Wednesday, 26 November 2008

24 November 2008

morning Carolyn threw the both of us out baggage and all, right out on the street. It began when we called Bill Tomson, old Denver Bill in the afternoon and had him come over for beer, while Neal who couldn’t work on account of his hand, minded the baby and did the dishes and the wash in the backyard but did a sloppy job of it in his excitement. Tomson agreed to drive us to Marin City to look for Henri Cru. (Neal never gave cute names to perfectly normal drab pursuits.) Carolyn came in from work at the dentist’s office and gave us all the sad and dirty look of a harassed woman’s life. I tried to show this woman that I had no mean intentions concerning her homelife by saying hello to her and talking as warmly as I could but she knew it was a con and maybe one I’d learned from Neal and only gave a brief smile. In the morning there was a terrible scene: she lay on the bed sobbing and writhing and in the midst of this I suddenly had the need to go to the bathroom and the only way I could get there was through her room. “Neal, Neal” I cried “where’s the nearest bar!” “Bar?” he said surprised; he was washing his hands in the kitchen sink downstairs. He thought I wanted to get drunk. I told him my dilemma and he said “Go right ahead, she does that all the time.” No, I couldn’t do that. I rushed out to look for a bar; I walked uphill and downhill in a vicinity of four blocks on Russian Hill and found nothing but Laundromats, cleaners, soda fountains, beauty parlors, habberdasherers and hardware. I rushed back to the crooked little house determined to save my soul. They were yelling at each other as I slipped through with a feeble smile and locked myself in the bathroom. A few moments later Carolyn was throwing Neal’s things on the livingroom floor and telling him to pack. To my amazement I saw a full length oil painting of Helen Hinkle over the sofa. I suddenly realized that all these women were spending months of loneliness and womanliness together chatting about the madness of the men. I heard Neal’s maniacal giggle across the house, together with the wails of his baby. The next thing I knew he was gliding around the house like Groucho Marx with his poor broken thumb wrapped in a huge white bandage sticking up like a beacon that stands motionless above the frenzy of the

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