In the second section of The Same River Twice, Chris Offutt's memoir took a bit of a turn. While reading, although I am not sure if it was intended or not, I feel like the second assigned section had a bit of a different tone and stories.
It is filled of fights and city hopping as well as constant struggle. The first section had a bit more of a funny tone, while this one is more to the point. There is more action as well as "story lines".
I found that Offutt patterns his chapters switching back and forth between past and present day, and it seems as if it is inevitable that these two will soon cross paths. I think the tone ever so slightly changed because in both present and past stories, Chris is growing up. He is maturing and learning more has he travels from city to city.
In his present chapters, his fear of being a father is clearly evident. He uses beautiful language, diction, and metaphors and similes to express his fear. He never clearly says, "I am scared." Instead, he constantly finds things in nature to represent his fear. His mind morphs his sight to all relate back to his coming child.
Offutt truly has a way of beautiful writing and his mind is so much more complex than he gives his self credit for as a young nomad. On page 68, "More and more, I depended on my journal. It was organic, I believed, even sentient. I came to regard the process of recording a lived life as the only material fit for writing. Somewhere in the Rockies, this shifted into a belief that the journal was my life, and the rest of existence only a fiction." This line shows the depth of Chris's mind. It was so interesting for me to see how he was doing such "low", "demeaning" jobs, yet his mind was far beyond his years. It was poetic, deep, and insightful.
Considering this is a memoir, it makes me question how much of this "story" is true. It seems bizarre for me to believe that all of these absurd things happened to a young man in such a short amount of time.