Wednesday, 24 September 2008

24 September 2008

no direction. He sat reminiscing that night in Chicago and the hot coffee cakes in the lonely room. The snow whirled outside. A big party was on hand in New York, we were all going. Neal packed his broken trunk, put it in the car, and we all took off for the big night. My mother was happy with the thought that my sister was moving in the following week; she sat with her paper and waited for the midnight New Year’s Eve broadcast from Time’s Square. We roared into New York swerving on ice. I was never scared when Neal drove; he could handle a car under any circumstances. The radio had been fixed and now he had wild bop to urge us along the night. I didn’t know where all this was leading, I didn’t care. Just about that time a strange thing began to haunt me. It was this: I had forgotten something. There was a decision I was about to make before Neal showed up and now it was driven clear out of my mind but still hung on the tip of my mind’s tongue. I kept snapping my finger trying to remember it. I even mentioned it. And I couldn’t even tell if it was a real decision or just a thought I had decided to make and forgot to do…haunted, flabbergasted, made sad. It had to do somewhat with the Shrouded Stranger. Allen Ginsberg and I once sat down together knee to knee in two chairs, facing, and I told him a dream I had about a strange Arabic figure that was pursuing me across the desert; that I tried to avoid; that finally overtook me just before I reached the Protective City. “Who is this?” said Allen. We pondered it. I proposed it was myself wearing a shroud. That wasn’t it. Something, someone, some spirit was pursuing all of us across the desert of life and was bound to catch us before we reached heaven. Naturally, now that I look back on it, this is only death: death will overtake us before heaven. The one thing that we yearn for in our living days, that makes us sigh and groan and undergo sweet nauseas of all kinds, is the remembrance of some lost bliss that was probably experienced in the womb and can only be reproduced- -tho we hate to admit it- -in death. But who wants to die? But more of this later. In the rush of events that took place I kept thinking about this in the back of my mind. I told Neal and he instantly recognized it as the mere simple longing

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