Tuesday, 11 November 2008

11 November 2008

was out of my mind with hunger and bitterness. One night Louanne disappeared with a niteclub owner. I was waiting for her by appointment in a doorway across the street, at Larkin and Geary, hungry, when she suddenly stepped out of the foyer of the fancy apt. house with her girlfriend, the niteclub owner and a greasy old man with a roll. Originally she’d just gone in to see her girlfriend. I saw what a whore she was. She was afraid to give me the sign though she saw me in that engaged doorway. She walked on little whore-feet and got in the Cadillac and off they went. Now I had nobody, nothing. I walked around picking butts from the street. I passed a fish n’chip joint on Market Street and suddenly the woman in there gave me a terrified look as I passed; she was the propietress; she apparently thought I was coming in there with a gun to holdup the joint. I walked on a few feet. It suddenly occurred to me this was my mother of a hundred and fifty years ago in England and that I was her footpad son returning from gaol to haunt her honest labours in the hashery. I stopped frozen with ecstasy on the sidewalk. I looked down Market Street. I didn’t know whether it was that or Canal Street in new Orleans: it led to watger, ambiguous universal water just like 42nd street New York leads to water, and you never know where you are. I thought of Al Hinkle’s ghost on Times Square. I was delirious. Iwanted to go back and leer at my strange Dickensian mother in the hash joint. I tingled all over from head to foot. It seemed I had a whole host of memories leading back to 1750 in England and that I was in San Francisco now only in another life and in another body. “No,” that woman seemed to say with that terrified glance “don’t come back and plague your honest hardworking mother. You are no longer like a son to me- - and like your father, my first husband ’ere this kindly Greek took pity on me” (the proprietor was a Greek with hairy arms) “you are no good, inclined to drunkenness and routs and final disgraceful robbery of the fruits of my ’umble labours in the hashery. Oh son! Did you not ever go on your knees and pray for deliverance for all your sins and scoundrel’s acts? Lost boy!- -depart! do not haunt my soul, I have done well forgetting you. Reopen no old wounds, be as if you had

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