Voice (21)

“Later in his long life Grainier confused the chronology of the past and felt certain that the day he’d viewed the World’s Fattest Man — that evening — was the very same day he stood on Fourth Street in Troy Montana, twenty-six miles east of the bridge, and looked at a railway car carrying the strange young hillbilly entertainer Elvis Presley. Presley’s private train had stopped for some reason, maybe for repairs, here in this little town that didn’t even merit its own station. The famous youth had appeared in the window briefly and raised his hand in greeting, but Grainier had come out of the barbershop across the street too late to see this. He’d only had it told to him by the townspeople standing in the late dusk, strung along the street beside the deep bass of the idling diesel, speaking very low if speaking at all, staring into the mystery and grandeur of a boy so high and solitary.
Grainier had also once seen a wonder horse, and a wolf-boy, and he’d flown in the air in a biplane in 1927. He’d started his life story on a train ride he couldn’t remember, and ended up standing around outside a train with Elvis Presley in it.”

— Denis Johnson from Train Dreams

 

(photo credit: cindy johnson via the austin chronicle)

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