Monday, 17 November 2008

13 November 2008

I wonder where he is. We used to get next to pretty young daughters and feel them up in the kitchen. This afternoon I had the gonest housewife in her little kitchen- -arm around her demonstrating. Ah! Hmm! Wow!” “Keep it up Neal,” I said, “maybe someday you’ll be mayor of San Francisco.” He had the whole cookpot spiel worked out; he practised on Carolyn and I in the evenings. One morning he stood naked looking at all San Francisco out the window as the sun came up. He looked like someday he’d be the pagan mayor of San Francisco. But his energies ran out. One rainy afternoon the salesman came around to find out what Neal was doing. Neal was sprawled on the couch. “Have you been trying to sell these?” “No” said Neal “I have another job coming up.” “Well, what are you going to do about all these samples?” “I don’t know.” In a dead silence the salesman gathered up his sad pots and left. I was sick and tired of everything and so was Neal. But one night we suddenly went mad together again; we went to see Slim Gaillard in a little Frisco niteclub. Slim Gaillard is a tall thin Negro with big sad eyes who’s always saying “Right-orooni” and “How ’bout a little bourbon-orooni.” In Frisco great eager crowds of semi-intellectuals sit at his feet and listen to him on piano, guitar and bongo drums. When he gets warmed up he takes off his shirt and undershirt and really goes. He does and says anything that comes into his head. He’ll sing “Cement Mixer, Put-ti Put-ti (which he wrote) and suddenly slow down the beat and brood over his bongos with fingertips barely tapping the skin as everybody leans forward breathlessly to hear; you think he’ll do this for a minute or so but he goes right on, for as long as an hour, making an imperceptible little noise, like Al Hinkle did, with the tip of his fingernails, getting smaller and smaller all the time till you can’t make hear it any more and sounds of traffic come in the open door. Then he slowly gets up and takes the mike and says very slowly, “Great-orooni…fine-orooni…oroonirooni…” He keeps this up for fifteen minutes, his voice getting softer and softer till you can’t hear. His great sad eyes scan the

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