Henry looking at a blank page with nothing in his head— vacantly.
Maybe the Queens motif he used to write stories over the last three months was musty—
A} Going for a walk at night
B} Going to Chaim’s Deli
C} Walking through the Bowery
D} Going to a movie in Times Square, a poetry reading or to an opium den in Chinatown.
9AM off to Chaim’s Deli, Ruby his waitress asking, “Henry did you know Chaim is in the hospital? We are praying for him it’s not good, he has a brain tumor.” Henry saying, “Oh Ruby you think that praying business is going to help? It is rubbish you know.” Ruby saying, “ Henry you’re an awful man, I hate you, you are a real fucker.” He saying, “ Ok Mother Teresa— well who’s cooking tonight? Oh well, can I have a large rice pudding with whip cream on top? The loser cook from Kelly Girl can't fuck up rice pudding.”
The prayer crap intolerable for him, send your prays, we are praying for you and so on. Henry the atheist couldn’t imagine G-d(up there or wherever he is) processing it all. Billions of unique prayers a day streaming through the clouds, singed by flames coming out of jet engines, losing steam sometimes and falling limply back to earth. Billions of angels getting orders from the big chief to fly down to earth and change the path of destiny. G-d mislaying prayers from time to time because He was overworked.
Walking through the Bowery, a group of bums standing around a fire in a garbage can, shaking off the cold, Henry asking them to pray for Chaim, the bums saying, “You got it Henry sure thing, how bout a couple of bucks for some wine?”
Henry walking to a coffee shop in the Village, St. Marks to hear Herbert Huncke read. In his early days Huncke a small time junky hustler and dealer in Times Square.
Allan Ginsberg and William Burroughs meeting him at Times Square in the forties, asking him to bring junk and syringes to their apartment and teach them to shoot up.
Huncke later becoming a friend of the Beats, hanging out with them, robbing them blind.
Henry sitting at a small table near the podium, openly smoking a joint. He sees Allan Ginsberg and Huncke walk in. Ginsberg sits at Henry's table and says, "Hi," he passes Ginsberg the joint and orders him a drink. Allen opens up saying, “I have known Herbert for a long time, we were lovers for awhile, he only shoots up from time to time these days, I’m promoting his writing.” Henry says, “ That’s great Allen, did you know William Burroughs snubbed me?” Ginsberg says,” Oh he snubs everybody, he’s afraid of germs, afraid people might hug him.”
Huncke makes his way to the podium, his facial skin pulled tight, his skin yellow molting to brown, tea color. He introduces himself meekly, bowing slightly then reading—
“lost to the streets — lost completely to a life I once knew — stealing — junk– all night wandering– thru the streets — lost completely to a life I once knew — stealing — junk all night wandering thru the city — no pads– no friends — no way of life– almost convinced prison is a solution — shriveling within at the mere thought — wishing for death — willing death…
Huncke’s stuff straight from the gut, tight and incorruptible, looking you right in the eye.
“I have been asked many times as is always asked of users of narcotics what a fix does to me — how it feels etc…it helps me to believe in life again at the same time to accept it calmly and with peace.”
“I think I am going insane. I almost hope so. Thoughts rush at one. I am beginning to lose the thread of my story. This happens frequently. Mad thoughts keep occurring to me… All happening to me is unnecessary. It is not important to any cause beyond my own and I am unimportant. Of course it is happening and it is what it is as things are. “
Allen Ginsberg looking at Henry, his eyes full of joy, glimmering, saying,”You see, You see!
Ginsberg inviting Henry to an after reading party in Huncke’s room at the Chelsea Hotel. Henry saying he had to get up early to work at the post office— a lie, he was on welfare.
The reading was enough for Henry, he didn’t need anymore, Herbert Huncke’s from the gut writing a real turn on for him, thinking—
We need allot less bullshit and more from the gut in the world.