فصل 08

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فصل 08

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Chapter eight

Dean’s Story

Times Square in New York.

I had traveled eight thousand miles around America and I was back in Times Square. Paterson, where my aunt lives, is a few miles from Times Square. I had no money to go home in the bus, but I finally begged the price of a ticket from a Greek guy.

When I got home, I ate nearly everything in the refrigerator.

My aunt looked at me. “Poor little Salvatore,” she said in Italian. “You’re thin. Where have you been all this time?”

I couldn’t sleep that night, I just smoked in bed. The half-finished book I had been writing was on the desk. It was October. Everybody goes home in October.

It was more than a year before I saw Dean again. I stayed home all that time, finished my book and began going to college. At Christmas 1948 my aunt and I went down to visit my brother in Virginia. I had been writing to Dean and he told me he was coming East again. I told him I was going to be in Testament, Virginia, between Christmas and New Year.

One day when all our relations were sitting in the house and talking, a 1949 Hudson car stopped outside. There was mud and dust on it. A tired young fellow got out, came to the door, and rang the bell. He was wearing a torn shirt and he needed a shave. I suddenly realized it was Dean! He had come all the way from San Francisco, and there were two more people sleeping in the car.

“Dean!” I cried, smiling. “It’s you! And who’s in the car?”

“Hello, hello, man!” he said. “It’s Marylou and Ed Dunkel. We need a place to wash, and we’re tired.”

“But how did you get here so fast?” I said.

“Man, that Hudson goes fast!” he said.

“Where did you get it?” I asked.

“I bought it. I’ve worked on the railroads, for four hundred dollars a month.”

For the next hour, my Southern relations did not know what was happening. They did not know who Dean, Marylou, or Ed Dunkel were, and they just sat and stared. There were now eleven people in that little house. Also, my brother Rocco had decided to move, and half his furniture had gone. He and his wife and baby were moving closer to the town of Testament. They had bought new furniture, and some of their old furniture was going to my aunt’s house in Paterson, although we had not yet decided how it was going to get there. When Dean heard this he immediately offered to take it in the Hudson. He and I could carry the furniture to Paterson in two fast trips and bring my aunt back at the end of the second trip. This was going to save a lot of money, so it was agreed. Then Rocco’s wife made a meal and we all sat down to eat.

I learned that Dean had lived happily with Camille in San Francisco since that fall in 1947; he had got a job on the railroad and earned a lot of money. He was also the father of a pretty little girl, Amy Moriarty. Then he suddenly went crazy while walking down the street one day. He saw a 1949 Hudson for sale and rushed to the bank for all his money. He bought the car immediately Ed Dunkel was with him. Now they were broke.

Dean calmed Camille’s fears. “I’m going to New York and bring Sal back,” he told her. “I’ll be back in a month.”

She wasn’t very pleased. “But why?” she asked. “Why are you doing this to me?”

He told her why, but of course it did not make sense.

Big, tall Ed Dunkel also worked on the railroad, and he met a girl called Galatea. He and Dean decided to bring the girl East and get her to pay for the meals and gas, but she wouldn’t do this unless Ed married her. So he did. And a few days before Christmas they rolled out of San Francisco at seventy miles an hour. All the way, Galatea complained that she was tired and wanted to sleep in a hotel. Two nights she forced them to stop and they spent money on hotel rooms. By the time they got to Tucson she was broke, and Dean and Ed managed to lose her in the hotel and traveled on alone.

Dean was driving through Las Cruces, New Mexico, when he suddenly wanted to see his first wife, Marylou, again. She was in Denver. He turned north and got to Denver in the evening. He found Marylou in a hotel. They made love for ten wild hours, and decided that they were going to be together again. She understood Dean. She knew that he was mad.

Dean, Marylou, and Ed Dunkel then left Denver and drove fast to my brother’s house. They were hungry, and now they were eating everything they could see on my brothers table. Dean, with a sandwich in his hand, was dancing while he listened to jazz music on the radio. My Southern relations watched, amazed, but Dean paid no attention to them. He was different, I decided. He was crazier now.

Later, Dean, Marylou, Dunkel, and I went for a short ride in the Hudson. Dean was driving.

“What happened to Carlo?” he asked. “We must go and see Carlo tomorrow, darlings. Now, Marylou, we need some bread and meat to make a lunch for New York. How much money do you have, Sal? We’ll put everything in the back seat - Mrs P’s furniture - and all of us will sit up front, nice and close, and tell stories as we ride to New York!”

“I was enjoying a quiet Christmas in the country,” I thought when we got back to the house and I saw the Christmas tree. “Now Dean Moriarty is here, and I’m off on the road again.”

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