Sunday, 22 February 2009

15 February 2009

his car, U-turned, and threw a parting sally at the little boy. “When I was your age I was confident too. My mudpies were marvels of architecture. Eh?” Brierly and the little boy disappeared around the corner slowly then we heard him shoot the car ahead to businesslike affairs and he was gone. Then Neal and I and Frank got in the old heap that was waiting for us on the curb and slammed all the loose doors together and turned to say goodbye to Beverly. Ed was riding with us to his house outside town. Beverly was beautiful that day: her hair was long and blond and Swedish, her freckles showed in the sun. She looked exactly like the little girl she had been. There was a mist in her eyes. She might join us later with Ed…but she didn’t. Goodbye, goodbye. We roared off. We left Ed in his yard on the plains outside town and raised a cloud of dust. I looked back to watch Ed White recede on the plain. That strange guy stood there for a full two minutes watching US recede on the plain and thinking God knows what sorrowful thoughts. He grew smaller and smaller, till all I could see was a spot---and still he stood motionless with one hand on a washline like a captain with his shrouds and watched us. Neal and Frank sat in front talking excitedly but I was twisted around to see more of Ed White till there was nothing of the human except a growing absence in space, and what space it was, the eastward view towards Kansas that led all the way back to my home in Long Island in a mystery of ever-swallowing spaces. “Ed is still watching us” I told them up front. We took a sudden left and I saw no more of Ed White. I had missed him on the boat and I had missed him here. Now we pointed our rattly snout South and headed for Castle Rock Colorado as the sun turned red and turned the rock of the mountains to the West to look like a a Brooklyn brewery in November dusks. Far up in the purple shades of the rock there was someone walking, walking, but we could not see; maybe that old man with the white hair I had sensed years ago up in the peaks. But he was coming closer to me, if only ever just behind. And Denver receded back of us like the city of salt, her smokes breakingup in the air and dissolving to our sight. It was May: and how can homely afternoons in Colorado with its farms and

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