Henry’s last story, “Easy Boulevard” only 50 hits at Busted on Empty—busted flush, a clinker.
Siting in a booth at Chaim’s eating pickled carrots, noshing. Thinking that his work was full of old man talk— moaning on page about his peculiar despair, a romp down the Via Delarosa, mugged by Romans.
Folks tired of Henry’s junk, the jitter and jive.
Leaving Chaim’s, no tip, out the door— the waitresses didn’t like him, very few cared much for Henry the strange-bird, people avoided him.
Lighting up an Indian Spirit, inhaling the stuff— muzzy, walking the best he could. Drinking Jack Daniels from a pint, just a warm-up, heading to Junk Street, looking for a kick-start.
Henry static but moving, doing the pelvis grind for some camp-followers, enjoying the side-show, whores on parade in line, desperately in need of this or that, wanting just enough to get through.
Henry walking through the Bowery now, passing dive-bars, The Cripple’s Den, Suicide Hall, The Flea Bag, carefully walking around drunks and pools of urine.
Henry hated the Bowery, the bums a spastic army that puked all over everything and themselves.
Junkies puked in their rooms, hiding from the world.
Henry on Junk Street, ducking into Sam Lee’s Laundry scoring two eight-balls of coke for 60 dollars. The Chinese laundry had an opium den in the attic. Henry would go home.
He took a taxi home to avoid the bums. Later, sitting in his apartment on a pink sofa with his feet on a cheap coffee table, listening Ray Charles and Little Walter, snorting, drinking, smoking some---
For a few hours despite it all, Henry was the king of the world.