Thursday, 29 January 2009

29 January 2009

first order. I saw him wish a well-to-do-man Merry Christmas so volubly a fivespot in change was never missed. We went out and spent it in Birdland the bop joint. On a misty night we talked on the corner of Fifth Avenue and 49th , three in the morning. “Well Jack, damn, I wish you weren’t going, I really do. It’ll be my first time in New York without my old buddy.” And he said “New York, I stop over in it, Frisco’s my hometown. All the time I’ve been here I haven’t had any girl but Diane---this only happens to me in New York. Damn! But the mere thought of crossing that awful continent again…Jack we haven’t talked straight in a long time.” In New York we were always jumping around frantically with crowds of friends at drunken parties. It somehow didn’t seem to fit Neal. He looked more like himself huddling in the cold misty spray of the rain on empty 5th ave. at night. “Diane loves me. She’s told me and promised me I can do anything I want and they’ll be a minimum of trouble…You see man, you get older and trouble piles up. Someday you and me’ll be coming down an alley together at sundown and looking in the cans to see.” “You mean we’ll end up old bums?” “Why not man? Of course we will if we want to, and all that. There’s no harm ending that way. You spend a whole life of non-interference with the wishes of others including politicians and the rich and nobody bothers you and you cut along and make it your own way.” I agreed with him. He was reaching his mature decisions in the simplest direct way. “What’s your road, man?---holyboy road, madman road, rainbow road, guppy road, any road. It’s an anywhere road for anybody anyhow. Where body how?” We nodded in the rain. This was kind sense. “Sheeit, and you’ve got to look out for your body. He ain’t a man less he’s a jumping man - -do what the doctor say. I’ll tell you Jack, straight, no matter where I live my trunk’s always sticking out from under the bed, I’m ready to leave or get thrown out. I’ve decided to leave everything out of my hands. YOU’ve seen me try and break my ass to make it and YOU know that it doesn’t matter and we know time…how to slow it up and walk and dig and just oldfashioned spade kicks, what other kicks are there? We know.” We sighed in the rain. It was falling all up and down the Hud-

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