Thursday, 26 June 2008

26 June 2008

wooden sidewalks of old Cheyenne; further down were the long stringy boulevard lights of new downtown Cheyenne. The celebration was focusing on oldtown. Blank guns went off. The saloons were crowded to the sidewalk. I was amazed and at the same time I had never seen anything so really ridiculous: in my first shot at the west I was seeing to what absurd devices it had fallen to keep its proud tradition. Man I rubbed my eyes. We had to jump off the truck and say goodbye, the Minnesotans weren’t interested in hanging around. I was sad to see them go and realized I would never see any of them again, but that’s the way it was. “You’ll freeze your ass tonight,” I warned, “then you’ll burn ’em in the desert tomorrow afternoon.” “That’s allright with me long’s as we get out of this cold night” said Gene. And the truck left, threading its way through the crowds and nobody paying attention to the strangeness of it and of the kids inside the tarpaulin watching the town like babes from a coverlet. I watched it disappear into the night. Mississippi Gene was gone; bound for Og-den and then God knows what. I was with Montana Slim and we started in hitting the bars. I had about ten dollars, eight of which I foolishly squandered that night on drinking. First we milled with all the cowboydudded tourists and oilmen and ranchers, at bars, in doorways, on the sidewalk, then I shook Slim for awhile who by now was wandering a little slaphappy in the street from all the whisky and beer; he was that kind of drinker, his eyes got glazed, in a minute he’d be telling an absolute stranger about things. I went into a chili joint and the waitress was Spanish and beautiful. I ate, and then I wrote her a little love note on the back of the bill. The chili joint was deserted; everybody was drinking. I told her to turn the bill over. She read it and laughed. It was a little poem about how I wanted her to come and see the night with me. “I’d love to Chiquito but I have a date with my boyfriend.” “Can’t you shake him?” “No, no, I don’t” she said sadly; and I loved the way she said it. “Some other time I’ll come by here,” I said, and she said “Any time, kid.” Still I hung around just to look at her and had another cup of coffee. Her boyfriend came in sullenly and wanted to know when she was off. She

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