Harry Crews: Sticking Point

"Very much wanting to be a writer when I was young, I drove more than 1,000 miles to meet the author Harry Crews," Esquire magazine's Cal Fussman once recalled. "He had no idea who I was or why I was coming. But I'd been overwhelmed by one of his books, and I just got in my car, and 15 hours later I was in Gainesville, Florida, knocking on the partly opened front door of his home. There was no answer. I knocked some more. After a few minutes I walked inside. Hell, I didn't drive a thousand miles for nothing. And there was Harry laid out on a chair with an empty bottle of booze on his chest. As I got closer, his eyes opened, and without a question he welcomed me. He told me to go down to Gator Gulch and fill a cardboard box with liquor. So I did. We got to drinking and talking, and the more he drank, the more lucid he became. It was absolutely amazing -- although it may have just seemed that way because I was getting hammered. I don't recall much of what happened as the evening progressed, but I do remember asking him if he kept a diary. How can you remember everything? I wondered, meaning, How can you remember anything when you're constantly f---ed up? He looked me in the eye and said, 'The good shit sticks.' I've never forgotten that nor kept a diary since."
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