Sunday, 29 June 2008

29 June 2008

he let me off at Longmont Colo. I was feeling normal again and had even started telling him about the state of my own travels. He wished me luck. It was beautiful in Longmont. Under a tremendous old tree was a bed of green lawngrass belonging to a gas station. I asked the attendant if I could sleep there and he said sure; so I stretched out a wool shirt, lay my face flat on it, with an elbow out, and with one eye cocked at the snowy Rockies in the hot sun for just a moment, I fell asleep for two delicious hours, the only discomfiture being an occasional Colorado ant. “And here I am in Colorado!” I kept thinking gleefully. “Damn! Damn! Damn! I’m making it!” And after a refreshing sleep filled with cobwebby dreams of my past life in the East I got up, washed in the station men’s room, and strode off fit and slick as a fiddle to get me a rich thick milkshake at the roadhouse to put some freeze in my hot tormented stomach. Incidentally a very beautiful Colorado gal shook me that cream, she was all smiles too; I was grateful, it made up for last night. I said to myself, “Wow! What’ll Denver be like!” I got on that hot road and off I went to Denver in a brand new car driven by a Denver businessman of about thirty five. He went seventy. I tingled all over; I counted minutes and subtracted miles. In a minute just over the rolling wheatfields all golden beneath the distant snows of Estes I’d be seeing old Denver at last. I pictured myself in a Denver bar that night, with all the gang, and in their eyes I would be strange and ragged and like the prophet that has walked across the land to bring the dark Word, and the only Word I had was Wow. The man and I had a long warm conversation about our respective schemes in life and before I knew it we were going over the Denargo fruitmarkets outside Denver, there was smoke, smokestacks, railyards, redbrick buildings and the distant downtown graystone buildings and here I was in Denver. He let me off at Larimer street. I stumbled along with the most wicked grin of joy in the world among the old bums and beat cowboys of Larimer street. It was also the biggest city I’d seen since Chicago and the bigcity buzz made me jump. As I say, in those days I didn’t know Neal as well as I do now, and the first thing I wanted to do was look up Hal Chase immediately, which I did. I

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