Sunday, 17 August 2008

17 August 2008

together for better or for worse. When we woke up we decided to hitch hike to New York together; she was going to be my girl in town. I envisioned wild complexities with Neal and Louanne and everybody, a season, a new season. First we had to work to earn enough money for the trip. Bea was all for starting at once with the twenty dollars I had left. I didn’t like it. And like a damnfool I considered the problem for two days, as we read the wantads of wild new L.A. papers I’d never seen before in my life, in cafeterias and bars, until my twenty dwindled to just over ten. The situation was growing. We were very happy in our little hotel room. In the middle of the night I got up because I couldn’t sleep, pulled the cover over baby’s brown shoulder, and examined the L.A. night. What brutal, hot, siren-whining nights they are! Right across the street there was trouble. An old rickety rundown roominghouse was the scene of some kind of tragedy. The cruiser was pulled up below and the cops were questioning an old man with gray hair. Sobbings came from within. I could hear everything, together with the hum of my hotel neon. I never felt sadder in my life. L.A. is the loneliest and most brutal of American cities; New York gets godawful cold in the winter but there’s a feeling of whacky comradeship somewhere in some streets. L.A. is a jungle. South Main street, where Bea and I took strolls with hotdogs, was a fantastic carnival of lights and wildness. Booted cops frisked people on practically every corner. The beatest characters in the country swarmed on the sidewalks---all of it under those soft southern California stars that are lost in the brown halo of the huge desert encampment L.A. really is. You could smell tea, weed, I mean marijuana floating in the air, together with the chili beans and beer. That grand wild sound of bop floated from beerparlors; it mixed medleys with everykind of cowboy and boogie-woogie in the American night. Everybody looked like Hunkey. Wild negroes with bop caps and goatees came laughing by; then longhaired brokendown hipsters straight off route 66 from New York, then old desert rats carrying packs and heading for a parkbench at the Plaza, then Methodist ministers with ravelled sleeves, and an occasional Nature Boy saint in beard and sandals. I wanted to meet them

No comments: