Saturday, November 26, 2011

TS: Big Sur

'Alone with Billie's even worse - "I cant see anything to do now," she says by the fire like an ancient Salem housewife ("Or Salem witch?" I'm leering) - "I could have Elliott taken care of in a private home or an orphanage and just go to a nunnery myself, there's a lot of them around - or I could kill myself and Elliott both" - 
"Dont talk like that" - 
"There's no other way to talk when there's no more directions to take" - 
"You've got me all wrong I wouldnt be any good for you" - 
"I know that now, you want to be a hermit you say but you dont do it much I noticed, you're just tired of life and wanta sleep, in a way that's how I feel too only I've got Elliott to worry about... I could take both our lives and solve that" - 
"You, creepy talk" - 
"You told me the first night you loved me, that I was most interesting, that you hadn't met anyone you liked so much then you just went on drinking, I really can see now what they say about you is true: and all the others like you: O I realize you're a writer and suffer through too much but you're really ratty sometimes... but even that I know you cant help and I know you're not really ratty but awfully broken up like you explained to me, the reasons... but you're always groaning about how sick you are, you really dont think about others enough and I KNOW you cant help it, it's a curious disease a lot of us have anyway only better hidden sometimes... but what you said the first night and even just now about me being St Carolyn in the Sea, why dont you follow through with what your heart knows is Good and best and true, you give up so easy to discouragement... then I guess too you dont really want me and just wanta go home and resume your own life maybe with Louise your girlfriend" -
"No I couldn't with her either. I'm just bound up inside like constipation, I cant move emotionally like you'd say emotionally as tho that was some big grand magic mystery everybody saying "O how wonderful life is, how miraculous, God made this and God made that", how do you know he doesnt hate what He did: He might even be drunk and not noticing what he went and done tho of course that's not true" - 
"Maybe God is dead" -
"No, God cant be dead because He's the unborn"-
"But you have all those philosophies and sutras you were talking about" - 
"But dont you see they've all become empty words, I realize I've been playing like a happy child with words words words in a big serious tragedy, look around" - 
"You could make some effort, damn it!" 
But what's even ineffably worse is that the more she advises me and discusses the trouble the worse and worse it gets, it's as tho she didn't know what she was doing, like an unconscious witch, the more she tries to help the more I tremble almost too realizing she's doing it on purpose and knows she's witching me but it's all gotta be formally understood as "help" dingblast it - She must be some kind of chemical counterpart to me, I just cant stand her for a minute, I'm racked with guilt because all the evidence there seems to say she's a wonderful person sympathizing in her quiet sad musical voice with an obvious rogue nevertheless none of these rational guilts stick - All I feel is the invisible stab from her - She's hurting me! - At some points in our conversation I'm a veritable ham actor jumping up to twitch my head, that's the effect she has - 
"What's the matter?" she asks softly - Which makes me almost scream and I've never screamed in my life - It's the first time in my life I'm not confident I can hold myself together no matter what happens and be inly calm enough to even smile with condescension at the screaming hysterias of women in madwards - I'm in the same madward all of a sudden - And what's happened? what's caused it - 
"Are you driving me mad on purpose?" I finally blurt... But naturally she protests I'm talking out of my head, there's no such evident intention anywhere, we're just on a happy weekend in the country with friends. 
"Then there's something wrong with ME!" I yell - 
"That's obvious but why dont you try to calm down and for instance like make love to me, I've been begging you all day and all you do is groan and turn away as tho I was an ugly old bat" - She comes and offers herself to me softly and gently but I just stare at my quivering wrists - It's really very awful - It's hard to explain - Besides then the little boy is constantly coming at Billie when she kneels at my lap or sits on it or tries to soothe my hair and comfort me, he keeps saying in the same pitiful voice "Dont do it Billie dont do it Billie dont do it Billie" till finally she has to give up that sweet patience of hers where she answers his every little pathetic question and yell "Shut up! Elliott will you shut up! DO I have to beat you again!" and I groan "No!" but Elliott yells louder "Dont do it Billie dont do it Billie dont do it Billie!" so she sweeps him off and starts whacking him screamingly on the porch and I am about to throw in the towel and gasp up my last, it's horrible. 
Besides when she beats Elliott she herself cries and then will be yelling madwoman things like "I'll kill both of us if you dont stop, you leave me no alternative! O my child!" suddenly picking him up and embracing him rocking tears, and gnashing of hair and all under those old peaceful blue-jay trees where in fact the jays are still waiting for their food and watching all this - Even so Alf the Sacred Burro is in the yard waiting for somebody to give him an apple - I look up at the sun going down golden throughout the insane shivering canyon, that blasted rogue wind comes topping down trees a mile away with an advancing roar that when it hits the broken cries of mother and son in grief are blown away with all those crazy scattering leaves - The creek screeches - A door bangs horribly, a shutter follows suit, the house shakes - I'm beating my knees in the din and cant even hear that. 
"What's I got to do with you committing suicide anyway?" I'm yelling - 
"Alright, it has nothing to do with you" - 
"So okay you have no husband but at least you've got little Elliott, he'll grow up and be okay, you can always meanwhile go on with your job, get married, move away, do something, maybe it's Cody but more than that I'd say it's all those mad characters making you insane and wanta kill yourself like that - Perry..." - 
"Dont talk about Perry, he's wonderful and sweet and I love him and he's much kinder to me than you'll ever be: at least he gives of himself"- 
"But what's all this giving of ourselves, what's there to give that'll help anybody" - 
"You'll never know you're so wrapped up in yourself" - 
We're now starting to insult each other which would be a healthy sign except she keeps breaking down and crying on my shoulder more or less again insisting I'm her last chance (which isnt true) - 
"Let's go to a monastery together," she adds madly -  
"Evelyn, I mean Billie you might go to a nunnery at that, by God get thee to a nunnery, you look like you'd make a nun, maybe that's what you need all that talk about Cody about religion maybe all this worldly horror is just holding you back from what you call your true realizing, you could become a big reverend mother someday with not a worry on your mind tho I met a reverend mother once who cried... ah it's all so sad" - 
"What did she cry about?" - 
"I dont know, after talking to me, I remember I said some silly things like 'the universe is a woman because it's round' but I think she cried because she was remembering her early days when she had a romance with some soldier who died, at least that's what they say, she was the greatest woman I ever saw, big blue eyes, big smart woman... you could do that, get out of this awful mess and leave it all behind" - 
"But I love love too much for that" - 
"And not because you're sensual either you poor kid" - 
In fact we quiet down a little and do actually make love in spite of Elliott pulling at her "Billie don't do it don't do it Billie don't do it" till right in the middle I'm yelling "Don't do what? what's he mean? - can it be he's right and Billie you shouldnt do it? can it be we're sinning after all's said and done? O this is insane! - but he's the most insane of them all," in fact the child is up on bed with us tugging at her shoulder just like a grownup jealous lover trying to pull a woman off another man (she being on top indication of exactly how helpless and busted down I've become and here it is only four in the afternoon) - A little drama going on in the cabin maybe a little different than what cabins are intended for or the local neighbors are imagining.'
- Jack Kerouac, Big Sur

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