Thursday, 25 December 2008

25 December 2008

arranged to meet me and Neal for an afternoon talk. He drove up in his frantic Oldsmobile with the powerful spotlight and stepped out, Panama-hatted and Palm-Beach suit, and said “Well well well, Happy New Year.” With him was Dan Burmeister a tall curly headed college boy who despised Neal and knew him from years back. Neal and Brierly met face to face for the first time since the evening in New York when Allen Ginsberg had bowed to his poetry. “Well Neal you look much older” said Brierly over his shoulder. “What have you been doing with yourself.” “Oh same old thing, you know. Now I wonder if you could drive me to St. Luke’s hospital so I could have this thumb looked after and you can have yr. talk with Jack.” “Why that’s fine” said Brierly. The idea had been for all of us to talk---and the idea of the thumb was new to me. Neal just didn’t want to bother, nor did Brierly. Child and master had come to the end of their road. Neal whispered in my ear “Have you noticed he has to wear dark glasses now to conceal those awful rings under his eyes, and how pale and watery they’ve become and sort of red and sickly?” I sat in my neutral position. When I was alone with Burmeister and Brierly they began dissecting Neal and asking me why I bothered with him. “I think he’s a great guy- -I know what you’re going to say---You know that I tried to straighten out my family---“ I didn’t know what to say. I felt like crying, Goddamit everybody in the world wants an explanation for your acts and for your very being. We switched the subject and talked of other things. Ed White was still in Paris, so was Bob Burford who’d sent for his Denver sweetheart to come and marry him there, and so was Frank Jeffries. “Jeffries is in the South of France living in a whore house, you know and having a very wonderful time. Of course Ed is amusing himself in the museums and elsewhere as ever.” They watched me keenly wondering what I had to do with Neal. “And how is Clementine?” they asked, slyly. “Someday Neal will prove himself to be a great man or a great idiot” I said. “My interest in Neal is the interest I might have had in my brother that dies when I was five years old to be utterly straight about it. We have a lot of fun together and our lives are fuckt up and so there it stands. Do you know how

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