Thursday, 7 August 2008

02 August 2008

his pocket. “Did you take it?” “I’m not in California, which is a land of fruit and nuts, either you go nuts or you go fruit, for the benefit of what my mother used to call my health. You stick with the old maestro and we’ll make beautiful music on their evil skulls. Kerouac I’m absolutely convinced beyond the shadow of a doubt that this Dostioffsky, this man, this worm, is nothing but a thief because of the shape of his evil skull.” Henri was a compulsive thief. He was just like a little boy. Somewhere in his past, in his lonely schooldays in France, they’d taken everything from him; his parents just stuck him in schools and left him there; he was browbeaten and thrown out of one school after another; he walked the French roads at night devising curses out of his innocent stock of words. He was out to get back everything he’d lost; there was no end to his loss; this thing would drag on forever. The barracks cafeteria was our meet. We looked around to make sure nobody was looking and especially to see if any of our copfriends were lurking about to check on us, then I squatted down and Henri put a foot on each shoulder and up we went. He opened the window, which was never locked, as he saw to it in the evenings, scrambled through and came down on the flour table. I was a little more agile and just jumped and crawled in. Then we went to the soda fountain. Here, realizing a dream of mine from infancy, I took the cover of the chocolate ice cream and licked at it. Then we got ice cream boxes and stuffed them---poured chocolate syrup over and sometimes strawberries too---took wooden spoons---then walked around in the dispensary, the kitchens, opened iceboxes to see what we could take home in our pockets. I often tore off a piece of roastbeef and wrapped it in a napkin. “You know what President Truman said,” Henri would say, “we must cut down on the cost of living.” One night I waited a long time as he filled a huge box full of groceries. Then we couldn’t get it through the window. Henri had to unpack everything and put it back. But he was racking his brain. Later in the night, when he went off duty, a strange thing happened. I was taking a walk along the old canyon trail

No comments: