Hemingway in A Year: The Torrents of Spring
Scripps O’Neil, abandoned. Left by his wife, leaving his home, traveling to a new town.
A beanery in a cold, midwestern city; a beanery with a bleak backdrop. Inside he finds a woman, an old waitress, who listens, a woman who stirs something within him; a woman who fills a need he never received from the other woman who left him.
He works with his hands to try to find himself again. There’s no dignity in work, there’s dignity in finding yourself. Finding yourself is work. He knew if he worked with his hands he would be like the other great artists, the ones he admired and wanted to be as great as.
I tried to work with my hands, tried to find myself.
A broken, noisy engine. A noisy afternoon. Working with my hands, grease on my face. Maybe I would be like one of the great artists as well, a great writer, like Hemingway. I wasn’t and I won’t.
Scripps worked hard, became beloved in a new town, a new home. And he felt something stir within him and married an old waitress. Perhaps it was real, deep love?
Perhaps it wasn’t. It wasn’t. But maybe she could hold on to him? Maybe I could find myself and hold on to who I am?
Yogi Johnson starts looking for himself, running away from home. Winter was long, sad, bleak.
Spring was coming, spring had come. Something stirred within Yogi and he left.
Hemingway repeats and backtracks and repeats himself again. A story in no order, with no point other than to tell everyone the genius of the great artists was not as genius as they want you to believe. A young man looking over his paper in Paris, laughing at the self importance of Fitzgerald and Wells.
A young man wholly unimpressed. Something stirred within him, and Spring had arrived.