “Yeah, but that’s not how we used to say it.” It was nice to find corroboration in the form of an op-ed piece by Richard Hell.

        • Ducky Wilson says:

          He’s a moron. And probably never even went.

        • D.R. Haney says:

          It was actually a woman, and you’re right, I don’t think she ever did.

        • Ducky Wilson says:

          We shall therefore discount her.

          CBGB’s CBGB’s CBGB’s

          The first time I went to NY, I was 16. I had 80 bucks. My first day there I spent 60 at CBGB’s. Spent the following week very hungry, but very happy.

        • D.R. Haney says:

          I don’t even want to think about all the money I spent at that place. I mean, by their standards, it was nothing, but by mine, it was a lot.

        • Ducky Wilson says:

          Yeah, 80 bucks was a lot for me back then.

          I remember the chick from Pussy Galore was working the retail shop.

        • D.R. Haney says:

          Julia Cafritz? She’s in Free Kitten with Kim Gordon now. I love their last record.

        • Ducky Wilson says:

          Wow, maybe you are a walking dictionary. I did not remember her name til you said it. Yeah. Pretty wild for me.

          I didn’t know she was in Free Kitten. Love Kim Gordon so much.

        • D.R. Haney says:

          I knew that Julia was her first name, and I vaguely remembered her last, but, in all honesty, I checked Google to make sure.

          I love Kim Gordon also.

        • Ducky Wilson says:

          That makes me feel better.

          You have good taste in music, sir. Kim Gordon is up there with PJ Harvey, Chrissie Hynde, and Exene as major influences (another SSE when I read the X reference in BFL, since John Doe is one of the musicians I’m chasing for a role.)

        • D.R. Haney says:

          Love John Doe. I’ve seen him a bunch. Seems like a nice guy. And Exene wrote me a very nice note when I asked her to blurb the book. It was a note to decline, but it was good of her to write back at all.

          Also, Chrissie Hynde had (or has), seriously, one of the best voices of all time. This is one of my favorite songs by the Pretenders, very underrated by most:

          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wdDwZWG2rGo

        • Ducky Wilson says:

          That’s a good one, yeah!

          Very cool of Exene. To get any response, as you well know, is unheard of.

          Doe seems very approachable. I debate whether I should go the “right” channels and go through his agent, or if I should stalk him at a show. Any thoughts?

        • D.R. Haney says:

          Personally, I would approach him directly, if you can, though he might well tell you to send material to his reps. But he’ll at least have a sense of the kind of person you are, and I think that’s much better than receiving a script (or anything else) in the usual, impersonal way.

        • I remember seeing X perform at Disneyland once. It was a smoky little outdoor venue. The venue was pitch black. Lots of smoke. Exene was all lit like porcelain under a house lamp.

        • Seen the Pretenders twice. Once at Blossom in Ohio. She grew up near there in Cuyahoga Falls. It had the same feeling of seeing Buck Owens in Bakersfield. Hometown shows are the best.

        • D.R. Haney says:

          I always forget time that you spent time in Ohio, Nick. And X at Disneyland — even Walt couldn’t have dreamed up anything that hallucinatory.

        • It’s a bizarre memory for sure. I think I made out with someone on the Peter Pan ride that night. But then, who hasn’t?

  11. Connie says:

    Nick you should write a story about our cricket invasion .. think it was same year as the dust storm, maybe ’78, I have a very funny incident from the cricket invasion.

    • Oh you should write about that. hahaha. I don’t remember it. Though I have seen plagues of crickets in Bakersfield.

      • Connie says:

        Perhaps I will write about the cricket invasion, I still giggle when I think of it.

        • D.R. Haney says:

          Really? To me it sounds like a horror movie.

        • Connie says:

          It’s a moment of comedy set in a horror flick.

        • D.R. Haney says:

          I hear you. A similar thing happened when I was growing up: a basement full of water bugs after a hurricane. There were the corpses of water bugs everywhere, dried up like dead leaves.

        • I saw a plague of black widows once. Millions of them. All babies. I live near a place where many live on a nearby street. I might turn it into a post for TNB. I’ve gathered lots of stats too… It was for an essay book that I have since shelved. Some good material in there though…

        • D.R. Haney says:

          I heard another story somewhere about millions of black-widow babies. God, that creeps me out. Black widows are the creepiest things ever. But I say that not having yet been to Australia, the poisonous-spider capitol of the universe.

        • Yes, they have Latrodectus species too, and other poisonous spiders, snakes, etc., I have read. A little boy here in Bakersfield was bit by a black widow four times last week. He had labored breathing and was in intense pain for a few days. As far as I know, he’s still in the hospital.

          I keep meaning to write a post about how I almost died from a black widow bite. I hint at the story here and there. Six days of hell.

        • D.R. Haney says:

          A friend of a friend was bitten by a brown recluse here in L.A., and she had to have fucking chemo because of it.

          Godspeed to the boy in Bakersfield.

        • Irony: My dad almost died from a recluse bite and I almost died from a black widow bite. Weird.

        • D.R. Haney says:

          Did the spiders confer beforehand? “You go for the old man, and if you don’t succeed, I’ll take the kid.” Those sick bastards.

        • He was in the desert. That old Mexican cowboy wore boots. The recluse was in one as he slipped on the cowhide one desert morning. Three weeks in the hospital with liver damage. Six days for me of thrashing about in the vice of black widow venom. And when you react to their venom like 3-percent of the population who are bitten do, there’s some serious thrashing about.

      • Don Mitchell says:

        West Indians, Mumbai, and cricket invasion — they go together.

        More than one kind of cricket out there.

        Obscure enough? Not to Simon and Zara.

        • I never get cricket. I’ve watched it. I just don’t get it. Simon and Zara are probably going to find out I’m cricket deficient and give me a hard time.

        • Don Mitchell says:

          I don’t get cricket either. In the novel I’m trying to write, a tribal guy who had knocked around with Americans and Australians during WWII delivers his opinion about cricket:

          “I saw cricket once. I like baseball better.”

          “Why?”

          “A cricket bat looks like a canoe paddle, but a baseball bat looks like a weapon. If you’re going to hit something with it, it should look like a weapon. And the ball goes farther and you don’t have the same batter all the time and the running’s in a circle, not back and forth.”

          My feelings exactly. Sorry, ZP and SS.

        • Zara Potts says:

          I hate cricket too. It is a totally sucky boring arse game. The West Indian cricketers have the best names though… Vivian, Winston, Sylvester. Colonial hangovers I suspect, but still fucking cool.
          Simon, being an Australian (top cricketers) will have some great cricket stories to share I suspect…

        • I wish – I’m deficient too… I know nothing about the game, and, honestly, it gets pretty dull pretty quickly. The best part of it is the sledging they come up with sometimes (it’s the equivalent of trash-talking in baseball).

          Shane Warne (a bowler widely regarded as being one of the greatest ever, who was renowned in Australia for putting on weight) to Daryl Cullinan: I’ve been waiting two years to humiliate you again.
          Daryl Cullinan: Looks like you spent it eating.

        • Zara Potts says:

          I LOVE Shane Warne.
          I especially loved it when he got busted for drugs and he blamed his mother. He is such a class act.

        • Don: I love it. Perfect convo for your novel. I hope it gets picked up by a publisher.

          Simon and Zara: Hahaha… I’m sticking to my addiction to hockey, basketball and football. Olympics are coming up. I dig all those wintry sports. Cricket drama sounds kind of fun though.

        • D.R. Haney says:

          Wait, I’m confused. Do crickets have names? And whoever heard of a name like “Daryl”? Except in The Castle, of course.

        • Zara Potts says:

          Daryl? It’s a perfectly awesome name. A name that we Antipodean’s are particularly fond of.

        • Greg Olear says:

          “Baseball has the great advantage over cricket of being sooner ended.” – George Bernard Shaw

        • One of the night’s last summer I didn’t attend the local minor league team (Texas Rangers affiliate) a friend who is a cameraman filmed a crane getting fried. No lie. Watch it when it goes into slowmo: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d8xFhjHJ_p0

        • Ben Loory says:

          don, i love how you quote your own character as backup for your opinion!

          that just made me very happy.

        • Don Mitchell says:

          It’s post-modern. Maybe. No, it’s self-referential. No, it’s really what the actual guy said to the invented character who asked the question. But I was listening.

        • I’m confused, but I love it. BRB, my characters have to go talk to themselves.

        • Don Mitchell says:

          For some reason, Nick, your response makes me think of the generator over at the mission near where the anti-cricket guy lived. It was an American make, Onan.

          And the specifications in its manual proudly declared that it was “self-excited.”

          Have your characters talk about that.

        • Hahahaha. I’m going to. A SELF-EXCITED generated is not only worth characters talking about, but being a part of great literature.

        • Don Mitchell says:

          Could it be that the name, Onan, passed unremarked upon?

    • Connie says:

      @Nick , @Duke here is my story about the crickets http://glitzyorbit.blogspot.com/2010/01/drunken-crickets.html

      • D.R. Haney says:

        Connie, I tried to comment on your piece, but I couldn’t figure out how to sign in. Every combination I used backfired.

        But it’s a very funny story. And you stomped the offender to smithereens! That’s one bastard who definitely didn’t win.

  12. Great piece, Nick! Thanks for the mention! A big thank you to Duke, for taking the time (and trouble) to come to Bakersfield and meet some aspiring writers. It was very much appreciated! Dang! I wish Terry and I could have made it to dinner!

    –Phillip (a.k.a “Prose Junkie”)

  13. Patty Wonderly says:

    Thanks for the mention! I feel really famous right now! I needed this today since it was a terrible horrible no-good very bad day. It started with moving a student teacher out of her placement in a lounge-queen classroom (this woman didn’t even know her student’s last names!!!!), and in the middle I was at Kohl’s trying to find clothes that didn’t make me look like a lounge-queen. Came home and went to bed. Peter and I are going out for margaritas tonight. It was awesome to be in the presence of greatness, besides you, Nick! Duke – I had two older sisters and I often wanted to do something like that to them, so don’t feel bad about telling us about it.

    • No kidding. I wanted to do that too. I have a sister as well. It was so funny when Duke said that.

      Patty, you know, margaritas are heavenly. One of my fave drinks. You coming to Surface Gallery tomorrow? And thank Peter for the link to DogJudo.com Episode 10 is my favorite. It’s worth it for the “Whateverrrrr!”

      Your very bad day is about to get way better!

      • D.R. Haney says:

        Hey, Patty. I’m glad to know I’m not alone in the wanting-to-snuff-a-sister department. Knock back a margarita for me, will you? And keep your nose to the grindstone with that book of yours.

        • Jude says:

          You’re not alone Duke. I’m not sure I have outgrown the childish fantasy yet!

        • Spill the beans, Jude!

        • Jude says:

          Should read *childhood*

        • Jude says:

          Perhaps Zara can write about it one day…would make an entertaining post.

          I’m sure everyone’s childhood has a plethora of stories lurking…

        • D.R. Haney says:

          Tell Zara to get on it. Though maybe you shouldn’t, since her father earlier instructed her to write a piece. Can’t have both parents suggesting subjects, you know.

        • Jude says:

          I’d write it myself if I had a smidgeon of writing talent – there’s some good stories there. However I’m not sure that writing about your family is such a wise thing to do anyway…

          Just recently read an article about when Lionel Shriver wrote her latest book based on her family – and the s**t hit the fan in a big splatter! But even though she had to deal with the consequences, which were very unpleasant, she said she’d still write the book again.

          To quote: My relationship with my parents has never fully recovered. It hasn’t helped that I’ve never, exactly, apologised. But then in any sincerity, I can’t. I like my fifth novel; I think it nails some sound if uncomfortable realities not just about my family; but about most families. So even cognisant of the consequences, I’d write that book again. That may make me a real person. It doesn’t make me a nice person.”

        • That’s something I have dealt with a lot. Judgment from family. And that’s not even from a novel. Well, until it gets published.

          Hate mail. It’s a living.

          How are you and Zara related?

        • Jude says:

          Dealing with judgment from the family – a pastime of mine also. Always amuses me how family set themselves up as judge and jury and really, when it comes down to it, they have not an inkling of who you are.

          By a wonderful stroke of good fortune, I am the gorgeous Zara’s mama.

        • Now it’s all making sense. Great to officially greet you.

        • D.R. Haney says:

          And guess what, Nick? I’ve spoken on the phone with Jude also. I always thought “honeyed” was a sentimental way to describe a human voice, but it’s not in Jude’s case.

          As to the fallout of writing about family, there’s fallout almost every time a writer takes a real-life person (or people) as a subject. Old sitcoms — I Love Lucy and The Dick Van Dyke Show, among others — had episodes built around that premise: “So that’s what you think about me!” I was involved with a fellow writer for a long time, and she once wrote a story in which a character was obviously based on me, and I tried to be cool about it, but I have to say, some of what she wrote got under my skin.

          Writing is a dangerous thing to do, in more ways than one. It really is.

        • Jude says:

          Not when you write such sweet words Duke.

        • D.R. Haney says:

          Thanks. But inspiration is scarce.

    • Jeannie says:

      Patty you’ll have to join me for a writing session soon! Get our creative juices flowing after having a bad day is a perfect remedy.

  14. Quenby Moone says:

    There must be some sort of Greyhound feng shui of evil around these days; I just finished a memorial for my misspent youth on my site and what features, if not prominently, at least poignantly?

    Greyhound bus. I swear to jeebus, I just about did a double take when I read this.

    Anyhoo, I have to say, that is one epic meeting. I’m quite sorry that I couldn’t be there to watch D.H. Haney spill off the bus and into the crazy. You lucky bastards.

    • Quenby: There are many TNB-related adventures yet to be had.

      I ride the train a lot and have had my own Greyhound adventures. They’re strange things, those public transpo adventures…

      • D.R. Haney says:

        Be glad that you weren’t there, QB. It wasn’t a pretty sight.

        I, too, spent much youthful time on Greyhounds. That’s why it was nice, in a strange way, to sit alone at the station after Nick dropped me off: I remembered being at other stations in similar circumstances once upon a time. There’s something strangely romantic about places of transit after hours — and I say this even after experiencing, yet again, Greyhound Hell.

  15. This was a really fucking great piece of writing. Real vivid; real raw. I look forward to reading it again.

  16. Ducky Wilson says:

    Loved this, Nick.

    And Duke, you are one dedicated writer!

  17. matildakay says:

    It was great to see Duke again and have him be a part of Random Writer’s Workshop! So sorry that he had to suffer Greyhound Hell, storms and be rerouted to join us. Not to mention suffering the drama queen driver who’s name wasn’t on the route and the kill-joy passenger beside him. I can only imagine the hell Duke had to suffer, wet socks and all.

    I will say that Duke’s hellish journey was worth it to us Random Writers. He walked into Russo’s bigger than life like a beacon of hard knocks inspiration that everyone soaked up like mother’s milk. He oozed wisdom.

    Having recently journied to San Diego on the Amtrak train whose first leg over the Grapevine to Los Angeles is on a bus, I will say I liked riding the train much better. Union Station in Los Angeles is one confusing train station. I ran all over Union Station looking for the bus back to Bakersfield. I finally found it hiding on the side of the building. Who would have ever thought to look there?

    At any rate… weather and all, it was another great time with Duke. I look forward to more visits from Duke and any other TNBer’s we can convince to cross the mountains down into our foggy Central Valley. Although after reading of Duke’s bus ride they may classify Bakersfield as that place you have to cross through Hell to get to.

    • That’s key right there, Melinda: it was worth it to us folks at the workshop. He was larger than life, wasn’t he? The wise counterculture sage of the Greyhounds.

      Union Station is a strange place. Never get lost there for long or you’ll end up a transient.

      Well, some people think Bakersfield IS Hell. So at least you said that awful place is just the bus ride over…

      • D.R. Haney says:

        I think the fact some people think Bakersfield is Hell only serves to make it more interesting. As Al Capone once said, “Hell must be a great place if so many people are trying to keep you out of it.” Then, too, any town that the tremendous Buck Owens loved that much must have something going for it.

        But, hey, I loved Serbia, which a lot of people also consider Hell. Also, the bus ride was sort of fascinating, including the West Indian guy (who, in spite of threatening to slit his enemy’s throat like a pig, was a nice guy) and the bus driver (who was Southern, though I couldn’t place the accent, and I know that Southern knack for dramatics very well, and so can oddly appreciate it).

        Meantime, of course, you guys are flattering me something crazy, so I just have to return at some point, yes? Oh, and M.? I love trains. I would’ve taken one if a train to Bakersfield existed. I also think Union Station is pretty fucking amazing — especially the ceiling. You have looked up when there, yes? Even in the midst of your traveler’s panic. Man, I’ve had that experience more than once. It’s especially bad when you find yourself in some far-flung location where nobody speaks your native tongue.

        • I need some far-flung location experiences. Must make more money…

        • matildakay says:

          Duke, I’m beginning to like train rides myself. I’ve been thinking of taking a train ride to Palm Springs to visit friends soon. It would be nice if the train went over the mountains from Bakersfield to Los Angeles… maybe some day they will build railroad tracks through that mountain pass. And yes… you have to visit again! Hopefully next time the weather won’t prohibit your traveling experience. And look into the Amtrak bus it might be a better experience than the Greyhound.

          Union Station was crazy for sure. I didn’t look up and see the ceiling I was too busy running around looking for my connecting bus. Next time I will have to look up when I’m in Union Station.

        • D.R. Haney says:

          It’s beautiful. And I did for a fact look into the Amtrak bus, but I was told that I couldn’t take it unless it was part of a train journey. That’s weird, since I know Nick’s taken it before. I would’ve preferred that to Greyhound, for sure.

        • Duke: I have never taken the Amtrak bus by itself. So, maybe their rule is valid.

          Matildakay: When the speed train goes in (when we’re around 70) then we will be able to.

        • D.R. Haney says:

          Ah, Nick, that explains it.

        • Jeannie says:

          Duke, actually my mom takes it to Torrance she loves it. No train ride involved. I don’t know what they are smoking.

    • Ducky Wilson says:

      I’d come to Bakersfield. Any place that spawned Buck Owens and Merle Haggard are ok with me. Not to sound too Texan.

      • Ironically, last night my son Landen (musician) was out at a Japanese restaurant and there was Buddy Owens sitting at the bar, chowing on his lonesome. All of a sudden I got a photo text of Landen and Buddy Owens! hahahaha. I asked Landen if he and Buddy were tight now.

        On another note, Landen made the music for the Bakersfield Condors ECHL ice hockey team this year. It plays on the Jumbotron before each game. It’s a remake of “The Streets of Bakersfield.”

  18. NOTE TO ALL TNB PEOPLE: Everyone at TNB is welcome to come and co-teach or teach one of the workshops I hold on Wednesday nights at Russo’s Books in Bakersfield, CA. I’m sure this comment will get lost in the mix, but feel I should say this. I will send out an email blast soon saying the same thing.

  19. Richard Cox says:

    Goddamn, this was some atmospheric prose. Great job. Wish I had been there.

    I just finished a novel where my guy drives through Tehachapi. I included it because there is a cool golf course carved into the mountains there.

    Maybe my new thing will be to include the word “golf” in every post I write or comment I leave, so eventually, when people type “golf” into Google, TNB will be one of the top returns. Yes, that sounds like a splendid idea.

    • Yes! We should do that. Would be hilarious to get some golfer insight. I’m down with doing that.

      Thanks for your compliment. Much appreciated. Tehachapi is an interesting little town. It’s close. But I rarely go. A lot of people commute from there to work in Bakersfield.

  20. jmblaine says:

    The notion that Duke
    was soaking wet
    on a Greyhound
    bound
    for Bakersfield

    That’s image enough
    right there.

    Art is suffering I
    ‘ve been told.

  21. Loved it–but I always picture Bakersfield as dry and cracked and desert-like. The images of storms and snow and hard trips through the pass gave me new ideas.

    Glad it all worked out! Seriously, Nick, I know you wouldn’t want to give away the workshop sessions, but maybe some recordings (snippets) would be cool. It might even help recruit more attendees.

    If you all weren’t 3000 miles away, I know I would drop by!

    • Oh man, you’re trying to make more work for me! hahaha…

      Bakersfield is in the southern end of the Great Central Valley. Think agriculture: hundreds of square miles surrounding a city of dust.

  22. chingpea says:

    i’m a lil’ late commenting to the bunch, but i have to say, it was a pleasure seeing Duke again. hanging out at the greyhound bus station has been a regular thing for me lately. always some interesting characters to observe.

    Anyway, it was nice to see Duke survive that adventurous ride only to find a pig-tailed driver ready to take him to the Random Writers Workshop.

    Thanks for the pleasurable ride and conversation, sweetie!

  23. “Almost anything is worth it if a fun story results.” Duke Haney

    That could be the TNB motto. We should all have T-shirts made up.

    As for TNB as a literary movement/salon, I think instead of a nonfiction book about all the TNBers with some TBD conflict built in (as much fun as the motto-adhering mayhem that would ensue from Nick traveling round the country to rile us all up and make mischief), the easier solution is that all TNBers from now on need to name characters in their fiction, their screenplays, whatever, after other TNBers. We should have some kind of sign up list so that the TNB cult faves don’t just appear over and over again, but lots of TNBers are represented. In fact, I am going to do this in the next thing I write. Seriously. There are plenty of us to choose from!

    Meanwhile, how come every time I haven’t read TNB in a few days, I come back and there’s a post on Duke coming near death? Geez, glad you made it. Can’t wait to come to Bakersfield myself, Nick.

    I’d love to hear Zara’s awesome voice! Zara, are you ever going to make it to Chicago?! When will you be in LA and New York this time around, again? I’ve forgotten, are you going to Miami too? Maybe I’ll see you somewhere when I’m touring for my collection.

    • D.R. Haney says:

      Actually, Gina, there’s a podcast of Zara somewhere here at this site. But I seem to recall Irene saying that your voice is pretty awesome too.

      Of course I love that you propose a T-shirt with my saying on it. As for your suggest that we all start naming characters in forthcomingnovels, etc., James Irwin has already written the first draft of a book in which he does just that. Now, I guess, we all need to start following his (and your) example.

      Meanwhile, I somehow remain among the living. Knock wood.

    • Zara Potts says:

      Oh jinkers, Gina – you don’t want to hear my voice. I’ve recently been described as sounding like Kylie Minogue who is affectionately referred to down under as the singing budgie.
      But Yes!! We have plans to visit Chicago in June! Can’t wait….

  24. […] N.L. on D.R. |  D.R. on […]

  25. Erika Rae says:

    I feel like I just visited a kennel after a rainstorm with all these wet dogs. Fuck off, Duran Duran. Love that. Would you still love me if I told you I had a pink poster of them up on my wall in the 7th grade? Pretty sure I pillow-made-out with Roger Taylor.

    • D.R. Haney says:

      I forget which one he is, but they all kind of looked the same to me. But, yeah, I personally would love you even if you crunched me like a can of grape Fanta, though I know it was Scott, and not you, who did that.

  26. Gloria says:

    I don’t know how I missed this, Nick. There’s just so damn much to read on this site. But here I am! I found it! And I’m glad I did. I wish I could have been there.

    Beautiful writing. The paragraph describing Duke’s emergence in the bookstore is outstanding.

  27. Epic! I love the intro to this story. Classic Nick and classic Duke all rolled into one.

  28. […] D.R. Haney came to visit him in Bakersfield during a rainstorm. […]

  29. Биометрический контроль доступа позволяет повысить уровень защиты. Благодаря высокому уровню безопасности пропускной системы обеспеченному за счет технологии считывания отпечатков пальцев исключающей возможность доступа, путем подмены или кражи карты доступа либо ключей/паролей.
    Посмотреть и заказать можно здесь инструкция на биометрический считыватель t5

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