Thursday, 18 December 2008

18 December 2008

or stay a few days for kicks and look for his father: we decided this. My idea was for Neal and I to live at the house of the woman who had given me the money to go to Frisco. But Justin Brierly knew we were coming through together and had already warned her against “Jack’s friend from Frisco” and so when I called on the phone first thing (from the gas station where we left off) she immediately made it known to me she wouldn’t have anything to do with Neal in her house. When I told Neal this he instantly realized he was back in the same old Denver that had never given him any quarter, for in Frisco at least he had found himself a hometown where he was treated like everyone else. In Denver his reputation was too much. I racked my brain fro what to do. I finally hit on the idea of having Neal stay at the home of some Okies I knew out on Alameda Blvd. where I had lived briefly with my family, and I would stay with the woman. A darkness came across Neal’s face, and from that moment on in Denver he reverted to his youthful days of violence and bitterness. It was him against Denver as long as we were there. When I finally understood this I left the woman’s house and went to live with Neal at the Okie woman’s house and even then my watchfulness had little effect. First things first: we decided before I went to the woman’s house to eat and have a last brief talk in a restaurant. We were both exhausted and dirty. In the john I was taking a leak in a urinal and stepped out before I was finished and aimed to the other urinal, momentarily halting the flow and saying to Neal “Dig this trick.” “Yes man it’s a very good trick but awful on your kidneys and because you’re getting a little older now everytime you do this eventually years of misery in your old age, awful kidney miseries for the days when you sit in parks.” It made me mad. “Who’s old? I’m not much older than you are!” “I wasn’t saying that, man!” “Ah shit,” I said “you’re always making cracks about my age. I’m no old fag like that sonofabitch, you don’t have to warn me about MY kidneys.” We went back to the booth and just as the waitress set down the hot roast beef sandwiches---and where ordinarily Neal would have leaped to wolfe the food at once---I said to cap my anger “And I don’t want to hear any more of it.”---and

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