The Great Known

Joshua Tree National Park, California, which has really got stones. (Monte Dutton photo)
Joshua Tree National Park, California, which has really got stones. (Monte Dutton photo)

Mickey got up, drank some coffee, fixed breakfast, and rejoiced in the honor of being the last person on earth whose mother had the good sense to name her son Mickey, and he thought about the glory of Mickey Mantle, Mickey Stanley, Mickey Spillane, and Mickey Montgomery.

Okay, the last one he made up.

By Monte Dutton
By Monte Dutton

Then he turned on the television, saw that Ted Cruz was out and had nearly decked his wife after bowing out of the presidential race, and, on Twitter, he watched a video of Carly Fiorina falling through an apparent trap door installed by Donald Trump operatives. He pondered suicide but thought it a bit rash since he noticed that Bernie had won. If only Sanders were running against pollsters and not Hillary Clinton …

So he smoked a cigarette as a gesture of moderation. Then he concluded that the only appropriate response to the events of the nation was to have a day that was completely inconsequential, like the blog he was about to write.

Even his consequential days were bereft of consequence on the average.

Mickey flipped channels and passed on TCM because it had a decent movie on, and this, he realized, was a day suited only for an Elvis movie like Kissing Cousins. Undaunted, he picked up his guitar and sang a medley of songs that required two chords, preferably D and A.

The phone rang, and he answered it, even though he knew it could only be his mother or someone who wanted money.


“Mr. Malloy?”


“How are you doing?”

(Monte Dutton sketch)
(Monte Dutton sketch)

“Approximately the same as yesterday, and the day before, and, before that, there were three days that, in retrospect, I was doing better. But I felt like shit last Tuesday. You?”

“I’m fine.”

Then she asked for money, and he cut her off and said it was funny, but money was the only thing he was completely sure he didn’t have, and he hung up on her and didn’t feel bad because he knew she didn’t.

Mickey shook his head finally and realized resistance to consequence was futile, so he paid a bill, the one that was due and involved electricity, and resolved to go out in a world where people loved Trump because “he tells it like it is,” which, by contemporary definition, is to work lies into five out of every six sentences. He thought about how Trump managed to avoid being deemed a liar by calling everyone else one, which made Trump exactly the same as some of his relatives, who, by extension, were now ruling and ruining the country in one massive wave of democracy.

He felt better and decided to shave and shower before boldly striding out into the Great Known.

(Cover photo by Crystal Lynn)
(Cover photo by Crystal Lynn)

My book of short stories, all derived from songs I wrote, is called Longer Songs, and you can buy it here.

The Audacity of Dope is a tale about a pot-smoking singer-songwriter who becomes a reluctant national hero. He prevents someone from blowing up the plane he’s on, and both hilarity and drama ensue. My first novel is an irreverent, fun read.

The Intangibles is my most personal. Set mostly in 1968, it draws on memories from my childhood and teen-aged years. It’s a story of civil rights, bigotry, and high school football.

(Cover design by Jennifer Skutelsky)
(Cover design by Jennifer Skutelsky)

Crazy of Natural Causes has a main character who is an outrageous football coach at the beginning, loses everything and has to start over. It’s a fable of life’s absurdity.

TrespassesCoverForgive Us Our Trespasses is a yarn about a corrupt, ambitious politician who wants to be governor and will do anything to achieve it. It has a parallel story of a good cop who’s trying to stop the monster and another of kids gone wild.

To peruse all my books, including most of the non-fiction ones from my NASCAR years, click here.


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