Monday, 23 June 2008

23 June 2008

them things in the ground something’ll grow up?” Without cracking a smile, of course, and the other boys heard him and laughed. And they were the silliest shoes in America; I brought them along specifically because I didn’t want my feet to sweat in the hot road for fear I’d develop another case of phlebitis, and except for the rain in Bear Mtn. they proved to be the best possible shoes for my journey. So I laughed with them. And they’d become pretty ragged by now, the bits of colored leather stuck up like pieces of a fresh pineapple, with my toes showing through. Well, we had another shot and laughed. As in a dream we zoomed through small crossroad towns smack out of the darkness and passed long lines of lounging harvest hands and cowboys in the night and were back out there. They watched us pass in one motion of the head and we saw them slap their thighs from the continuing dark the other side of town---we were a funny looking crew. A lot of men were in this country at that time of year, it was harvest time. The Dakota boys were fidgeting. “I think we’ll get off at the next pisscall, seems like there’s a lot of work around here.” “All you got to do is move north when it’s over here,” counseled Montana Slim, “and jess follow the harvest till you get to Canada.” The boys nodded vaguely; they didn’t take much stock in his advice. Meanwhile the blond young fugitive sat the same way; every now and then Gene leaned over from his Buddhistic trance over the rushing dark plains and said something tenderly in the boy’s ear. The boy nodded. Gene was taking care of him, even his moods and fears. I wondered where the hell they would go and what they could do. They had no cigarettes. I squandered my pack on them I loved them so. They were grateful and gracious. They never asked; I kept offering. Montana Slim had his own but never passed the pack. We zoomed through another crossroads town, passed another line of tall lanky men in jeans, clustered in the dim light like moths on the desert, and returned to the tremendous darkness…and the stars overhead were as pure and bright, because of the increasingly thin air as we mounted the high hill of the western plateau about a foot a mile, so they say, and a mile a minute, pure clean air and no trees obstructing any low-levelled

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