Monday, 22 December 2008

23 December 2008

Then he made inquiries after Louanne, since she’d been in Denver recently. I sat over a glass of beer remembering Denver 1947 and wondering. Then Jack Daly arrived---a wiry curly-haired man of thirty five with work-gnarled hands. Neal stood in awe before him. “No,” said Jack Daly “I don’t drink any more.” “See? see?” whispered Neal in my ear “he doesn’t drink any more and he used to be the biggest whiskeyleg in town; he’s got religion now, he told me over the phone, dig him, dig the change in a man.. my hero has become so strange.” Jack Daly was suspicious of his young stepbrother. He took us out for a spin in his old rattly coupe and in the car first thing he made his position clear as regards Neal. “Now look Neal, I don’t believe you any more or anything you’re going to try and tell me---I came to see you tonight because there’s a paper I want you to sign for the family. Your father is no longer mentioned among us and we want absolutely nothing to do with him, and I’m sorry to say with you either any more.” I looked at Neal. His face dropped and darkened. “Yass, yass” he said. The brother condescended to drive us around and even bought us ice cream pops. Nevertheless Neal plied him with innumerable questions about the past and he supplied the answers and for a moment Neal almost began to sweat again with excitement. Oh where was his raggedy father that night? The brother dropped us off at the sad lights of a carnival on Alameda blvd. at Federal. He made an appointment with Neal for the paper-signing next afternoon and left. I told Neal I was sorry he had nobody in the world to believe him. “Remember that I believe in you. I’m infinitely sorry for the foolish grievance I held against you yesterday afternoon.” “Allright man, it’s agreed” said Neal. We dug the carnival together. There were merrygorounds, sad ferris wheels, popcorn, roulette wheels, sawdust and hundreds of young Denver kids in Levis wandering around. Dust rose to the stars together with every sad music on earth. Neal was wearing extremely tight Levis and a T. Shirt and looked suddenly like a real Denver character again. There were motorcycle kids with visors and mustaches and beaded jackets hanging around the shrouds in back of the tents with pretty girls in Levis and rose shirts. There were

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