Tuesday, 2 September 2008

02 September 2008

around the house rubbing his hands together eagerly. When everybody got up and dressed Bill’s day was finished, all his energy had run out, the orgones had slipped out of the million orifices in his weaseled flanks and withered arms where he plied the morphine needle. Joan tried to find him. He was hiding in his room taking the first fix of the morning. He came out glassy-eyed and calm. Neal did all the driving; from the moment he met Bill he was his chauffeur. They had a jeep. They drove to crossroads stores and bought groceries and Benzedrine inhalers. Hunkey came along with them hoping they’d go as far as Houston so he could slip into the streets and mingle with the characters. He was tired of wearing a straw hat and carrying buckets of water for Joan. There’s a photo of him raking the marijuana garden with his immense strawhat; he looks like a coolie; the shack is in the background with washbuckets on the porch and little Julie shading her eyes to watch. There’s another photo of Joan simpering over a cookpot; her hair is long and unkempt; she’s high on benny and God knows what she’s saying as the camera is snapped… “Don’t point that nasty old thing at me.” Neal wrote me long letters on a crate telling me everything. He sat at Bill’s feet in the front room. Bill snuffed down his nose and told long stories. When the sun turned red Bill always whipped out a stick of homegrown tea for the general appetite. Everybody blasted as they ran hither and yon in the shack at various chores. Then Joan cooked a lovely supper. They sat over the remains---beady-eyed Allen brooding and saying “Hmm” in the big Texas night; eager Neal yelling “Yes! Yes!” to everything everybody said, sulky Hunkey in his purple pants fishing around old drawers for a roach, weary Joan turning her face away, and Bill---Uncle Bill they called him---sitting with his long legs crossed and fingering his shotgun. He suddenly leaped up and let go a doublebarrel blast out of the open window. A spavined old runaway horse ran across his line of fire. The buckshot ripped through a rotted Bayou trunk. “My Gawd!” cried Bill “I’ve shot a horse!” They all ran out; the horse was galloping into the swamps. “You mean that wormy old nasty old thing” scoffed Joan. “That’s not a horse.” “What is it if it ain’t a horse.” “Alistair says it’s

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