Why the Seconal, Neal?

Neal. Oh, Neal.

Help me to understand one thing. One thing. Why the Seconal at a wedding party?

I know that I sound like a parent. Sixty-five and you stuck now forever at four days shy of fourty-two. I know I sound square. But why the Seconal? At a wedding party?

I have tried to understand without your help in little silly ways. I have walked down along the train track away from the station here in San Miguel toward Celaya. As you did on that last night. I know your magic bag was in the station in Celaya. I know you were anxious to retrieve the magic bag. Neal, please. I don’t want to hear any more about that fucking magic bag!

It is at least 30 kilometers to the train station in Celaya, not 15. And in the cold? In the rain? In your tee shirt? Why not hitch a ride the next day? You were so good at hitching rides.

So I have concluded that it must have been the Seconal, Neal. Which brings me back to the question. Why the Seconal? At a wedding party, for chrissakes?

I have done some outrageously airheaded things myself, man. Things that I had no right to survive. Yet I did those things without thinking. But you. But this. But this. There is some distressing intentionality in it. Some mission. That I do not understand at all. Did it sound good to you? Did it have a certain ring to it? In that Christ-awful year?

The Tet Offensive was launched in January 1968, and Neal Cassady died that February.

You were so young. So young. God, I know what I sound like when I say that. But it is true. It is the truth. This is the only real crime you ever committed. To die. At 42.

Had you not committed this real crime, you would have discovered . . . I preach . . . I preach . . . you would have discovered the joy, the true joy, of carressing life. Of making love with life. I know you would have. If anyone would, you would have.

Neal, there comes a time to stop taking life in some all-night, marathon, sweaty, cat fuck. With the lamps knocked over and what used to be on the tables strewn on the floor.

Seasons change, Neal. And it need not be for the worse.

So why the Seconal? At a wedding party.

Neal?

 

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