Sunday, 21 December 2008

21 December 2008

at the woman’s house and drinking Scotch.) Neal immediately took over the responsibility of selecting and naming the price of the car, because of course he wanted to use it himself so as of yore he could pick up girls coming out of high school in the afternoons and drive them up to the mountains. Poor innocent Okie Johnny was always agreeable to anything. The following afternoon Neal called up from the country and said “Man I don’t want to bother you but I swear and swear my shoes are no longer wearable, I absolutely need another pair of shoes, what shall we do?” By a wonderful coincidence I had a pair of old shoes sitting around Clementine’s closet. I said to her, holding the phone, “Listen Neal absolutely needs shoes- -I’m going to give him the old pair. How about letting him come over and pick them up?” “No, definitely no” she said and how forewarned can you get but we agreed that I could meet him on the corner down the street and hand them over. “Yass, o yass” said Neal sensing all this, and he hitched in from the country and met me half an hour later on the corner. It was a beautiful warm sunny afternoon. I had also been dispatched to get a quart of vanilla ice cream for Clementine’s supper party with friends and came to Neal, whom I found playing baseball with a bunch of kids while he waited, carrying an old pair of shoes in a brown paper bag and a quart of vanilla ice cream. “There you are man---oh yes, oh yes vanilla ice cream, lemme taste.” I put the ice cream on the ground and began firing hard ones at the kid catcher, then I took over the catcher’s mitt and squatted by the lubrication pit of the gas station and Neal fired some in. We were having a great time. We showed the kids how to fashion curves and make them drop. Then we played high flies and Neal went scattering among the traffic of 27th St. with his thumb stuck breast-high like a shield and the glove upheld for the flyball that dribbled down through branches and leaves of high old trees. Suddenly I noticed the ice cream was melting. “Say Neal what am I, a con man? I think I’ll move in with you and Johnny tonight.” “Why of course man, what did you do it in the first place for?” “I thought I had some loyalty I owed Clementine---she gave me money to go to Frisco. I don’t know.” I didn’t

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