Wednesday, 11 February 2009

07 February 2009

arrival of Gargantua; preparations had to be made to widen the gutters of Denver and foreshorten certain laws to fit his suffering bulk and bursting ecstasies. It was like an oldfashioned movie when Neal arrived. I was in Beverly’s crazy house in a golden afternoon. A word about the house. Her mother was away in France. The chaperone aunt was an old Austice or whatever, she was 75 years old and spry as a chicken. In the Burford family which stretched from here to Iowa she was continually shuttling from one house to another and making herself generally unuseful. At one time she’d had dozens of sons. They were all gone, they’d all abandoned her. She was old but she was interested in in everything we did and said. She shook her head sadly when we took slugs of whiskey in the livingroom. “Now you might go out in the yard for that, young man.” Upstairs---it was a kind of boarding house that summer---boarded a mad guy called Jim who was hopelessly in love with Beverly. He actually came from Connecticut, from a rich family they said, and had a career waiting for him there and everything but he preferred where Bev was. The result was this: in the evenings he sat in the livingroom with his face burning behind a newspaper and everytime one of us said anything he heard but made no sign. He particularly burned when Bev said something. When we forced him to put down the paper he looked at us with incalculable boredom and suffering. “Eh? Oh yes, I suppose so.” He usually said just that. Austice sat in her corner knitting watching us all with her birdy eyes. It was her job to be chaperone, it was up to her to see that nobody sweared. Bev sat giggling on the couch. Ed White, Jeffries and I sprawled around in various chairs. Poor Jim suffered the tortures. He got up, yawned and said “Well another day another dollar, goodnight” and disappeared upstairs. Bev had no use whatever for him; she was in love with Ed White. He wriggled like an eel out of her grasp. We were sitting around like this on a sunny afternoon towards suppertime when Neal pulled up in front in his jalopy and jumped out in a tweed suit with vest and watch chain. “Hup! hup!” I heard out in street. He was with Bill Tomson who’d just returned from Frisco with his wife Helena and was living in Denver again. So was

No comments: