Life, the Universe, and Henry Miller by Al McDermid

At one point I had gotten it my head to move to Los Angeles and so picked up a copy of the LA Weekly, a magazine I had never before read. The cover story of this particular issue was about Henry Miller, in which Miller is quoted as saying, “If the floodgates of the psyche should open and destroy our society, what harm could there be in that?” I then knew I needed to read Miller, and wanted to do so at the moment, but I didn’t have any of his books. I could have gone to the bookstore, but that seemed, at that moment, like too much trouble. Besides, I had plans to meet some friends and was running late. I forget about Miller and head down the hill. Literature matters, but life matters more. Living it matters most of all. I later learned that Henry would have probably agreed.

There were two ways up the hill where I lived at the time, a straight steep shot, or a very long switch back. I seldom took the switch back, but that night I couldn’t face the climb. In front of one house along the way, stacked on top of the waiting garbage can, was a bundle of books, among them a ninety-five cent Black Cat edition of Tropic of Cancer.

It’s a simple process. I decide that I need to read Henry Miller and the universe provides Henry Miller.


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Filed under Al McDermid

16 responses to “Life, the Universe, and Henry Miller by Al McDermid

  1. Love this, love the book sitting there. So karmic. Next time I go for a walk and don’t have time to run to the library, I’ll wish me up a book. Peace…

  2. It’s those incredible moments in life that show us how close reality is to fiction. Well done.

  3. Delightful! One of my favorites. Well done.

  4. guy

    I can imagine something of this sort happening to characters in Miller’s books. They’re structured around journeys through the city — or at least it seems that way when i look back on them. Well done.

  5. clever. henry would be proud.

  6. Kim Hutchinson

    Some of my favorite books came to me this way. This one left me with a big smile.

  7. This was sweet and wonderful and factual and told in such a believable, no-nonsense way.

  8. This has a real Buddhist feel to it, and I liked how it came back to Henry Miller. Nice.

  9. Pingback: Week #41 – Coincidence | 52|250 A Year of Flash

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