My buddy Lee Henshaw is writing his new novel, The Uncertainty of Friendship, and he’s publishing it as he goes along at next-to-hemingway.blogspot.com, with a new chapter appearing every Sunday as far as I can tell. I am serialising it here, because it is ace.
Trout Fishing in America Fucking
She gave him a copy of Trout Fishing in America because she thought it was a book about fishing for trout, something he liked to do. He had a long trout rod that he tied dried flowers to.
She was rushing when she bought him Trout Fishing in America from the second-hand bookshop, trying to get home quickly so she didn’t miss that day’s episode of the Australian soap opera Neighbours.
She didn’t concentrate on the cover of Trout Fishing in America, on the photograph of the author, Richard Brautigan, and his muse, Michaela Clark Le Grand. If she’d concentrated on that cover, she probably would have asked herself, ‘Is this really a book about fishing for trout?’
It didn’t matter to Jason that Trout Fishing in America wasn’t about fishing for trout. He enjoyed Trout Fishing in America so much that he went on to buy all of Richard Brautigan’s novels and poems and to describe Richard Brautigan as his favourite writer.
On that warm Sunday afternoon, Jason decided to fuck her in the churchyard as if she were a copy of Trout Fishing in America. He was going to have sex with her, he decided, the same way he liked to read Trout Fishing in America: slowly and carefully.
He touched her here and there as if her body was made of chapters from Trout Fishing in America, which are tricky things if you let them be. The best thing to do with Chapters from Trout Fishing in America, he found, is read them again and again until they have no surprises left in them. A chapter from Trout Fishing in America takes a while to unpack.
On their way home, he told her what he’d done, and she said, “I enjoyed being fucked as if I were a copy of Trout Fishing in America”.
Lee Henshaw’s first novel was called Queer Fish in God’s Waiting Room, and it’s out now.