Wednesday, 21 January 2009

20 January 2009

again I want a maid this time.” That clinched it. “I don’t want to wash dirty dishes, let somebody else do it. “Ain’t you got a pretty soul?” “Soul don’t mean nothing to me Kerouac, cut that juvenile talk and talk facts.” “You can stuff your facts up.” “Ah-ha, same old fool.” This was our lovey-dovey talk. Neal listened and looked sharply. “You know the trouble with her?” he told me. “She’s got a rock in her belly, she got a weight in there that just pushes and vibrates against her stomach and won’t let her come down and talk. She won’t do anything for the rest of her life except goof and goof all the time and you’ll never get anywhere with her.” That was a pretty fair estimate. Still I had such regard for her from the past I didn’t want to leave Detroit right away. I wanted to have it out with her. That night she got a girlfriend for Neal, but the girlfriend couldn’t shake her own boyfriend and all five of us went out in Edie’s car to hear jazz in Hastings street Detroit colored section. It’s a sullen town. A group of Negroes passt us on the street and said “Sure is a lot of white people around here.” We were back East sure enough. Neal shook his head sadly. “Man, it ain’t nice around here. This is one hell of a town.” Detroit is actually one of the worst towns possible in America. Its nothing but miles and miles of factories and the downtown section is no bigger than Troy N.Y except the population is way up in the millions. Everybody thinks about money, money, money. But down on Hastings st. the boys were blowing. A great big baritone sax that Neal and I had seen actually before in Jackson’s Hole Frisco that winter was on the stand, but the stand was elevated over the bar, where the girls danced, and the whole idea was dance not music. Nevertheless old baritone blew and rocked his big horn on a fast blues. And poor Edie, she sat at the bar with her little hands knotted into childish fists, holding them up before her face with glee to hear it. And suddenly she said to me in the uproar “Hey! That Neal has a great soul.” I said “How did you know that?” Then I knew Edie was as great as ever but that there was something between us now and we’d never make it together. I was pretty sad. That something was the years apart---she had changed, changed friends, ways of spending evenings, interests,

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