Staff Contributions

DAY 1 I am in my cabin in the woods. It’s good. No one else is around for 2 miles in any direction. I have some water and whiskey and my shotgun. I am going to go kill my dinner. Okay I am back and I have my dinner, a deer. I shot this deer and now I will cook it.
DAY 1, LATER I cooked and ate the deer flank and it was very gamey. But the whiskey is good.
DAY 1, LATER I drank most of the whiskey and I’m hungry again so I am going to eat more of the deer.
DAY 1, LATER I ate more of the deer and it was less gamey than I remembered. I also had more whiskey.
DAY 1, LATER I am just sitting here.
DAY 1, LATER More deer has been eaten by me. It is very good deer meat.
DAY 1, LATER The rest of the deer is about to have been eaten by me. Also I drank the rest of the whiskey. I underestimated how much whiskey I would need out here. I will probably have to go to the store to buy more whiskey. I didn’t want to leave this cabin at all, but what the hell, Thoreau left Walden Pond every day he was writing that book. It is taking me a long time to type this because I am eating more of the deer with one of my hands. This is the best deer meat I have ever eaten. Thank you, deer, for being so delicious. I will eat the rest of you soon and use your antlers as decoration in my cabin if there is any room left on my walls. I am looking around and seeing that there is not. Every wall has deer antlers on every available inch of wall. Sorry, deer.
DAY 1, LATER Okay I am going to bed, in this chair.
DAY 2 I just woke up in this chair. I am reading over what I wrote yesterday about my day. What a fantastic day that was. Reading about my day really took me back to how good that deer was, and the whiskey. I am getting hungry. I’ll be right back. Okay I am back and I have eight rabbits. I am going to cook one of the rabbits and eat it for breakfast. Okay, I have cooked one of the rabbits. It tastes good.
DAY 2, LATER I feel as though this diary is going really well. I will be very proud to send it to Leslie for her review. I am going to send these first pages to her to make sure that this is what she is looking for. This will also afford me the ability to stop writing for a few days and just concentrate on the things that I want to do.
DAY 6, LATER

I heard back from Leslie. She says that what I have written is excellent. She also encouraged me to be a bit more descriptive. “Some adjectives wouldn’t hurt,” she said. She also said that I didn’t have to necessarily record everything I do at every moment. She then reiterated several times that what I had written so far was excellent. She specifically said that I should be “very proud of myself” and that I am a “wonderful man and a fine writer.” She also enclosed a sample of something she had written, that was “maybe more in line with what kind of thing I’m looking for.” I will reprint it for you here:

As the sun shyly peeks over the horizon, pouring its warmth over the serene silence of my rustic cabin, the distinctive call of a Black-Bellied Whistling Duck fills my ears with song and my heart with joy for the day of silent contemplation that lies ahead. My mind cannot help but drift back to the days of the first settlers here – nay, back further, when the gentle Wamapoke ruled, or back further still, when “America” was but an idea and democracy a mere promise of–

You see what I am dealing with.

She then said several more times that I was an excellent writer, and enclosed several bottles of whiskey, because she is thoughtful. I am going to consider what she said and try to maybe split the difference.

DAY 17 I haven’t written anything in days because every time I sit down and imagine trying to write the way she suggested I grind my teeth together and my jaw starts to hurt.
DAY 19 I have no food tonight because I was about to take down a delicious-looking 170-inch Indiana Whitetail but I started thinking about how I could write about the experience in a way that Leslie would like and I lost my concentration and it ran away.
DAY 23 In the morning, a beautiful sunrise happened. It was outside and I saw it and it was beautiful. The sun rose up and everything got nice and the light was beautiful. There is a beautiful pond near my cabin and the water looked beautiful as the light doth shone o’er the water, and a bird went by and it was excellent and I thought about history and America oh Christ this is pointless. Writing ruins everything.
DAY 29 I am packing it in and just heading home. Here’s why: the point of this isn’t to write about it. The point of doing it is just to do it. I like being out here by myself. It’s great. I like Pawnee because Pawnee is a town where there are stores and restaurants and whatnot, but also a decent chunk of it isn’t developed – it’s just forest and land and you can be by yourself like in this cabin I bought for $2200 fifteen years ago and just sit here and be happy. I’ve lived in Pawnee for 35 years and I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else, because there are places in this town where I can see people I like or at least tolerate and there are places where I can sit in a cabin by myself and eat venison and drink whiskey and not talk to anyone which I like to do. Pawnee is a nice town, not too big or small, not too big for its britches, and there are deer I can shoot, and that’s all I need.
DAY 30

I just got back and handed this to Leslie and told her she should just throw it away or do whatever she wanted, and she read it and got oddly emotional and said it was “perfect.” So, goodbye.

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