Friday, 19 December 2008

19 December 2008

suddenly Neal’s eyes grew tearful and he got up and left his food steaming there and walked out of the restaurant. I wondered if he was just wandering off forever. I didn’t care I was so mad---I had flipped and turned it down on Neal. But the sight of his uneaten food made me sadder than anything in years. “I shouldn’t have said that…he likes to eat so much…he’s never left his food like this..What the hell. That’s showing him anyway.” Neal stood outside the restaurant for exactly five minutes and then came back and sat down. “Well” I said “What were you doing out there?” Knotting up your fists, cursing me, thinking up new gags about my kidneys.” Neal mutely shook his head. “No man, no man, you’re all completely wrong. If you want to know, well---“ “Go ahead, tell me.” I said all this and never looked up from my food: I felt like a beast. “I was crying” said Neal. “Ah hell you never cry.” “You say that? Why do you think I don’t cry?” “You don’t die enough to cry.” Every one of these things I said was a knife at myself. Everything I had ever secretly held against Neal was coming out: how ugly I was and what filth I was discovering in the depths of my own impure psychologies. Neal was shaking his head, “No man, I was crying.” “Go on, I bet you were so mad you had to leave.” “Believe me, Jack, really do believe if you’ve ever believed anything about me.” I knew he was telling the truth and yet I didn’t want to bother with the truth and when I looked up at him I think I was cockeyed from cracked intestinal twistings in my awful soul. Then I knew I was wrong. “Ah manNealI’m sorry, I never acted this way before with you. Well now you know me. You know I don’t have close relationships with anybody much.. I don’t know what to do with these things. I hold things in my hand like they was pieces of turd and don’t know where to put it down. Let’s forget it.” The holy con man began to eat. “It’s not my fault! it’s not my fault!” I told him. “Nothing in this lousy world is my fault, don’t you see that? I don’t want it to be and it can’t be and it WON’T be.” “Yes man, yes man. But please harken back and believe me.” “I do believe you, I do.” This was the sad story of that afternoon. All kinds of tremendous complications arose that night when Neal went to stay with the Okie family. These had

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