And she used to write poetry, oddball stuff , it didn’t rhyme or anything
and it certainly didn’t make any sense and they gave her electro-shock
therapy and she went crazy , maybe she was already crazy, she just went crazier,
I guess, and even lovelier. It brought the freckles out,
the crazed girl with freckles. Have you had electric shock therapy? No, I say -
not yet. My advice, says Frank, is not to have it. It didn’t do Haley any good
and, as far as I know, she never wrote another word just a blank page for ever,
a blank page for the whole of life, Frank says. I used to watch her sometimes,
she’d pick up this pen of hers and write on that page, as if she owned it - that was
before they plugged her in - she was good, I mean good with words, they just
came out like she had a secret supply that no one else could get to.
And she made weird noises when we were making out, really weird.
I guess it comes with the territory, Frank says. The weird noises, you mean? He nods.
Do you make weird noises ? he asks. I do sometimes. That’s ok, he says, I’m fairly
liberal when it comes down to it .The stewardess comes with pretzels, cookies
and wet towels. High in the American sky, in a place that’s nowhere.
I kind of like it: my private pretzel paradise .
You know, said Frank, I can ride bulls from one end of America to the other but I couldn’t
do fuck all with a blank page. To be honest, it’d scare the shit out of me. If I were in a
Kansas Motel alone with some smart arse blank page I might even go and shoot somebody.
Well, I say hesitantly, looking at the battered cowboy, the blank page can be rather scary but I
don’t think you can compare it with a buck off.
He puts up a hand. Listen, did you tell me your name? I think you did but I’ve forgotten it
– anyway I’ve broken every damn bone in my body but I know you’re suffering,
you’ve broken those bones that no one else can see. Come on man, admit it, it’s in your
face, it’s in your dumb questions . And you know what, I respect you for that – we are
both broken, broken differently, I guess, broken in different ways, broken men on a plane
that’s being flown by a broken Vietnam vet who reads Walt Whitman in a log cabin full of
peacock shit in the middle of some gloomy transcendental forest. Thank you I say, eating
another pretzel (they’re so good!) And then we look out of the window, that’s what it’s for,
it’s mostly cloud, and more cloud.