Wednesday, 10 September 2008

10 September 2008

of life. But the madman drove me home to New York. Suddenly I found myself on Times Square. I had traveled eight thousand miles around the American continent and I was back on Times Square; and right in the middle of a rush hour too, making me see with my innocent road eyes the absolute madness and fantastic hoorair of New York with its millions and millions hustling forever for a buck among themselves…grabbing, taking, giving, sighing, dying, just so they could be buried in those awful cemetery cities beyond Long Island City. The high towers of the land…the other end of the land…the place where Paper America is born. I stood in a subway doorway trying to get up enough nerve to pick up a beautiful long butt and everytime I stooped great crowds rushed by and obliterated it from my sight and finally it was crushed. I had no money to go home in the subway. Ozone Park is fifteen miles from Times Square. Can you picture me walking those last fifteen miles through Manhattan and Brooklyn? It was dusk. Where was Hunkey? I dug the Square for Hunkey; he wasn’t there, he was in Riker’s Island behind bars. Where Neal?- -where Bill? where everybody? Where life? I had my home to go to, my place to lay my head down and recoup the losses I had suffered, and figure the gain that I knew was in there somewhere too. I had to panhandle a dime for the subway. I finally hit a Greek minister who was standing around the corner. He gave me the dime with a nervous lookaway. I rushed immediately to the subway. When I got home I ate everything in the ice box. My mother got up and looked at me. “Poor little John” she said in French “you’re thin, you’re thin. Where have you been all this time?” I had on two shirts and two sweaters; my canvas bag had torn cottonfield pants and the tattered remnants of my huarache shoes in it. My mother and I decided to buy a new refrigerator with the money I had sent her from California; it was to be the first one in the family. She went to bed and late at night I couldn’t sleep and just smoked in bed. My half-finished manuscript was on the desk. It was October, home, and work again. The first cold winds rattled the windowpane and I had made it just in time. Neal had come to my house, slept several nights there waiting for me;

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