Make the Road by Walking by Todd Lazarski


After losing cushy employment in the pummeling economic tumult of ’08, and suddenly saddled with a half-drunk mood of vagrancy, Teddy Rawski has taken to the road. Heading west, to San Francisco, south to New Orleans, and east, to New York, and eyeing the clouds from his back in the easy-going Midwest, Teddy wanders with adroit purposelessness through the pages and the American night. It’s a trail between joblessness and employment, rife with rejection, indifference and far too many beers. One where the ride and the arrival, the coming and the going, mix and mush into one unseemly heap – a directionless mess. Teddy seeks solace in his guitar, murky literary aspirations, a scattering of half-wise uncles, the ghost of a former tennis partner, and endless unemployment-check dreams. Maybe modern ennui could salvage that clichéd old adage about the journey, not the destination? Every generation must revisit the American landscape and define it anew… This isn’t a story about looking for a job (though, heavens knows, Teddy needs one), and it’s far from a coming-of-age, lessons-learned, open-diary saga of today’s economic climate. More it’s about the looking itself, the searching out of the end of the night, and its about the thoughts of that guy your not quite sure about, the one sitting by himself, at the end of the bar. Riffing on the travel book requirements of narrative and comment, this bit of jivey memoir (or literary fiction – depends who you ask) hints at what Henry Chinaski’s grandson might make of our current plight, could he pick his jaw up off the saloon floor. Here, too, is a dose of Sal Paradise for the listless Facebook sect, a scrap of poetry for two troubled feet on a summertime road-trip dashboard, and a freewheeling meditation on loss and seeking.