This was a tremendously enjoyable read. I wonder why my English teacher never pointed us in this literary direction for things to read.
He cursed the “goddamn shitting heat” with such violence and such hatred that it sometimes ruined the atmosphere of the place
everything from wild young Turks who wanted to rip the world in half and start all over again — to tired, beer-bellied old hacks who wanted nothing more than to live out their days in peace before a bunch of lunatics ripped the world in half.
a shoplifting Cuban who carried a gun in his armpit, a half-wit Mexican who molested small children
Vagrant journalists are notorious welshers, and to those who travel in that rootless world, a large unpaid bar tab can be a fashionable burden.
I was a consultant for the cockfighting syndicate
It was a greedy life and I was good at it.
Finally I broke in. “Hey!” I shouted. “What the hell is this? I have to get on that plane!”
When I got to the plane I had to shove past five or six people waiting to board.
Suddenly the old man jumped up and tried to scramble over me like a dog.
After ten minutes of half-hearted listening I suspected I was in a den of hustlers.
Arriving half-drunk in a foreign place is hard on the nerves.
“You’ll turn queer in this place, Kemp — mark my words. This place will turn a man queer and crazy.”
“His penis is pressing on his brain and he can’t think.”
I realized how long it had been since I’d felt like I had the world by the balls,
Suddenly she began to howl: at first I thought I was hurting her, then I realized she was having some sort of extreme orgasm.
“They’re going to kill us all. Come on in after lunch — it should be safe by then.”
wasted hours and frustrated moments and opportunities forever lost because time had eaten so much of my life and I would never get it back.
She was so close to naked, and so apparently unaware of it, that I felt helpless.
He drank incessantly, and by the time it got dark he was steaming drunk and shouting.
Yeamon smiled. “A man never knows when his head might get twisted.”
Tell them that this man Kemp is fleeing St. Louis because he suspects the sack is full of something ugly and he doesn’t want to be put in with it.
On the way down the hill we walked three abreast in the cobblestone street, drunk and laughing and talking like men who knew they would separate at dawn and travel to the far corners of the earth.
He was lewd and corrupt in every way.
There was a time I had been the same way. I wanted it all and I wanted it fast and no obstacle was big enough to put me off. Since then I had learned that some things were bigger than they looked from a distance, and now I was not so sure anymore just what I was going to get or even what I deserved. I was not proud of what I had learned but I never doubted it was worth knowing.
It was terribly sad — not the music itself, but the fact that it was the best they could do.
A ten-year accumulation of these vagrant addresses can weigh on a man like a hex. He begins to feel like the Wandering Jew. That’s the way I felt.
I didn’t want to go anywhere. Yet, when Yeamon talked about moving on, I felt the excitement anyway.
There was an awful suspicion in my mind that I’d finally gone over the hump, and the worst thing about it was that I didn’t feel tragic at all, but only weary, and sort of comfortably detached.
That maddening delusion that a man can lead a decent life without hiring himself out as a Judas Goat.
She seemed oblivious to everything but the music and the freak who led her around the floor.