or “aloof” or “prepared to cut out from this group” for her own reasons.—In the corner I went, not leaning my head on her but on the wall and tried silent communication, then quiet words (as befit party) and North Beach words, “What are you reading?” and for the first time she opened her mouth and spoke to me communicating a full thought and my heart didn’t exactly sink but wondered when I heard the cultured funny tones of part Beach, part I. Magnin model, part Berkeley, part Negro highclass, something, a mixture of langue and style of talking and use of words I’d never heard before except in certain rare girls of course white and so strange even Adam at once noticed and commented with me that night—but definitely the new bop generation way of speaking, you don’t say I, you say “ahy” or “Oy” and long ways, like oft or erst-while “effeminate” way of speaking so when you hear it in women it’s charming but much too strange, and a sound I had already definitely and wonderingly heard in the voice of new bop singers like Jerry Winters especially with Kenton band on the record Yes Daddy Yes and maybe Jeri Southern too— but my heart sank for the Beach has always hated me, cast me out, overlooked me, shat on me, from the beginning in 1943 on in—for look, coming down the street I am some kind of crazy saint they don’t like it and moreover they’re afraid I’ll suddenly become a hoodlum anyway and slug them and break things and this I have almost done anyway and in my adolescence did so, as one time I roamed through North Beach with the Stanford basketball team, specifically with Red Kelly whose wife (rightly?) died in Redwood City in 1946, the whole team behind us, the Garetta brothers besides, he pushed a violinist a queer into a doorway and I pushed another one in, he slugged his, I glared at mine, I was 18, I was a nannybeater and fresh as a dasiy too—now, seeing this past in the scowl and glare and horror and the beat of my brow-pride they wanted nothing to do with me, and so I of course also knew that Mardou had real genuine distrust and dislike of me as I sat there “trying to (not make IT) but make her”—
unhiplike, brash, smiling, the false hysterical “compulsive” smiling they calling it—me hot—
them cool—and also I had on very noxious unbeachlike shirt, bought on Broadway in New York when I thought I’d be cutting down the gangplanks in Kobe, a foolish Crosby Hawaiian shirt with designs, which malelike and vain after the original honest humilities of my regular self (really) with the smoking of two drags of tea I felt constrained to open an extra button down and so show my tanned, hairy chest—which must have disgusted her—in any case she didn’t look, and she spoke little and low—and was intent on Julien who was squatting with his back to her—and she listened and murmured the laughter in the general talk—most of the talk being conducted by O’Hara and loudspeaking Roger Beloit and that intelligent adventurous Rob and I, too silent, listening, digging, but in the the tea vanity occasionally throwing in “perfect” (I thought) remarks which were “too perfect” but to Adam Moorad who’d known me all the time clear indication of my awe and listening and respect of the group in fact, and to them this new person throwing in remarks intended to sow his hipness—all horrible, and unredeemable.—Although at first, before the puffs, which were passed around Indian style, I had the definite sensation of being able to come close with Mardou and involved and making her that very first night, that is taking off with her alone if only for coffee but with the puffs which made me pray reverently and in serious secrecy for the return of my pre-puff “sanity” I became extremely unself-confident, overtrying, positive she didn’t like me, hating the facts—remembering now the first night I met my Nicki Peters love in 1948 in Adam’s Moorad’s pad in (then) the Fillmore, I was standing unconcerned and beerdrinking in the kitchen as ever (and at home working furiously on a huge novel, mad, cracked, confident, young, talented as never since) when she pointed to my profile shadow on the pale green wall and said, “How beautiful your profile is,” which so nonplussed me and (like the tea) made me unself-confident, attentive, attempting to “begin to make her,” to act in that way which by her almost hypnotic suggestion now led to the first preliminary probings into pride vs. pride and beauty or beatitude or sensitivity versus the stupid neurotic nervousness of the phallic type, forever conscious of his phallus, his tower, of women as wells—the truth of the matter being there, but the man unhinged, unrelaxed, and now it is no longer 1948 but 1953 with cool generations and I five years older, or younger, having to make it (or make the women) with a new style and stow the nervousness—in any case, I gave up consciously trying to make Mardou and settled down to a night of digging the great new perplexing group of subterraneans Adam had discovered and named on the Beach.
But from the first Mardou was indeed self-dependent and independent announcing she wanted no one, nothing to do with anyone, ending (after me) with same—which now in the cold unblessing night I feel in the air, this announcement of hers, and that her little teeth are no longer mine but probably my enemy’s lapping at them and giving her the sadistic treatment she probably loves as I had given her none—murders in the air—and that bleak corner where a lamp shines, and winds swirl, a paper, fog, I see the great discouraged face of myself and my so-called love drooping in the lane, no good—as before it had been melancholy droopings in hot chairs, downcast by moons (though tonight’s the great night of the harvest moon)—as where then, before, it was the recognition of the need for my return to world-wide love as a great writer should do, like a Luther, a Wagner, now this warm thought of greatness is a big chill in the wind—for greatness dies too—ah and who said I was great—and supposing one were a great writer, a secret Shakespeare of the pillow night? or really so—a Baudelaire’s poem is not worth his grief—his grief—(It was Mardou finally said to me, “ I would have preferred the happy man to the unhappy poems he’s left us,” which I agree with and I am Baudelaire, and love my brown mistress and I too leaned to her belly and listened to the rumbling underground)—but I should have known from her original announcement of independence to believe in the sincerity of her distaste for involvement, instead hurling on at her as if and because in fact I wanted to be hurt and “lacerate” myself—one more laceration yet and they’ll pull the blue sod on, and make my box plop boy—for now death bends big wings over my window, I see it, I hear it, I smell it, I see it in the limp hang of my shirts destined to be not worn, new-old, stylish-out-of-date, neckties snakelike behung I don’t even use any more, new the sea of black murder—loss—hate—paranoia—it was her little face I wanted to enter, and did—
That morning when the party was at its pitch I was in Larry’s bedroom again admiring the red light and remembering the night we’d had Micky in there the three of us, Adam and Larry and myself, and had benny and a big sexball amazing to describe in itself—when Larry ran in and said, “Man you gonna make it with her tonight?”—”I’d shore like to—I dunno—.”—”Well man find out, ain’t much time left, whatsamatter with you, we bring all these people to the house and give em all that tea and now all my beer from the icebox, man we gotta get something out of it, work on it—.” “Oh, you like her?”—”I like anybody as far as that goes man—but I mean, after all.”—
Which led me to a short unwillful abortive fresh effort, some look, glance, remark, sitting next to her in the corner, I gave up and at dawn she cut out with the others who all went for coffee and I went down there with Adam to see her again (following the group down the stairs five minutes later) and they were there but she wasn’t independently darkly brooding, she’d gone off to her stuffy little place in Heavenly Lane on Telegraph Hill.
So I went home and for several days in sexual phantasies it was she, her dark feet, thongs of sandals, dark eyes, little soft brown face, Rita-Savage-like cheeks and lips, secretive intimacy and somehow now softly snakelike charm as befits a little thin brown woman disposed to wearing dark clothes, poor beat subterranean clothes…
A few nights later Adam with an evil smile announced he had run into her in a Third Street bus and they’d gone to his place to talk and drink and had a big long talk which Leroy-like culminated in Adam sitting naked reading Chinese poetry and passing the stick and ending up laying in the bed, “And she’s very affectionate, God, the way suddenly she wraps her arms around you as if no other reason but pure sudden affection.”—”Are you going to make it? have an affair with her?”—”Well now let me—actually I tell you—she’s a whole lot and not a little crazy—she’s having therapy, has apparently very serious flipped only very recently, something to do with Julien, has been having therapy but not showing up, sits or lies down reading or doing nothing but staring at the ceiling all day long in her place, eighteen dollars a month in Heavenly Lane, gets, apparently, some kind of allowance tied up somehow by her doctors or somebody with her inadequacy to work or something—is always talking about it and really too much for my likings—has apparently real hallucinations concerning nuns in the orphanage where she was raised and has seen them and felt actual threat—and also other things, like the sensation of taking junk although she’s never had junk but only known junkies.”—”Julien?”—”Julien tales junk whenever he can which is not often because he has no money and his ambition like is to be a real junkey—but in any case she had hallucinations of not being properly contact high but actually somehow secretly injected by someone or something people who follow her down the street, say, and is really crazy—and it’s too much for me—and finally being a Negro I don’t want to get all involved.”—”Is she pretty?”—”Beautiful—but I can’t make it.”—”But boy I sure diger her looks and everything else.”—”Well allright man then you’ll make it—go over there, I’ll give you the address, or better yet when, I’ll invite her here and we’ll talk, you can try if you want but although I have a hot feeling sexually and all that for her I really don’t want to get any further into her not only for these reasons but finally, the big one, if I’m going to get involved with a girl now I want to be permanent like permanent and serious and long termed and I can’t do that with her.”— “I’d like a long permanent, et cetera.”—”Well we’ll see.”
He told me of a night she’d be coming for a little
0 notes, November 30, 2012