Tuesday, 16 December 2008

16 December 2008

remonstration, and now we really traveled. We left Sacramento at dawn and were crossing the Nevada desert by noon after a hurling passage of the Sierras that made the fag and the tourists cling to each other in the backseat. We were in front, we took over. Neal was happy again. All he needed was a wheel in his hand and four on the road. He talked about how bad a driver Bill Burroughs was and to demonstrate---“Whenever a huge big truck like that one coming loomed into sight it would take Bill infinite time to spot it, cause he couldn’t SEE, man he can’t SEE—2---“he rubbed his eyes furious to show----“And I’d say whoop, lookout, Bill a truck, and he’d say ‘Eh? What’s that you say Neal?’ ‘Truck! truck!’ and at the VERY last MOMENT he would go up to the truck like this”---and Neal hurled the Plymouth head-on at the truck roaring our way, wobbled and hovered in front of it a moment, the truckdriver’s face growing white before our eyes, the people in the backseat subsiding in gasps of horror, and swung away at the last moment- “like that you see, exactly like that, that’s how bad he was.” I wasn’t scared at all: I knew Neal. The people in the backseat were speechless. In fact they were afraid to complain: God knows what Neal would do, they thought, if they should ever complain. He balled right across the desert in this manner, demonstrating various ways of how not to drive, how his father used to drive jalopies, how great drivers made curves, how bad drivers hove over too far in the beginning and had to scramble at the curve’s end, and so on. It was a hot sunny afternoon. Reno, Battle Mountain, Elko, all the towns along the Nevada road shot by one after another and at dusk we were in the Salt Lake flats with the lights of Salt Lake City infinitesimally glimmering almost a hundred miles across the mirage of the flats, twice-showing, above and below the curve of the earth, one clear, one dim. I told Neal that the thing that bound us all together in this world was invisible: and to prove it pointed to long lines of telephone poles that curved off out of sight over the bend of a hundred miles of salt. His floppy bandage, all dirty now, shuddered in the air; his face was a light---“Oh yes man, dear God, yes, yes!” Suddenly he collapsed. I turned and saw him huddled in the corner of the seat

No comments: