Thursday, 7 August 2008

03 August 2008

just to chance meeting a deer---Henri had seen deers around, the Marin country being wild even in 1947---when I heard a frightening noise in the dark. It was a huffing and a puffing. I thought it was a Rhinoceros coming for me in the dark. I grabbed my gun, I grabbed my balls. A tall figure appeared in the canyon gloom; it had an enormous head. Suddenly I realized it was Henri with a huge box of groceries on his shoulder. He was moaning and groaning from the enormous weight of it. He’d found the key to the cafeteria somewhere and just got his groceries out the front door. I said “Henri I thought you were home. What the hell are you doing?” And he said “You know what President Truman said, we must cut down on the cost of living.” And I heard him huff and puff into the darkness. I’ve already described that awful trail back to our shack up hill and dale; he hid the groceries in the tall grass and came back to me. “Jack I just can’t make it alone. I’m going to divide it into two boxes and you’re going to help me.” But I’m on duty.” “I’ll watch the place while you’re gone. Things are getting rough all around. We’ve just got to make it the best way we can and that’s all there is to it.” He wiped himself. “Whoo! I’ve told you time and time again Jack that we’re buddies, and we’re in this thing together. There’s just no two ways about it. The Dostioffskis, the chief Davies, The Texes, the Dianes, all the evil skulls of this world are out for our skin. It’s up to us to see that nobody pulls any schemes on us. They’ve got a lot more up their sleeves besides a dirty arm. Remember that. You can’t teach the old maestro a new tune.” “Whatever are we going to do about shipping out?” I finally asked. We’d been doing this thing for ten weeks. I was making fifty-five dollars a week and sending my mother an average of forty. I’d spent only one evening in San Francisco in all that time. My life was wrapped in the shack, in Henri’s battles with Diane, and in the middle of the night in the barracks. Henri was gone off in the dark to get another box. I struggled with him on that old Zorro road. We piled up the groceries a mile high on Diane’s kitchen table. She woke up and rubbed her eyes. “You know what President Truman said? He said for us to cut down on the cost of living.” She was

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