Thursday, August 27, 2009

Dharma Bums VII

"We gotta go to Berkeley after this and attend a lecture and discussion at the Buddhist Center."

"Aw I don't wanta go to no such thing, I just wanta drink in alleys."

He was really sad about it, and worried about me, but I just went on drinking.

When we got to Alvah's cottage and it was time to leave for the Buddhist Center lecture I said "I'll just sit here and get drunk and wait for you."

"Okay," said Japhy, looking at me darkly. "It's your life."

He was gone for two hours. I felt sad and drank too much and was dizzy. But I was determined not to pass out and stick it out and prove something to Japhy. Suddenly, at dusk, he came running back into the cottage drunk as a hoot owl yelling "You know what happened Smith? I went to the Buddhist lecture and they were all drinking white raw saki out of teacups and everybody got drunk. All those crazy Japanese saints! You were right! It doesn't make any difference! We all got drunk and discussed prajna! It was great!" And after that Japhy and I never had an argument again.

--Jack Kerouac, The Dharma Bums, 1958

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