Thursday, 17 July 2008

17 July 2008

We rushed back to our miner’s shack. Everything was in preparation for the big party. The girls Bev and Jean cooked up a snack of beans and franks and then we danced to our own music, and started on the beer for fair. The opera over, great crowds of young girls came piling into our place. Burford and Ed and I licked our lips. We grabbed them and danced. There was no music, just dancing. The place filled up. People began to bring bottles. We rushed out to hit bars and rushed back. The night was getting more and more frantic. I wished Neal and Allen were there- -then I realized they’d be out of place and unhappy. They were like the man with the dungeon stone and the gloom, rising from the underground, the sordid hipsters of America, a new beat generation that I was slowly joining. The boys from the chorus showed up. They began singing “Sweet Adeline.” They also sang phrases such as “Pass me the beer” and “What are you doing with your face hanging out” and great long baritone howls of “Fi-de-lio!” “Ah me, what gloom!” I sang. The girls were terrific. They went out in the backyard and necked. There were beds in the other rooms, the uncleaned dusty ones, and I had a girl sitting on it and was talking with her when suddenly there was a great inrush of young ushers from the opera, half of them hired by Brierly, who just grabbed girls and kissed them without proper come-ons. Teenagers, drunk, dishevelled, excited…they ruined our party. Inside of five minutes every single girl was gone and a great big fraternity type party got underway with banging of beer bottles and roars. Bob and Ed and I decided to hit the bars. Temko was gone, Bev and Jean were gone. We tottered into the night. The opera crowd was out, jamming the bars from bar to wall. Temko was shouting above heads. Justin W. Brierly was shaking hands with everybody and saying “Good afternoon, how are you?” and when midnight came he was saying “Good afternoon, how are you?” At one point I saw him rushing the Mayor of Denver off somewhere. Then he came back with a middleaged woman; next minute he was talking to a couple of young ushers in the street. The next minute he was shaking my hand without recognizing me and saying “Happy New Year, m’boy.” He wasn’t drunk on liquor, just drunk on

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