Thursday, 18 September 2008

18 September 2008

derful things about your soul.” On my right sat Al Hinkle who had married a girl for gas fare. I felt I was defending my position. It was a sad night; it was also a merry night. In Philadelphia we went into a lunchcart and ate hamburgers with our last food dollar. The counterman- -it was three A.M.- -heard us talk about money and offered to give us the hamburgers free, plus more coffee, if we all pitched in and washed dishes in the back because the regular man hadn’t shown up. We jumped to it. Al Hinkle said he was an old pearldiver from way back and pitched his long arms into the dishes. Neal stood googing around with a towel, so did Louanne; finally they started necking among the pots and pans; they withdrew to a dark corner in the pantry. The counterman was satisfied as long as Al and I did the dishes. We finished them in fifteen minutes. When daybreak came we were zooming through New Jersey with the great cloud of Metropolitan NY rising before us in the snowy distance. Neal had a sweater wrapped around his ears to keep warm. He said we were a band of Arabs coming in to blow up New York. We swished through the Lincoln tunnel and came out on Times Square. “Oh damn I wish I could find Hunkey. Everybody look sharp, see if they can find him.” We all scoured the sidewalks. “Good old gone Hunkey…Oh you should have SEEN him in Texas.” So now Neal had come about four thousand miles from Frisco, via Arizona and up to Denver, inside four days with innumerable adventures sandwiched in and it was only the beginning. We went to my house in Ozone Park and slept. I was the first to wake up, late in the afternoon. Neal and Louanne were sleeping on my bed, Al and I on my mother’s bed. Neal’s battered unhinged trunk lay sprawled on the floor with socks sticking out. A phone call came for me from the drugstore downstairs. I ran down; it was from New Orleans. Bill Burroughs in his high whining voice was making a complaint. It seemed a girl called Helen Hinkle had just arrived at his house for a guy Al Hinkle. Bill had no idea who these people were. Helen Hinkle was a tenacious loser. I told Bill to reassure her that Hinkle was with Neal and I and that most likely we’d be picking her up in New Orleans on the way to the Coast. Then the girl herself

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