Wednesday, 25 February 2009

25 February 2009

for work in the fields; they smiled at us. Neal stared at them with rocky eyes. “Damn” he said under his breath “Ooh! This is too great to be true. Gurls, gurls. And particularly right in my stage and condition Jack I am digging the interiors of these homes as we pass them---these gone doorways and you look inside and see beds of straw and little brown kids sleeping and stirring to wake, and the mothers cooking up breakfast in iron pots and dig them shutters they have for windows and the old men, the old men are so cool and grand and not bothered by anything. There’s no suspicion here, nothing like that. Everybody’s cool, everybody looks at you with such straight brown eyes and they don’t say anything, just look and in that look all of the human qualities are soft and subdued and still there. Dig all the foolish stories you read about Mexico and the humble peasant and all that crap---and crap about greasers and so on---and all it is, people here are straight and kind and don’t put down any bullshit. I’m so amazed by this.” Schooled in the raw road night Neal was come in to the world to see it. He bent over the wheel and looked both ways and rolled along slowly. We stopped for gas the other side of Sabinas Hidalgo. Here a congregation of local strawhatted ranchers with handlebar mustaches growled and whooped in front of antique gaspumps. Across the fields an old man plodded with a burro in front of his switch stick. The sun rose pure on pure & ancient activities of human life. Now we resumed to Monterrey. The great mountains rose snowcapped before us; we bowled right for them. A gap widened and wound up a pass and we went with it. In a matter of minutes we were out of the mesquite desert and climbing among cool airs in a road with a stonewall along the precipice side and great whitewashed names of presidents on the cliffsides---“Aleman!” We met nobody on this high road. It wound among the clouds and took us to the great plateau on top. Across this plateau the big manufacturing town of Monterrey sent smoke to the blue skies with their enormous Gulf clouds written across the bowl of day like fleece. Entering Monterrey was like entering Detroit, among great long walls of factories, except for the burros that sunned in the grass before them, and the barefoot

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