Thursday, 5 March 2009

05 March 2009

The piano montunos showered down on us from the speaker. The cries of the leader were like great gasps in the air. The final trumpet choruses that came with drum climaxes on conga and bongo drums, on the great mad Chattanooga record, froze Neal in his tracks for a moment till he shuddered and sweated, then when the trumpets bit the drowsy air with their quivering echoes like a cavern’s or a cave’s his eyes grew large and round as tho seeing the Devil and he closed them tight. I myself was shook like a puppet by it; I heard the trumpets flail the light I had seen and trembled in my boots. On the fast Mambo Jambo we danced frantically with the girls. Through our deliriums we began to discern their varying personalities. They were great girls. Strangely the wildest one was half Indian, half white and came from Venezuala, and only eighteen. She looked like she came from a good family. What she was doing whoring in Mexico at that age and with that tender cheek and fair aspect God knows. Some awful grief had driven her to it. She drank beyond all bounds. She threw down drinks when it seemed she was about to chuck up the last. She overturned glasses continually, the idea also being to make us spend as much money as possible. Wearing her flimsy housecoat in broad afternoon she frantically danced with Neal and clung about his neck and begged and begged for everything. Neal was so stoned he didn’t know what to start with, girls or mambo. They ran off to the lockers. I was set upon by a fat and uninteresting girl with a puppy dog who got sore at me when I took a dislike to it because it kept trying to bite me. She compromised by putting it away in the back, but by the time she returned I had been hooked by another girl, better looking but not the best, who clung to my neck like a leech. I was trying to break loose to get at a 16 year old colored girl who sat gloomily inspecting her navel through an opening in her flimsy dress across the hall. I couldn’t do it. Frank had a 15 year old girl with an almond colored skin and a dress that was buttoned halfway down and halfway up. It was mad. A good twenty men leaned in that window watching. At one point the mother of the little colored girl---not colored but dark---came in to hold a brief and mournful convocation with her

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