Monday, March 12

some nut with a raincoat and a hat

Now I was wandering in the very dark, in the fog, everything was closing down. Hoodlums roared by in small cars and some on motorcycles. Some stood on corners. I asked everybody where there was a hotel. Now they didnt even know. Gettin on 3 A.M. Groups of hoodlums came and went across the street from me. I say "hoodlums" but with everything closed, the final music joint already discharging a few wrangling customers who bellowed confusedly around cars, what was left i' the streets?

Miraculously, yet, I suddenly passed a band of twelve or so Naval inductees who were singing a martial song in chorus on the foggy corner. I went right up to em, looked at the head singer, and with me alcoholic hoarse baritone went "A a a a a a h"

—They waited—

"V é é é é"

They wondered who this nut was.

"M a h – r e e e e e – ee — ee — aaaah!"

Ah, Ave Maria, on the next notes I knew not the words but just sang the melody and they caught on, caught up the tune, and there we were a chorus with baritone and tenors singing like sad angels suddenly slowly—And right through the whole first chorus—In the foggy foggy dew—Brest Brittany—Then I said "Adieu" and walked away. They never said a word.

Some nut with a raincoat and a hat.

-- Jack Kerouac (b. 12 March 1922) Satori in Paris