The Copywriter

He was a very young man but he had vision and money enough to be independent. He very carefully wore faded jeans and dusty baseball hats. He was a habitué of low bars, sporting events, and motor rallies. He detested smoking and drugs of all kinds but he nevertheless took up a number of vices to lend verisimilitude to his posturing. He wrote French and Russian like a philosopher but studiously avoided metaphors and sesquipedalian constructions in his speech. He swore easily, casually, and constantly. So successful was his pretense that everyone assumed he was the angry, uncouth, slender redneck he wanted to appear.

He scratched and scribbled long letters to his secretary, carried them tucked between the filthy waistband of his pants and the food- and liquor-stained front of his wifebeater. He lounged against randomly-chosen mailboxes, eyeing any woman who passed with long insolence, until he could steal his butt and his letter into the box. His secretary mailed her letters and his checks slipped among the slick colorful pages of a pornographic magazine.

He watched the sides of buses, store televisions, billboards, cartops for his handiwork. There they grew, fleshy, nodding flowers, his epigrams, his witticisms, his legacy.