I guess James Sallis' novel, Drive, is about a man called Driver. The story flip flops to the past, back again, although, I am not sure, it was ever told from the now point in time. Confusing to read. Short sentences. Or non-sentences. A method of writing, I sometimes use myself, so should not have been so annoying to me. I will say the main character, Driver, was homeless when he left a foster home at age 16, taking his foster parents car, driving to Los Angeles, California.
Book makes mention of sleeping in the vehicle, then sleeping on a couch until a job as a movie stunt driver pays enough to get his own dive apartment.
A man "worked with troubled juveniles at a shelter."
"A homeless man went by on the street outside pushing a shopping car piled high."
After Driver disabled a punk that was among a gang that had been sitting on his car hood, he imagines them thinking, "It wasn't supposed to go down like this." He wants to "Go back and tell them that's what life was, a long series of things that didn't go down the way you thought they would."
Apt description. Could not say how I thought things would go, except, as I typed that quote, mind flash backed to a long ago time. Watching guy playing catch with his nephew in backyard, imagining him playing catch with our son ~ who turned out to be a daughter ~ "will be a good father", I thought at that time. I guess, if good includes spending rent money on heroin and booze equates good. Hmm...
Another thought I liked: "Life sends us messages all the time--then sits around laughing over how we're not gonna be able to figure them out."
Again, not sure what messages life sent me, that I missed, just seems to be oh so true.
Towards the end of the novel Driver tells a story a friend told him. "...the story of America is all about the advancing of frontier. Push through to the end of it, he says, which is what we've done here at land's end, there's nothing left, the worm starts eating its own tail."
'Should have had the duck instead.'
Despite himself, Driver laughed."
Huh? Driver ordered the duck at the suggestion of his dinner companion, who likewise ordered duck. Whatever the joke was, I did not get it. The companion was from the east coast, so perhaps the story meant the man was the worm who was now eating his own tail? Still does not explain the duck comment.