Portrait of the Artist As A Young Nutcase Who Is Kind of Scary

Duane Gundrum
4 min readFeb 21, 2018

I was out of the Army and spending a great deal of my time bar hopping for thrills. There really wasn’t anything else to do, and I no longer had any responsibilities, requirements or even a schedule. I had a job, but it was really unimportant and somewhat irrelevant to the grand scheme of things, so I started looking for bars to hang out for brunt of my free time in the evenings.

For me, this meant spending a lot of my time walking home drunk. Well, “drunk” is a mild way to put how I was most of those evenings. Let’s just say that I don’t remember a lot of what happened in between a few of those drinks and waking up the next morning. But showing up at a local bar the next evening told me that I must have had a great time the night before, because everyone in the bar was glad to see me again, talking about what fun we must have had the night before.

I’m a writer, so I chalk it up to one of those learning experiences you’re supposed to gather while working on the next all American novel. Only, 13 novels later, none of them really seem to have been all that American, or anything that would be considered “all American”. Years of experience has taught me that they’re just novels, and if people read them, then they were good novels, and sometimes you take what you can get.

But it was one of those evenings that I remember vividly because I remember talking to a woman I had been trying to get close to for some time at my neighborhood bar. You know the place. It…

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Duane Gundrum

Author of Innocent Until Proven Guilty and 15 other novels. Writer, college professor and computer game designer.