Monday, 17 November 2008

17 November 2008

night, a hundred miles away, and I was lost. All I wanted and all Neal wanted and all anybody wanted was some kind of penetration into the heart of things where, like in a womb, we would curl up and sleep the ecstatic sleep that Burroughs was experiencing with a good big mainline shot of M. and advertising executives were experiencing with twelve Scotch & Sodas in Stouffers before they made the drunkard’s train to Westchester---but without hangovers. And I had many a romantic fancy then, and sighed at my star. The truth of the matter is, you die, all you do is die, and yet you live, yes you live, and that’s no Harvard lie. In Pennsylvannia I had to get off the bus and steal apples in a countrytown store or starve. I staggered back East in search of my stone, got home and ate everything in the icebox again, only now it was a refrigerator, fruit of my 1947 labors, and that in some measure was the progress of my life. Then came the big ship of the world: I went to school and met Mrs. Holmes in the lobby, John Holmes’ mother whom I’d just seen as I went through Tucson, and she said her son was seeing off some friends of mine on the Queen Mary. I didn’t have a nickel. I walked three miles to the pier and there were John Holmes, his wife and Ed Stringham standing around waiting to be admitted to the gangplank. We rushed onboard and found Ed White, Bob Burford and Frank Jeffries drinking whiskey in their stateroom with Allen Ginsberg who had brought it (together with his latest poems) and others. Not only that but Hal Chase was on the ship, and the ship was so big that we never saw him; and Lucien Carr was on the ship, but he was seeing another party of people off and didn’t even know we were there. Mad Burford dared me to stowaway and go to France with them. I accepted the dare, I was drunk. We held up the elevator and were told that Somerset Maugham, the famous writer, was fuming because of this. We saw Truman Capote, supported by two old ladies, staggering on the ship in tennis sneakers. Americans rushed pell-mell through narrow corridors drunk. It was the Great Ship of the World, it was too big, everybody was on it and everybody was looking for everyone else and couldn’t find. Pier 69. John Holmes’ wife insisted I would not stowaway and dragged me off

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