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He had migraines that were not properly treated and lost a series of jobs. “Eventually,” he writes, “I became homeless enough to suit anyone’s definition.”On the streets, Eighner clung to a kind of dignity. He foraged for books and magazines as much as food.His attempt to make a living as a freelance writer of gay erotic short stories (the checks came months late, when at all) was touching in its irrationality. He listened to “All Things Considered” on a battered portable radio.From being a person with low self-esteem, the scavenger gains confidence as he encount ...
Essays On Dumpster Diving Lars Eighner Space Exploration Essay Thesis
He did not obtain a college degree but is the sort of fellow who can drop French phrases into his writing without sounding la-di-da.
Eighner maintains a bitter running critique of the city’s welfare services, however.
He spies “a general contempt for the poor” in their uselessness.
There is more than one almost-unbearable moment when Eighner thinks he has lost her. More than one man found it necessary to brandish a firearm at us.”Eighner was alert to beauty on his trips West, though, and there are Kerouacian moments of bliss.
This book includes two accounts of hitchhiking to the West Coast. (Like Kerouac and another hero of the American road, Bruce Springsteen, Eighner saw the world from the passenger seat.)On one evening ride he came over a rise in the desert and “in every direction were the shimmering lights of the thickly populated valley below us: rose sodium lights, blue mercury vapor, neon and yellow incandescent; all before us glittering in the darkness. It was beautiful and, so I hoped, somewhere down there Lizbeth and I might get off the road.”If I cannot persuade you to read a nearly 25-year-old book about sleeping rough, perhaps I can convince you to read its pièce de résistance, a short chapter called “On Dumpster Diving.”The title is a bit of a misnomer.