Sunday, 8 June 2008

05 June 2008

squeeze and stop on a dime at the brickwall, and jump out, snake his way out of close fenders, leap into another car, circle it fifty miles an hour in a narrow space, shift, and back again into a tight spot with a few inches each side and come to a bouncing stop the same moment he’s jamming in the emergency brake; then run clear to the ticket shack like a track star, hand a ticket, leap into a newly arrived car before the owner is hardly out, leap literally under him as he steps out, start the car with the door flapping and roar off to the next available parking spot: working like that without pause eight hours a night, evening rush hours and after theater rush hours, in greasy wino pants with a frayed furlined jacket and beat shoes that flap. Now he’d bought a new suit to go back home in; blue with pencil stripes, vest and all, with a watch and watch chain, and a portable typewriter with which he was going to start writing in a Denver roominghouse as soon as he got a job there. We had a farewell meal of franks and beans in a 7th avenue Riker’s and then Neal got on the bus that said Chicago on it and roared off into the night. I promised myself to go the same way when Spring really bloomed and opened up the land. There went our wrangler. And this was really the way that my whole road experience began and the things that were to come are too fantastic not to tell. I’ve only spoken of Neal in a preliminary way because I didn’t know any more than this about him then. His relation with Allen I’m not in on and as it turned out later, Neal got tired of that, specifically of queerness and reverted to his natural ways, but that’s no matter. In the month of July, 1947, having finished a good half of my novel and having saved about fifty dollars from old veteran benefits I got ready to go to the West Coast. My friend Henri Cru had written me a letter from San Fransisco saying I should come out there and ship out with him on an around the world liner. He swore he could get me into the engine room. I wrote back and said I’d be satisfied with any old freighter so long as I could take a few long Pacific trips and come back with enough money to support myself in my mother’s house while I finished my book. He said he had a shack in Marin City and I would have all the time in the world to write there

1 comment:

Emily said...

squeeze and stop on a dime at the brickwall, and jump out, snake his way out of close fenders, leap into another car, circle it fifty miles an hour in a narrow space, shift, and back again into a tight spot with a few inches each side and come to a bouncing stop the same moment he's hamming in the emergency brake; then run clear to the ticket shack like a track star, hand a ticket, leap into a newly arrived car before the owner is hardly out, leap literally under him as he steps out, start the car with the door flapping and roar off to the next available parking spot: working like that without pause eight hours a night, evening rush hours and after theater rush hours, in greasy wino pants with a frayed furlined jacket and beat shoes that flap. Now he'd bought a new suit to go back home in; blue with pencil stripes, vest and all, with a watch and watch chain, and a portable typewriter with which he was going to start writing in a Denver roominghouse as soon as he got a job there. We had a farewell meal of franks and beans in a 7th avenue Riker's and then Neal got on the bus that said Chicago on it and roared off into the night. I promised myself to go the same way when Spring really bloomed and opened up the land. There went our wrangler. And this was really the way that my whole road experience began and the things that were to come are too fantastic not to tell. I've only spoken of Neal in a preliminary way because I didn't know any more than this about him then. His relation with Allen I'm not in on and as it turned out later, Neal got tired of that, specifically the queerness and reverted to his natural ways, but that's no matter. In the month of July, 1947, having finished a good half of my novel and having saved about fifty dollars from old veteran benefits I got ready to go to the West Coast. My friend Henri Cru had written me a letter from San Fransisco saying I should come out there and ship out with him on an around the world liner. He swore he could get me into the engine room. I wrote back and said I'd be satisfied with any old freighter so long as I could take a few long Pacific trips and come back with enough money to support myself in my mother's house while I finished my book. He said he had a shack in Marin City and I would have all the time in the world to write there