Dharma Bum

I’m a girl who wants to hop trains, drink hooch. One day I ditch school and chat up a homeless guy with rough water eyes. I give him a copy of The Dharma Bums, then invite him back to my mother’s apartment. Coltrane plays on while I whine about boys.

He puffs on a smoke. “Can’t really help you with that.” He sounds bored. “Stupid to be lonely. How ‘bout just hungry?”

I pretend my eyes don’t sting and make him a sandwich. On his way out he says “not everything’s romantic.”

He’s right. But so what. He’s no Kerouac. And I’m a dumb kind of sixteen.

Hotel Monteleone

Later, she understood that there would be only money—and not all that much.


I thought it was better that way, for the cricket to be swallowed & carried inside a body so that it would never know lonely.