Wednesday, 3 September 2008

04 September 2008

went straight to Vicki with an ounce of tea that she bought at once. They were broke. Neal drove Bill all around metropolitan New York in search of an apartment. Hunkey disappeared on Times Square and was finally arrested for carrying weed and given a stretch on Riker’s Island. The evening that Bill Burroughs finally found an apartment was the California afternoon that I left Selma. I was eager to find them and join them. I walked along the tracks in the long sad October light of the valley hoping for an SP freight to come along so I could join the grape-eating hoboes and read the funnies with them. It didn’t come. I got out on the highway and hitched a ride at once. It was the fastest whoopingest ride of my life. The driver was a fiddler for a famous California cowboy band. He had a brand new car and drove eighty mile an hour. “I don’t drink when I drive” he said and handed me a pint. I took a drink and offered him one. “What the hail” he said and drank. We made Selma to LA in the amazing time of four hours flat---about 250 miles. The valley unreeled before my eyes again. I had vibrated up and down the Hudson valley and now I was vibrating up and down the San Joaquin Valley on the other side of the world. It was strange. “Whoopee!” yelled the fiddler. “Say now lookee here, my bandleader had to fly to Oklahoma for his father’s funeral this morning and I got to lead the band tonight and we’re on the air for a half hour. Do you reckon I can get some Benzedrine someplace. I ain’t never said a word over the air.” I told him to buy an inhaler in any drugstore. He got drunk. “You reckon you could do the announcing for me. I’ll lend you a suit. You seem to talk a mite good English. What you say?” I was all for it---all the way from rickety Mexican trucks to announcing a radio show in 24 hours. Why else should I live? But he forgot about it and that was all right with me too. I asked him if he ever heard Dizzy Gillespie play trumpet. He slapped his thigh. “That cat is PLUMB frantic!” We dropped off Grapevine Pass. “Sunset Boulevard, ha-haaa!” he howled. He dropped me off right in front of Columbia Pictures studio in Hollywood; I was just in time to run in and pick up my rejected original. Then I bought my bus ticket to New York. The bus leaving at ten I had four hours to dig

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