Seeing Clear to Pismo

Aaron Gilbreath
24 min readDec 5, 2021

Homeless in California’s rural interior

San Joaquin Valley life

A man sat on the curb outside the Valero gas station in Lost Hills, California. He was wearing grubby jeans. His head hung low as though under the weight of his grey hoodie, and a cigarette burned between his fingers. A coiled pit bull slept by his feet, next to an empty can of dog food, and on a piece of cardboard propped beside them were the words:

Aaron Gilbreath

Essayist, Journalist, Burritoist. Longreads Editor. Writing: Harper’s, NYT, Slate, Paris Review, VQR, Oxford American, Kenyon Review. 3 nonfiction books.