Your Early Morning Freewrite
As I drove around San Francisco on my morning delivery, dodging waving apologists as they sprinted across the street like erratic pigeons, I mentally cursed my jean jacket for holding my sunglasses hostage at home. The sun was high in the sky and bright. I couldn’t see a thing. At least the sky was blue, I thought. At least there is that today. One of many things, I tried to remember. One of the many.
With the delivery delivered, I took a break to write something Patti Smith said about Burrough’s in a podcast.
“He’s always looking for something in his writing,” Smith revealed.
Then, I started the car.
At a light, I thought of Lawrence Ferlinghetti. I thought of the creaky wooden floorboards of City Lights the days and night I worked as a fill-in. There I made sure the fiction section was straightened out, the dreaded comic book area was somewhat presentable, that the poetry section upstairs was everything that people from all over the world imagined it would be and more; that the resonance of a million minds over a million years had a place to scream with joyous inebriation and terror.
I hoped that he was ok.
I wondered hopefully that he was psychically connected with Ginsberg, perhaps discussing the meaning of such times, perhaps discovering there is no meaning at all. The nihilistic side of me was tickled, the shitty, bleak, unhopeful, and ultimately privileged side of me was rubbed. It disgusted me how quick I was to think everything would make sense if nothing had no purpose at all. If I could throw up my hands at the events and walk away, it only proved that I had no stake in the survival of the ones that had no choice in the matter — thus my luxury.
Continuing to wait, at the incessant red light, I noticed I was near a hospital. Nurses and doctors in their white and blues whispered between cigarette smoke(their hands do not look like mine). I could see a line of people waiting in line to get into Trader Joes. What if the streets held nourishment we weren’t forced to pay for? What if there were cherry hot dog trees and tofu bushes lining alleyways? What if there were fresh oranges delivered daily with sides of basil for the fresh pasta air raids every Tuesday and Thursday?
Delusional dreams. They haunted me in my day to day deliveries where I nodded at passing strangers and gave advice to referees. The light turned red, I pressed the gas toward another day of heartache and revelry. Oh’ to be alive and relatively well.
As Harris’s Jim put it, “I was talking about my experience.”
Mitchell Duran is a writer of fiction, poetry, and non-fiction. He holds an MFA in Creative Writing from San Francisco State University. He has been published in Free Flash Fiction, Black Horse Review, Drunk Monkey, The Millions, BrokeAssStuart, and more. He lives in San Francisco, California. Find more work at Mitchellduran.com