Thursday, 2 October 2008

02 October 2008

who’s spent five years in jail can go to such maniacal helpless extremes; beseeching at the very portals of the womb with a completely physical realization of the sources of life-bliss; trying to get back in there once and for all, while living, and adding to it the living sexual frenzy and rhythm. This is the result of years looking at dirty pictures behind bars; looking at the legs of women in magazines; evaluating the hardness of steel halls and the softness of the woman who is not there. Jail is where you promise yourself the right to live. Neal had never seen his mother’s face. Every new girl, every new wife, every new child was an addition to his cheap impoverishment. Where was his father---old bum Neal Cassady the Barber, riding freights, working as a scullion in railroad cookshacks, stumbling, down-crashing in wino alley nights, expiring on coal piles, dropping his yellowed teeth one by one in the gutters of the West. Neal had every right to die the sweet deaths of complete love of his Louanne. Her own father was a cop in L.A. who had many an incestuous hint. She showed me a picture; a little mustache, slick hair, cruel eyes, polished belt and gun. I didn’t want to interfere, I just wanted to follow. Allen came back at dawn and put on his bathrobe. He wasn’t sleeping any more these days. “Ech!” he screamed. He was going out of his mind from the confusion of the jam on the floor, pants, dresses thrown hither, cigarette butts, dirty dishes, open books---it was a great forum we were having. Every day the world groaned to turn and we were making our appalling studies of the night. Louanne was black and blue from a fight with Neal about something: his face was scratched. It was time to go. We drove to my house, a whole gang of ten, to get my bag and call Bill Burroughs in New Orleans from the phone in the bar where Neal and I had our fist talk years ago when he came to my door to learn to write. We heard Bill’s whining voice eighteen hundred miles away. “Say what do you boys expect me to do with this Helen Hinkle? She’s been here two weeks now hiding in her room and refusing to talk to either Joan or me. Have you got this character Al Hinkle with you? For krissakes bring him down and get rid of her. She’s sleeping in our best bedroom and’s run clear out of money. This ain’t a hotel.”

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