Tuesday, 9 December 2008

09 December 2008

Francisco alto man who waited with me while Neal made a phone call in a saloon to have Bill Tomson pick us up. It wasn’t anything much, we were just talking, except that suddenly we saw very strange and insane sight. It was Neal. He wanted to give Bill Tomson the address of the bar so he told him to hold the line for a minute and ran out to see, and to do this he had to rush pell-mell through a long bar of brawling drinkers in white shirts, go to the middle of the street and look at the post signs. He did this, crouched low to the ground like Groucho Marx, his feet carrying him with amazing swiftness and came out of the bar like an apparition with his balloon thumb stuck up in the night and came to whirling stop in the middle of the road looking everywhere above him for the signs. They apparently were hard to see in the dark and he spun a dozen times in the road, thumb upheld, in a wild anxious silence. So anybody coming along the street would see this: a wild-haired person with a ballooning thumb held up like a great goose of the sky spinning and spinning in the dark, the other hand distractedly inside his pants. Ed Saucier was saying “I blow a sweet tone wherever I go and if people don’t like it ain’t nothing I can do it about it. Say man, that buddy of yours is a crazy cat, looka him over there” ---and we looked. There was a big silence everywhere as Neal saw the signs and rushed back in the bar practically going under someone’s legs as they came out and gliding so fast through the bar a second time that everybody had to make double to see him. A moment later Bill Tomson showed up and with the same amazing swiftness Neal glided across the street and into the cardoor without a sound. We were off again. “Now Bill I know you’re all hungup with your wife about this thing but we absolutely must make Thornton and Gomez in the incredible time of three minutes or everything is lost. Ahem! Yes! (cough cough) In the morning Jack and I are leaving for NY and this is absolutely our last night of kicks and I know you won’t mind.” No, Bill Tomson didn’t mind: he only drove through every red light he could find and hurried us along in our foolishness. At dawn he went back to bed. Neal and I ended up with a colored guy called Walter who invited us to his home for a bottle of beer. He lived

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