Wednesday, 28 January 2009

28 January 2009

darted among fenders, leaped over bumpers, shot behind the wheel and roared off ten feet and humped the car dead-stop; got out, ran clear across the lot, moved five cars off the brickwall in twenty seconds; raced back maniacally, leaped into the offending bottleneck car and whirled it around the lot among zigzagged dead cars to a neat stop in an unobtrusive corner. When usually I came to visit him at dusk there was nothing to do. He stood in the shack counting tickets and rubbing his belly. The radio was always on. “Man have you dug that mad Marty Glickman announcing basketball games---up-to-mid-court-bounce-fake-netshot (pause) swish, two points. Absolutely the greatest announcer I ever heard.” He was reduced to simple pleasures like these. He lived with Diane in a coldwater flat in the East Seventies. When he came home at night he took off all his clothes and put on a hiplength Chinese silk jacket and sat in his easy chair to smoke a waterpipe loaded with tea. These were his coming-home pleasures: together with a dirty deck of cards. “Lately I’ve been concentrating on this deuce of diamonds, which depicted a tall mournful fellow and a lascivious sad whore on a bed trying a position. “Go ahead man, I’ve used it many times!” Diane his wife cooked in the kitchen and looked in with a wry smile. Everything was allright with her. “Dig her? Dig her man? That’s Diane. See, that’s all she does, she pokes her head in the door and smiles. Oh I’ve talked with her and we’ve got everything straightened out most beautifully. We’re going to go and live on a farm in New Hampshire this summer---station wagon for me to cut back to NY for kicks, nice big house and have a lot of kids in the next few years. Ahem! Harrumph! Egad!” He leaped out of the chair and put on a Willie Jackson record. This was exactly what he had been doing with Carolyn in Frisco. Diane called up the second wife on the phone repeatedly and had long talks with her. They even exchanged letters about Neal’s eccentricity. Of course he had to send Carolyn part of his pay every month for support or he’d wind up in jail. To make up lost money he pulled tricks in the lot, a change artist of the

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