King of the Road

From a collection of 100-word stories & wonders

It’s all in the eyes: a story of hard-bought freedom punctuated by moments of the sublime. Photo of original oil portrait “Unidentified Homeless Man” by of my friend Vicki Brocksen De Ville.

He hooky-bobbed his first bus and swilled his first popskull before he was 10. Never looked back. By 17 he was riding the Southern Pacific between Portland and LA. Forty years’n nine knife fights scattered bits and pieces of him from Tacoma to Carlsbad. Back in ’89, a DUI left him for roadkill on 101 somewhere outside Brookings. He’d seen good times, too. In Redding, he saved Ray from his upside down perch on a cyclone fence. Living on beef jerky and summer runoff, they walked the Pacific Crest to Hood River under a sky graveled with silver stars.

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