Head up, thumbs out
I hitchhiked to Flagstaff when I was nineteen, then turned around, then kept going, started with a dollar-eighty-five in my pocket, went for four good months, wrote it all down in a big black book. Professors, friends, a man called Padre, they all said Do it while you're young. Do it now. I've done it. You should too. Go do it. I got a tattoo in Tucson. Watched the sun dip into the desert from the cabin of an eighteen-wheeler. Driver said it wasn't fat, it was muscle, punched him in the gut 'cause he dared me to. Got checkpoint-spooked, gave me dinner and twenty bucks. Slept under a freeway sign outside of Blythe, semis tussling my hair inside the sleeping bag. Woke up to California dawn. Met a man moving to L.A. for love. She didn't know he was coming. Napped in the autumn sun and leaves at a city park. Stumbled across Ventura Blvd in the dark. Spent nine hours in a Denny's making friends with the servers, eating all the chicken and cake. Woke up in the back seat of a car on the Bay Bridge at daybreak with the fog rolling in. Meditated on a beach in San Francisco, got a grip on the Tao for just a second, for just one second. Got a job there, learned to sell art, stayed with the manager, Scott, he always wore bowling shoes. Spent Thanksgiving with some Jews, New Years at a rap party. Read Jack Kerouac all the way through. Hitched the long road from Reno to Las Vegas, watched that city's glow get closer and brighter, stopped for getters-on and getters-off in every two-bit one-billboard town there was, stopped for the dirty and the scary and the wandering and weird. The people, they were strange, they were strangers, they were good and kind and wild and they steered their wheels and took me where I went and I went with them and I am with them. I am with them. Punch me in the gut. I dare you to. It wasn’t fat, it was muscle.

Robert Hoekman Jr writes books, nine so far, all nonfiction, and articles, a few hundred so far, maybe more, it’s hard to say. Two of the books were Amazon bestsellers. One’s about custom motorcycle design. It's called The Build. The articles were for WIRED, Fast Company, Huckberry, Bike Exif, Iron & Air, a bunch of others. He edits books, helps write some, a few of those too. He and another guy have a short fiction event called Spillers with five writers and the Spillers After Show podcast that comes out every week and a book for all the stories. It won an award, the podcast did, Best of Phoenix 2016 by Phoenix New Times. There was a plaque and everything. He writes fast, frenetic, meaty, rocket-fueled. He sucks the complexity out of complexity. He plays devil’s advocate, asks all the questions. He has a bent for dark humor, laughs out loud at it. Satire, too, especially when it’s dark. Lives in pretty much the center of Phoenix in an old art deco building with a lady named Jodi and two dogs and a red brick wall and a typewriter. He’s writing a novel, like everyone’s writing a novel. He has a website at www.rhjr.net. Nothing else to know, really.