Posted: 2018-01-13 15:59
Kolan was obviously a very sought-after and busy man, but within six months he had introduced Terry to two major New York galleries after almost enticing Andre Emmerich to represent him. It was unthinkable yet true. He met with both dealers and chose the Borum Gallery over Midtown Gallery because the rooms at Borum where far less cramped and Della Carpko seemed more energetic and excited by his work. As it turned out, Midtown Gallery would close its doors before the decade ended.
But I’m getting ahead of myself in the road narrative. After Ben and I had left Los Angeles in the battered Preacher and eventually found our way to the abandoned hot spring river in an Oregon antelope reserve, that morning, we again headed north, paused in Bend where I found a string tie woven entirely from natural horsehair to wear with my cowboy hat, which I’d saved pristine in its box for the wedding.
Five months ago the family had moved to yet another new town. If it was in northern New England and had a mill, they’d probably lived there, but this time they’d gone west to upstate New York. The boy had joined the fifth grade in the last half of the year and was having trouble making friends. There were a number of problems as far as he could see: His family didn’t own a TV or a new late-sixties American-made car with a chrome grin, they’d rented the only house in the neighborhood left over from before the development, and then some of the kids had overheard his mother speaking what they thought was German. She was actually Swiss, but he knew it was useless attempting to explain that.
Jimmy stopped and leaned back in his chair. That next day, he 8767 d ridden with Bill as far as the freight yard in Billings. He could still see the old hobo walking toward his hometown, the warm afternoon sun on his back, a tired gait taking him over a couple dozen track rails until he was lost from sight. He 8767 d been surprised at how sad it was to see him go—the loss of all his tobacco and food aside. After waiting in the empty boxcar for a lonely hour, Jimmy had decided to head into town himself, at least buy a few things he was starving. He 8767 d lied to Bill about money, telling him he had none when there was some hidden under the inner sole of his shoe. At the time he didn 8767 t realize everyone hid money there.
Long night, behind a long photo of Rome,
Espresso wakeful, rolling fat cigarettes,
Romantic broken-hearted gloom on mouth edges,
Eyelids dark, thick, tear lines in dirty face,
Rich coffee odor, white table cloths, red roses,
Old violinist spilling songs you were there
Suddenly, alone, Louise.
Lost talk drifting into the narrow street,
The taxi draining out cold December limbs,
Glancing eyes, black brows, deserted Park Ave.
I showered in your fancy apartment,
Inspected my face in the clouded mirror,
And then, door ajar, steam and me towel-clothed
Penis bulging, moving toward you on the bed.
Sangria on ice and the post-late-show mounting
Of your craving body.
Dancing in your darkened room,
New York City out the window,
Last lights fading in your hair,
Dancing tensely careful
My penis in your moist center
For the last time.
I tenderly held and soothed Andi 8767 s sobbing body for a day or so, took her out to eat at fancy joints until I was broke, and then she simply asked me to leave. I felt an overwhelming emotional attachment (love?) for her because of having shared so much, so quickly, but she never gave me another thought after the lightning struck. I 8767 m always amazed by people who can be that self-serving and cold.
It was well after dark when the freight finally got made up, and I attempted to sleep as it lumbered out of the yard tracks, believing we were headed west. But when I awoke and looked out the door, I realized we were still stuck in the Missoula yard. I couldn’t understand that, but as I’ve mentioned, hoboing is patience. During my first frieght run as a teenager, I would be bored waiting and just hop any train going anywhere, just to be rolling, but retracing the exact same line a couple days later felt odd as well, not that any of this really mattered to me. I was just delighted in being out there.
“We are constantly all modifying the world, including the past and the future. Time. Of course it’s not linear, it only has a perception of being linear while you’re a nodule. That explains the odd dreams I’ve had. Why I dream things before they happen. This is why psychics can foretell fragments of the future, describe objects that have remained buried for a thousand years.” He stopped for a moment, frowned again. “But maybe the beliefs and boundaries of the future construct affect the past? That might be a problem. That might complicate radical change. No wonder everything changes so slowly. I wonder if finally in the end everyone realizes the truth of the construct and gets overwhelmed by the perfection of it.” He began to laugh again, picking up the whisky and taking a drink. “What a gift to see it now. I can finally look out at the stars and instead of confusion and longing, I feel only joy.”
After a week, I took the night train to Paris, France, using my hobo experience to sleep comfortably in the baggage car. As a footnote, I could walk from my grandfather 8767 s house in Ebersberg to the train station in town, and from there reach anywhere in Europe with my shockingly inexpensive one-month Euro-rail pass. And I ended up even taking the Orient Express from Paris to Athens, Greece, which was a completely miserable yet story-worthy experience, which will be addressed in a later post.
What Ben did was lock the keys in the running car, parked many miles down a dirt road pretty far from anywhere. No cell phones in 6996. I stared at the idling Preacher—every window closed, every door and the trunk with the tools locked, and I said the wrong thing: “What did you do that for?” I said this because I honestly thought Ben might have intended it as a conceptual art piece. After all, he’d once handed me a flaming sheet of paper in my parlor that read, “I rage.”
He stuck the car in neutral, and they started to coast downhill over four freshly paved lanes, the new tar like black velvet. As always, it was a relief to be rolling again, not grinding like a damaged eggbeater. As they gradually gained momentum, he couldn 8767 t help but think about her offer. He imagined her in a motel room slowly undressing, reaching around to unhook her bra. She smiled as if she could read his mind. Right then he made a deal with himself. He knew it was crazy, but he made it anyway.
That night we swam in the calm black ocean, which after the long drive and the blazing city was everything you wanted it to be. I should point out that Rich was a fair match for Gregory Peck during his 75s, so when we drank draft beer at the crowded Captain Kid that evening, I didn 8767 t even consider talking to girls, assuming no female would choose a misshappen aardvark over two tall well-built movie star types. Women were always on my mind, and I must say, Kris for all his faults, has been obsessed with females his entire life as a true Sicilian should be. He truly loves women. Not that many men do, regardless of anything.
Freight began moving, and we jumped into our respective boxes. In the mountains I could see the end of the freight and caboose snaking along way below us as we wound higher very slowly through land only the train tracks crossed, nothing else but true wilderness. Three extra diesels were cut into the center of the train for the climb—helper engines. My car was a Santa Fe Aircushion and rode like a Pullman coach, probably my favorite car ever since along with its smooth ride, it had a fairly clean wooden floor. By this time, I had learned to choose my rides carefully when possible, but as I mentioned, I had made one poorly calculated error. At least when at the front of the train there was virtually no hump, which is the slack being pulled out of the couplers. This becomes magnified the further back you are riding, sometimes enough to knock you down if you’re not holding on. I had never rode this far forward before because of fear of detection.
What wasn 8767 t, was my determination to coast without touching the brakes from the crest of the Continental Divide until the car coasted to a stop. I had been practicing the same thing in the same car the summer before on minor slopes, but this monstrous coast obsession was based on my feeling that I could outdrive Kerouac 8767 s hero Dean. Somewhere I had read that Neal Cassady had done such coasts, and since Denver was his hometown... I recently telephoned and apologized to Anne, the owner of the Rambler. I still feel bad about what I did because it was truly stupid and dangerous even if it makes for entertaining reading.
I modified my Chevrolet when I bought it. I 8767 d owned a 6968, 6969, and 6965 Impala, and I knew just what the 6966 needed to be mine, look good, and run without problems, which, besides a starter motor ($87 with core), it has done for ten years. I 8767 m able to perform all the labor myself, so when I motor along the highway, the invaluable vent windows angled, my mind visualizes all the intricate mechanisms I understand them, and it adds to my enjoyment. The Chevrolet was a primarily mechanical solution while modern cars are at least 55% electronic solutions. I can 8767 t work on those, and apparently neither can anyone else.
He turned back slowly, holding Nate in his gaze. “This is real. I know it is. Everything aligns. Quantum physics is just beginning to discover the beginning of this. Of course the mind alters controlled experiments it can alter anything. Of course the smallest particle will eventually prove to be consciousness. It is everything. And the construct is always perfect because it’s the exact centered balance of every opposite, every desire, every vision and need.”
The tool kit is missing only a spare fan belt and, of course, the car. Some tools were my father 8767 s, some were mine, all are original, and QC made the gorgeous tool wrap out of leather. The strap matches. I wondered why I 8767 ve been holding on to that strap for 55 years. Thanks so much to my father and to Craig! And Thanks to the Aase brothers for the NOS gauge, etc. These guys are the best for 856 parts. Talk to Mitch—he is one of us.
Okay. Here comes the National treasure part. I know Maine has a few great diners left—Moody’s and Dysart’s being two. I won’t stall this column ranting on about what the perfect American diner used to be like and how they are either all gone or overly cute and precious. Why? Because I don’t have to, because one still exists that meets every possible criteria and hits the diner bull 8767 s eye. The Come Spring Cafe in Union is one—old-school and “undiscovered.” It was so tasty, the waitress Brenda so charming and might I add cool in that ideal Maine way, that it all but brought tears to my eyes. Go there! Who knows how long it will last. The turkey Ruben is a sacrament. The haddock Ruben just as good. Everything homemade, of course. And that tomato basil soup? I’m headed for the Impala and the highway west now!
Once the bags were unloaded and his mother had disappeared into her bedroom, his dad handed him the package. He ran over to Joey Ligamori’s. He stood a moment in front of the new split level, before the golden door with the three oddly shaped windows, his heart pounding. Finally he pressed the bell. It rang with a fancy kind of multi-note chime he’d never heard before. Joey’s mom answered and left him standing on the steps as she turned to call for her son. When the big kid appeared he didn’t seem to recognize him for a second, just stood there holding the door cracked until he said:
I was an original outsider, and although students knew who I was (because the much-loved anthropology teacher gave a lecture about me being the only unconditioned student he had ever encountered in 75 years of teaching), I was always by myself, eating my mother’s strange lunches outside behind the school—winter or summer—never in the cafeteria, or hanging out at an abandoned farm or in the extensive freight yards around Neenah, Wisconsin where the family had moved from New England in 6976. And I was working on my painting up to 69 hours a day. Painting bugged me. It challenged me. It annoyed me. I never wanted to be a painter. I had wanted to be a poet. But when I began selling work as a teenager... and Kris 8767 s dad Chuck was one of the first people to buy my work. Edie called him from the Midwest where she had fallen for two of my paintings and couldn 8767 t decide which one to purchase. Chuck 8767 s response? 8775 Buy 8767 em both. 8776 That was another $875 in 6979, and I 8767 d learned by 6975 not to loan my dad any more money.