Monday, 22 December 2008

22 December 2008

know what I was doing. Neal and I shook hands on the corner and made a meet for eight o’clock in the Glenarm bar, the old hangout near the poolhall. I went back to Clementine and told her I was leaving for NY that night. She made a tremendous fried chicken dinner and for desert strawberry pie with vanilla a la mode. I liked this woman and you can see why I owed her some attention. She was wise, too. “If you’re not really leaving for NY tonight come back any time and we’ll have a drink.” I rushed off guiltily. Things are so hard to figure when you live from day to day in this feverish and silly world. Neal was very excited that night because his brother Jack Daly was meeting us at the bar. He was wearing his best suit and beaming all over. “Now listen Jack, I must tell you about my brother Jack---he’s really my stepbrother, my mother’s son before she married Old Neal in Missouri.” “By the way have you looked for your father.” “This afternoon man I went down to Jigg’s buffet where he used to pour draft beer in tender befuddlement and get hell from the boss and go staggering out- -no, not there---Old fellow told me he thought he was- -Imagine!- - working in a railroad cookshack for the BOSTON & MAINE in New England! But I don’t believe him, they make up fractious stories for a dime. Now listen to hear. In my childhood Jack Daly my stepbrother was my absolute hero. He used to bootleg whiskey from the mountains and one time he had a tremendous fist fight with his other brother that lasted two hours in the yard and had the women screaming and terrified- --We used to sleep together. The one man in the family who took tender concern for me. And tonight I’m going to see him again for the first time in seven years, he just got back from Kansas City.” “And what’s the pitch?” “No pitch man, I only want to know what’s been happening in the family---I have a family, remember---and most particularly, Jack, I want him to tell me things that I’ve forgotten in my childhood, I want to remember, remember, I do!” I never saw Neal so glad and excited. While we waited for his brother in the bar he talked to a lot of younger Glenarm Denver downtown hustlers of the new day and checked on new gangs and goings-on.

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