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Authors: Jack Kerouac

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BOOK: Desolation Angels
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The same with this and me and you—

Gathering all the immensities about me in a shroud I glide off “with Tarquin's ravishing strides” into the gloom of the foreknown globe, the vision of the freedom of eternity is like a bulb that's suddenly come on in my brain—enlightenment—reawakening—adventures of raw plasticity made of material of light regonijate and rigamarolerate ahead, I see through it all, ur, arg, oig, ello—

Wait for me Charley I'll be down with the rain man—All of you can see that this was never—Ring the black new fraon—Da fa la bara, gee meria—hear?—Ah fuck, man, I'm tired of trying to figure out what to say; it doesnt matter anyway—
Eh maudit Christ de batême que s'am'fend!
—How can anything ever
end?

P
ART
T
WO

D
ESOLATION IN THE
W
ORLD

48

But now the story, the confession …

What I'd learned on the solitary mountain all summer, the Vision on Desolation Peak, I tried to bring down to the world and to my friends in San Francisco, but they, involved in the strictures of time and life, rather than the eternity and solitude of mountain snowy rocks, had a lesson to teach me themselves—Besides, the vision of the freedom of eternity which I saw and which all wilderness hermitage saints have seen, is of little use in cities and warring societies such as we have—What a world is this, not only that friendship cancels enmity, but enmity doth cancel friendship and the grave and the urn cancel all—Time enough to die in ignorance, but now that we live what shall we celebrate, what shall we say? What to do? What, boidened flesh in Brooklyn and everywhere, and sick stomachs, and suspicious hearts, and hard streets, and clash of ideas, all humanity on fire with hate &
odio
—The very first thing I noticed as I arrived in S.F. with my pack and messages was that everybody was goofing—wasting time—not being serious—trivial in rivalries—timid before God—even the angels fighting—I only know one thing: everybody in the world is an angel, Charley Chaplin and I have seen their wings, you dont have to be a seraphic little girl with a wistful smile of sadness to be an angel, you can be broadstriped Bigparty Butch sneering in a cave, in a sewer, you can be monstrous itchy Wallace Beery in a dirty undershirt, you can be an Indian woman squatting in the gutter crazy, you can even be a bright beaming believing American Executive with bright eyes, you can even be a nasty intellectual in the capitals of Europe but I see the big sad invisible wings on all the shoulders and I feel bad they're invisible and of no earthly use and never were and all we're doing is fighting to our deaths—

Why?

In fact why do I fight myself? Let me begin with a confession of my first murder and go on with the story and you, wings and all, judge for yourself—This is the Inferno—Here I sit upside-down on the surface of the planet earth, held by gravity, scribbling a story and I know there's no need to tell a story and yet I know there's not even need for silence—but there's an aching mystery—

Why else should we live but to discuss (at least) the horror and the terror of all this life, God how old we get and some of us go mad and everything changes viciously—it's that vicious
change
that hurts, as soon as something is cool and complete it fall apart and burns—

Above all, I'm sorry—but my sorriness wont help you, or me—

In the mountain shack I murdered a mouse which was—agh—it had little eyes looking at me pleadfully, it was already viciously wounded by my stabbing it with a stick through its protective hidingplace of Lipton's Green Pea Soup packages, it was all covered with green dust, thrashing, I put the flashlight right on it, removed the packages, it looked at me with “human” fearful eyes (“All living things tremble from the fear of punishment”), little angel wings and all I just let her have it, right on the head, a sharp crack, that killed it, eyes popped out covered with green pea dust—As I hit it I almost sobbed yelling “Poor little thing!” as though it wasn't me doin it?—Then I went out and dumped it over the precipice, salvaging first those packages of soup which were not crushed open, soup I later enjoyed too—I dumped, and then put the dishpan (in which I'd stashed destroyable food and hung it from the ceiling, nevertheless the clever mouse somehow jumped into it) put the dishpan in the snow with a pailful of water in it and when I looked in the morning there was a dead mouse floating in the water—I went to the precipice and looked and found a dead mouse—I thought “Its mate committed suicide in the pan of its death, from grief!”—Something sinister was happening, I was being punished by little humble martyrs—Then I realized it was the same mouse, it had stuck to the bottom of the pan (blood?) when I dumped in the dark, and the dead mouse in the ravine of the precipice was simply an earlier mouse that had drowned in the ingenious water trap invented by the previous fellow in my shack and which I'd halfheartedly set (a can with a rod, with bait on top, mouse steps to nibble and can turns over, dumping mouse, I was reading in the afternoon when I heard the fatal little splash in the attic right over my bed and the first preliminary thrashings of the swimmer, I had to go out in the yard not to hear it, almost crying, when I came back,
silence
) (and the next day, drowned mouse elongated like a ghost worldward reaching scrawny neck to death, the tail hairs streaming)—Ah, murdered 2 mouses, and attempted murder on a third, which, when finally I caught it standing on little hind legs behind the cupboard with a fearful upward look and its little white neck I said “Enough,” and went to bed and let it live and romp in my room—later it was killed by the rat anyway—Less than a handful of meat and flesh, and the hateful bubonic tail, and I had prepared for myself future sojourns in the hell of murderers and all because of fear of rats—I thought of gentle Buddha who wouldnt fear a tiny rat, or Jesus, or even John Barrymore who had pet mice in his room in childhood Philadelphia—Expressions like “Are you a man or a mouse?” and “the best laid plans of mice and men” and “wouldnt kill a mouse” began to hurt me and also “scared of a mouse”—I asked forgiveness, tried to repent and pray, but felt that because I had abdicated my position as a holy angel from heaven who never killed, the world might now go fires—Methinks it has—As a kid I'd break up gangs of squirrel murderers, at risk of my own hurt—Now this—And I realize we are all of us murderers, in previous lifetimes we murdered and we had to come back to work out our punishment, by punishment-under-death which is life, that in this lifetime we must
stop murdering
or be forced to come back because of our inherent God natures and divine magic power to manifest anything we want—I remembered my father's pity when he drowned baby mice himself one morning long ago, and my mother saying “Poor little things”—But now I had joined the ranks of the murderers and so I had no more reason to be pious and superior, for for a while there (prior to the mice) I had somewhat considered myself divine and impeccable—Now I'm just a dirty murdering human being like everybody else and now I cant take refuge in heaven anymore and here I am, with angel's wings dripping with blood of my victims, small or otherwise, trying to tell what to do and I dont know any more than you do—

Dont laugh—a mouse has a little beating heart, that little mouse I let live behind the cupboard was really “humanly” scared, it was being stalked by a big beast with a stick and
it didn't know why it was chosen to die
—it looked up, around, both ways, little paws up, on hind legs, breathing heavily—
hunted
—

When big cow-y deer grazed in my moonlight yard still I stared at their flanks as with a rifle sight—tho I would never kill a deer, which dies a big death—nevertheless the flank meant bullet, the flank meant arrow-penetrating, there is nothing but murder in the hearts of men—St. Francis must have known this—And supposing someone had gone to St. Francis in his cave and told him some of the things that are said about him today by nasty intellectuals and Communists and Existentialists all over the world, supposing: “Francis, you're nothing but a scared stupid beast hiding from the sorrowing world, camping and pretending to be so saintly and loving animals, hiding from the real world with your formal seraphic cherubim tendencies, while people cry and old women sit in the street weeping and the Lizard of Time mourns forever on a hot rock, you,
you,
think yourself so holy, farting in secret in caves, stink as much as anybody, are you trying to show you're better than man?” Francis might have killed the man—Who knows?—I love St. Francis of Assisi as well as anybody in the world but how do I know what he woulda done?—maybe murdered his tormentor—Because whether you murder or not, that's the trouble, it makes no difference in the maddening void which doesn't care what we do—All we know is that everything is alive otherwise it wouldnt be here—The rest is speculation, mental judgments of the reality of the
feeling
of a good or bad, this or that, nobody knows the holy white truth because it is invisible—

All the saints have gone to the grave with the same pout as the murderer and the hater, the dirt doesnt discriminate, it'll eat all lips no matter what they did and that's because nothing matters and we all know it—

But what we gonna do?

Pretty soon there'll be a new kind of murderer, who will kill without any reason at all, just to prove that it doesnt matter, and his accomplishment will be worth no more and no less than Beethoven's last quartets and Boito's Requiem—Churches will fall, Mongolian hordes will piss on the map of the West, idiot kings wil burp at bones, nobody'll care then the earth itself'll disintegrate into atomic dust (as it was in the beginning) and the void still the void wont care, the void'll just go on with that maddening little smile of its that I see everywhere, I look at a tree, a rock, a house, a street, I see that little smile—That “secret God-grin” but what a God is this who didn't invent justice?—So they'll light candles and make speeches and the angels rage. Ah but “I dont know, I dont care, and it doesnt matter” will be the final human prayer—

Meanwhile in all directions, in and out, of the universe, outward to the neverending planets in never ending space (more numerous than the sands in the ocean) and inward into the illimitable vastnesses of your own body which is also never ending space and “planets” (atoms) (all an electromagnetic crazy arrangement of bored eternal power) meanwhile the murder and the useless activity goes on, and has been going on since beginningless time, and will go on never endingly, and all we can know, we with our justified hearts, is that it is just what it is and no more than what it is and has no name and is but beastly power—

For those who believe in a personal God who cares about good and bad are hallucinating themselves beyond the shadow of a doubt, tho God bless them, he blankly blesses blanks anyway—

It's just nothing but Infinity infinitely variously amusing itself with a movie, empty space and matter both, it doesnt limit itself to either one, infinitude wants all—

But I did think on the mountain, “Well” (and passing the little mound where I'd buried the mouse every day as I went to my filthy defecations) “let us keep the mind neutral, let us
be
like the void”—but as soon as I get bored and come down the mountain I cant for the life of me be anything but enraged, lost, partial, critical, mixed-up, scared, foolish, proud, sneering, shit shit shit—

The candle burns

And when that's done

the wax lies in cold artistic piles

 ——s about all I know

49

So I start trudgin down that mountain trail with full pack on my back and think from the thap and steady whap of my shoes on stone and ground that all I need in this world to keep me goin is my feet—my legs—of which I'm so proud, and there they start giving way not 3 minutes after I've taken one final look at the shuttered (goodbye strange) cabin and even made a little kneel to it (as one would kneel to the monument of the angels of the dead and the angels of the unborn, the shack where everything had been promised to me by Visions on lightning nights) (and the time I was afraid to do my pushups from the ground, face down, hands, because meseems Hozomeen'll take bear or abominable form and bend down on me as I lay) (fog)—You get used to the dark, you realize the ghosts are all friendly—(Hanshan says “Cold Mountain has many hidden wonders, people who climb here are always getting scared”)—you get used to all that, you learn that all the myths are true but empty and mythlike aint even there, but there are worse things to fear on the (upsidedown) surface of this earth than darkness and tears—There's people, your legs giving way, and finally your pockets get rifled, and finally you convulse and die—Little time and no point and too happy to think of that when it's Autumn and you're clomping down the mountain to the wondrous cities boiling in the distance—

Funny how, now the time (in timelessness) has come to leave that hated rock-top trap I have no emotions, instead of making a humble prayer to my sanctuary as I twist it out of sight behind my heaving back all I do is say “Bah—humbug” (knowing the mountain will understand, the void) but where was the joy?—the joy I prophesied, of bright new snow rocks, and new strange holy trees and lovely hidden flowers by the down-go happy-o trail? Instead of all that I muse and chew anxiously, and the end of Starvation Ridge, just out of sight of house, I'm already quite tired in the thighs and sit down to rest and smoke—Well, and I look, and there's the Lake still as far below and almost the same view, but O, my heart twists to see something—God has made some little thin cerulean haze to penetrate like unnamable dust the spectacle of a pinkish late-morning northern cloud reflected in the lake-body-blue, and it comes out rose-tint, but so ephemeral as almost not worth talking about and thus so evanescent as to tug at my heart's mind and make me think “But God made that little pretty mystery for me to see” (and no one else's there to see)—The fact, that it's a heartbreaking mystery makes me realize it's a God-game (for me) and I see the movie of reality as a vanishment of sight in a pool of liquid understanding and I almost feel like crying to realize “I love God”—the affair I've had with Him on the Hill—I've fallen in love with God—Whatever happens to me down that trail to the world is all right with me because I am God and I'm doing it all myself, who else?

BOOK: Desolation Angels
2.01Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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