Sunday, 14 September 2008

13 September 2008

Al cajoled and pleaded; she wouldn’t go unless he married her. In a whirlwind few days Al Hinkle married Helen, with Neal rushing around to get the necessary papers, and a few days before Christmas they rolled out of San Francisco at seventy miles per, headed for LA and the snowless southern road. In LA they picked up a sailor in a Travel Bureau and took him along for fifteen dollars worth of gas. He was bound for Indiana. They also picked up a woman with her idiot daughter, for four dollars gas fare to Arizona, and zoomed off. Neal sat the idiot girl with him up front and dug her, as he said “All the way man! such a gone sweet little soul. Oh we talked , we talked, we talked of fires and the desert turning to a paradise and her parrot that swore in Spanish.” Dropping off these passengers they proceeded to Tucson. All along the way Helen Hinkle, Al’s new wife, kept complaining that she was tired and wanted to sleep in a motel. If this kept up they’d spend all her money long before North Carolina. Two nights she forced a stop and blew tens on motels! By the time they got to Tucson she was broke. Neal and Al gave the slip in a hotel lobby and resumed the voyage alone, with the sailor, and without a qualm. Al Hinkle was a tall unthinking fellow who was completely ready to do anything Neal asked him; and at this time Neal was too busy for scruples. He was roaring through Las Cruces New Mexico when he suddenly had an explosive yen to see his sweet firstwife Louanne again. She was up in Denver. He swung the car North, against the feeble protests of the sailor, and zoomed into Denver in the evening. He ran and found Louanne in a hotel. They had ten hours of wild lovemaking. Everything was decided again; they were going to stick. Louanne was the only girl Neal ever really loved. He was nauseous with regret when he saw her face again, and when, as of yore, he pleaded and begged at her knees for the joy of her being. She understood Neal; she stroked his hair; she knew he was mad. To soothe the sailor Neal fixed him up with a girl in a hotel room over the bar where the old poolhall gang always drank, at Glenarm and 14th. But the sailor refused the girl and in fact walked off in the night and they never saw him again; he evidently took a bus to Indiana. Neal,

No comments: