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FlashNano Day 7: Henry Miller at Denny’s

November 9, 2018

O.K. So we are driving to Sacramento, the usual crew. Liz, Ethan Hawke, Paula me and you. We stop at Denny’s for something to eat. A shake, a bake and a bellyache.

Ethan Hawke tells me to look in the corner and I can’t believe it. A man, old and ruined looms over his coffee cup reading a paperback. I can’t read the title, something by George Eliot. ‘Middlemarch’ maybe. I want to get closer. I want to inherit him.

We decide that this man is without doubt Henry Miller. Ethan Hawke has always had the opinion that Henry faked his own death in a bold bid to regain some sense of solitude. It was all to do with students hanging around his house, apparently. Ethan Hawke even suspects that Henry may be working at Denny’s as a cleaner, “He’s in-between shifts at the moment, buddy.” Ethan Hawke drinks a hell of a lot of coffee these days.

The old man slugs the last of his coffee, pays the bill (no tip much to Liz’s delight). He walks right past us. We catch a glimpse of the paperback. ‘How to Make A Million at The Track.’ Ethan Hawke becomes hysterical. “Jesus Christ! Henry’s playing the horses.”

Outside in the parking lot we see the old man again. He stands still. His gaze fixed on the traffic. He turns around, laughs at me, punches the air and walks briskly across the fields.

We continue our journey. Paula rolls a big one and there’s s a weary silence for at least twenty minutes, until Ethan Hawke tells us a joke about some whore house in Seattle.

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