Brian crumpled up the paper without a second glance and threw it in with the rest of the garbage before he hopped back onto the back of the truck and motioned Stanley on. The news, the headlines didn’t matter to Brian, at least not the headlines lately.
The sun sizzled hot above this garbage truck, sending a warning, a pre-curser of the sultry weather ahead. The news report sizzled as well on this August day about this mystery author. Somewhere in this great city of cities, if you believed what was being written, was the next Steinbeck. A simple book, Scenes of a Life, had taken this city, the whole world in fact by storm. There were rumors of a Pulitzer swirling in the dust of this struggling city. The human remnants of this formerly glittering, bustling place clung to the stirrings as they clung to any piece of positivity, so rare in this decaying giant which now surrounded them.
Brian had read Scenes of A Life, several times in fact. The truck stopped at the adobe colored house with the adobe colored people, always busy coming and going, This book had slowed people down , people both importantly and ordinary. It captured them with the intimate details of everyday life they may have otherwise missed. The characters lives were chronicled so well, according to one reviewer and in such detail, that only a master storyteller would be able to come up with such vivid descriptions.
Brian waved Stanley on once again. Stanley the one who had trained him. Stanley who had opened him up to the glorious security of an every week paycheck. Stanley, chain smoking, beer drinking Stanley. Stanley his teeth as stained as his beard. Stanley with a heart of gold and a wife and six kids to prove it.
Even when they had stopped for coffee that morning, the book and it’s ever pervading mystery author invaded Brian’s life. Brian glanced at a national magazine cover which again screamed of this book and it’s reclusive mysterious author who seemed to have overtaken the world scene like a giant Tsunami wave.
“So buddy, who do you think wrote it? I read it, you know. Wife thought I’d like it and actually yeah, I kind of did. Not like Hemingway. I mean that man could write. I still reread his stuff. But yeah, this new mystery man, G.M. Ryder, he might be set to challenge him.”
Brian gave Stanley an odd look and shrugged his shoulders. Stanley read Hemingway? That Stanley read books at all was a revelation to Brian. Then again you never know the insides of people by looking without did you. The coffee swirled and bubbled it’s caffeinated dark brown coloring as Brian’s insides joined it. After all no one knew his inner workings or his true outer life, not even Stanley. Stanley knew, or thought he knew, what Brian’s life was like. The life Brian had led him to believe was his.
Only Brian knew the truth, the depth of the solitude he survived in. The bone aching loneliness he faced every night, when he turned the lock and entered his little mobile home alone. The emptiness that was completingly incomplete in his space until Brian pulled out a paper and pen. It was then he began to fill the solitude of his emptiness with words, his words. Words which soon danced around him, becoming simply and complexingly at the same time, The Scenes of a Life.