Robert Olen Butler Official Website

My companion on the recent leg of my Hell book tour

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A few weeks ago I noticed a green anole squeeze into the driver-door outside mirror of my car. It did not occur to me that he actually lived in there until this past weekend, when I took a four-day, three-night, 1200-mile book tour road trip from my home to a gig at Florida State College in Venice, Florida, and then on to an appearance at the Miami Book Festival and back home again. This little fella, whom I came to call “Larry,” went along for the ride, sunning himself at times at 70 miles per hour on the Interstate. He and I safely returned home but not without a couple of extreme-sport adventures. Twice Larry emerged entirely and flapped wildly in the wind like the green flag of a banana republic in a hurricane. The first time, before I could figure out what to do, he reconsidered the move and was able to crawl back in to safety. The second time, about fifty miles from home, I noticed him out there clinging by one foot and clearly about to fly away. I rolled the window down and grabbed him. (I have perfected a gentle-grab technique over the years with these guys, who often wander into my two-cat household at their great peril.) I pulled over and fortunately had a small box in the back seat that kept him safe until we got home. When I opened the box beneath the live oak at the end of the brick walkway to my house, he strolled casually out with what can only be described as an I-meant-to-do-that attitude.

One Response to “My companion on the recent leg of my Hell book tour”

  1. Larry is clearly part cat. His attitude reminded me of the late George Carlan’s riff on the difference between cats and dogs.

    I enjoyed your interview on Barbara DeMarco-Barrett’s podcast, especially “plot is yearning, challenged and thwarted.” That’s the first thing about “plot” that has penetrated my hard head.


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