Wednesday, 11 February 2009

09 February 2009

bustled to a new set of plans and arranged a big night and it was an unforgettable night. There was a party at Al Hinkle’s sister’s house. Two of his brothers are policemen. They sat in awe of everything that went on. There was a lovely spread on the table, cakes and drinks. Al Hinkle looked happy and prosperous. “Well are you all set with Helen now?” “Yessir,” said Al, “I sure am. I’m about to go to Denver University you know, me Jim and Bill.” “What are you going to take up?” “Oh I don’t know right now. Say, Neal gets crazier every year don’t he?” “He sure does.” Helen Hinkle was there. She was trying to talk to someone but Neal held the whole floor. He stood before Jeffries White Bev and I who all sat side by side in kitchen chairs along the wall and performed. Al Hinkle hovered nervously behind him. His poor sister was thrust into the background. “Hup! Hup!” Neal was saying, tugging at his shirt, rubbing his belly, jumping up and down. “Yass, well---we’re all together now and the years have rolled severally behind us and yet you see none of us have really changed, and to prove that I have here a deck of cards with which I can tell very accurate fortunes of all sorts”---It was the dirty deck. Helena Tomson and Bill Tomson sat stiffly in a corner. It was a meaningless party, a complete flop-out. Then Neal suddenly grew quiet and sat in a kitchen chair between Jeff and me and stared straight ahead with rocky doglike wonder and paid no attention to anybody. He simply disappeared for a moment to gather up more energy. If you touched him he would sway like a boulder suspended on a pebble on the precipice of a cliff. He might come crashing down or just sway rocklike. Then the boulder exploded into a sunflower and his face lit up with a lovely smile and he looked around like a man waking up and said “Ah, look at all the nice people that are sitting here with me. Isn’t it nice! Jack, how nice.” He got up and went across the room hand outstretched to one of the policemen in the party. “How’d’y’do. My name is Neal Cassady? Yes I remember you well. Is everything allright? Well, well. Look at the lovely cake. Oh, can I have some?” Al’s sister said yes. “Oh, how wonderful. People are so nice. Cakes and pretty things set out on a table and all for the sake of

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