Junky Part Two
Sometimes, you do something that is so stupid. When preparing this text for publication, PG accidentally clicked in the wrong place, and started to close the file. The machine asked PG if he wanted to save the changes. He clicked on the middle option, which was to not save the changes. A split second later, PG realized what a bad mistake this was. It was too late. This story will be re-created, but might not be as good as the first one. Pictures will be from “The Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library”.
This is part two of the chamblee54 reconfiguration of Junky, by William S. Burroughs, aka William Lee. (part one) The original exposure to this material was from an audiobook, with selections borrowed from the peedeeff. Some of the best writing is in the parts of the manuscript that were edited out. The limited attention span of audiobook listeners must be considered.
The story begins with WSB leaving the north, and arriving in New Orleans. Before you can say Harrison Narcotics Act, (passed in 1914, after the third party manipulated election of 1912,) WSB is using junk. There are some wild and crazy junkies in New Orleans at this time.
“Another occasional was Lonny the Pimp, who had grown up in his mother’s whorehouse. Lonny tried to space his shots so he wouldn’t get a habit. … Lonny was pure pimp. He was skinny and nervous. He couldn’t sit still and he couldn’t shut up. As he talked, he moved his thin hands which were covered on the backs with long, greasy, black hairs. You could tell by looking at him that he had a big penis. Pimps always do. Lonny was a sharp dresser and he drove a Buick convertible. But he wouldn’t hesitate to hang us up for credit on a two-dollar cap.”
Before too much longer, WSB is busted. “We’re going out and search your house, ” the frog-faced cop said. “If we find anything, your wife will be put in jail, too. I don’t know what will happen to your children.” This is the first time the word wife is used. This probably refers to Joan Vollmer, who had her own set of issues. Her fondness for playing William Tell had unfortunate results.
A lawyer gets WSB out of jail. For legal reasons, WSB goes to a facility, and is to receive a cure. One doctor thinks WSB is there for a “marijuana habit.” Another doctor has a familiar conversation. “”Why do you feel that you need narcotics, Mr. Lee?” When you hear this question you can be sure that the man who asks it knows nothing about junk. “I need it to get out of bed in the morning, to shave and eat breakfast.””
After some legal shenanigans. WSB goes to Texas. There is a place on the border called the Valley. It used to be desert, until it was irrigated with water from the Rio Grande. “When I arrived in the Valley, I was still in the post-cure drag. I had no appetite and no energy. All I wanted to do was sleep, and I slept twelve to fourteen hours a day. Occasionally I bought two ounces of paregoric, drank it with two goof balls and felt normal for several hours. You have to sign for P. G. when you buy it, and I did not want to burn down the drugstores. You can only buy P. G. so often, or the druggist gets wise. Then he packs in, or ups the price.”
For the last few years, PG has been the extra name of the slack blogger. It originally stood for Piers Gaveston, a romantic figure in English history. Other uses of PG include parental guidance, pretty good, and passing gas. The two initializing periods were considered unnecessary. To have an retro narcotic preparation referred to as P.G. is a bright moment, in an otherwise dreary text.