Tuesday, 24 February 2009

20 February 2009

for the type of infection he had but none of us bothered to pronounce it. They gave him a shot of penicillin. Meanwhile Neal and I went out to dig the streets of Mexican San Antonio. It was fragrant and soft---the softest air I’d ever known---and dark, and mysterious, and buzzing. Sudden figures of girls in white bandanas appeared in the dark. Neal crept along and said not a word. “Oh this is too wonderful to do anything!” he whispered. “Let’s just creep along and see everything. Look! look! a crazy San Antonio pool shack.” We rushed in. A dozen boys were shooting pool at three tables, all Mexicans. Neal and I bought cokes and shoved nickels in the jukebox and played Wynonie Blues Harris and Lionel Hampton and Lucky Millinder and jumped. Meanwhile Neal warned me to watch. “Dig now, out of the corner of your eye and as we listen and as we also smell the soft air as you say---dig the kid, the crippled kid shooting pool at table no. 1, the butt of the joint’s jokes, y’see, he’s been the butt all his life. The other fellows are merciless but they love him.” The crippled kid was some kind of malformed midget with a great big beautiful face much too large in which enormous brown eyes moistly gleamed. “Don’t you see, Jack? A sanAntonio Mex Jim Holmes, the same story the world over. See they hit him on the ass with a cue? Ha! ha! ha! hear them laugh. You see, he wants to win the game, he’s bet four bits. Watch! Watch!” We watched as the angelic young midget aimed for a bankshot. He missed. The other fellows roared. “Ah man” said Neal “and now watch.” They had the little boy by the scruff of the neck and were mauling him around, playful. He squealed. He stalked out in the night but not without a backward bashful sweet glance. “Ah man, I’d love to know that gone little cat and what he thinks and what kind of girls he has---Oh man, I’m high on this air!” We wandered out and negotiated several dark mysterious blocks. Innumerable houses hid behind verdant almost jungle-like yards; we saw glimpses of girls in front rooms, girls on porches, girls in the bushes with boys. “I never knew this mad San Antonio! Think what Mexico’ll be like! Lessgo! lessgo!” We rushed back to the hospital. Frank was ready and said he felt much better. We put our arms around him and told him everything

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