Monday, 23 March 2009

23 March 2009

had no money for a truck and couldn’t go back with at all now. He simply had no idea why he had come, beyond the fact that he wanted to see me and my sweet wife and we agreed she was. With pregnant Diane he spent one night fighting and she threw him out. A letter came for him care of me and I deliberately opened it to see what was up. It was from Carolyn. “My heart broke when I saw you go across the tracks with your bag. I pray and pray you get back safe…I do want Jack and his new wife to come and live on the same street…I know you’ll make it but I can’yt help worrying---now that we’ve decided everything…Dear Neal, it’s the end of the first half of the century. Welcome with love and kisses to spend the other half with us. We all wait for you. (signed) Carolyn, Cathy and Little Jami.” So Neal’s life was settled with his most constant, most embittered and best-knowing wife Carolyn and I thanked God for him. The last time I saw him it was under strange and sad circumstances. Henri Cri had arrived in New York after having gone round the world several times in ships. I wanted him to meet and know Neal. They did meet but Neal couldn’t talk any more and said nothing, and Henri turned away. Henri had gotten tickets for the Duke Ellington concert at the Metropolitan Opera and insisted Joan and I come with him and his girl. Henri was fat and sad but still eager the eager and formal gentleman and he wanted to do things the right way as he emphasized. So he got his bookie to drive us to the concert in a Cadillac. It was a cold winter night. The Cadillac was parked and raedy to go. Neal stood outside the windows with his bags ready to go to Penn Station and on across the land. “Goodbye Neal” I said. “I sure wish I didn’t have to go to the concert.” “D’you think I can ride to 40th St. with you?” he whispered. “Want to be with you as much as possible, m’boy and besides it’s so durned cold in this here New Yawk…” I whispered to Henri. No, he wouldn’t have it, he liked me but he didn’t like my friends. I wasn’t going go start all over again ruining his planned evenings as I had done at Alfred’s in San Francisco in 1947 with Allan Temko. “Absolutely out of the question Jack!” Poor Henri, he had a special necktie made for this evening; on it was painted a replica of the

No comments: