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really. "Just wanted to let the man know that the both of us inherited the wrong side of the tracks."

"Who? Me and you?"

"No, me and him."

They landed in London before noon the next morning, and after taking a coach from the Heathrow Airport to the Piccadilly Circus passenger terminal, they hopped in separate cabs with Danny confirming where they were to meet that evening, before driving off to take care of the business end of music with a promoter in whose house he would also be staying for the next few days. Emmett read the address which had been given to him by friend and poet Allen Ginsberg, who told him that was where he'd be, and where Emmett could stay if he came over for the "Dialectics of Liberation."

When Emmett told the driver where he wanted to go, the man turned to have a look at this longhaired bloke sitting in the rear of his MacNab and asked him if he was certain he had the address right. Emmett looked again at the piece of paper to make sure and repeated it to the cabbie, assuring him tha~ was where he wanted to go. There was a long pause during which Emmett was given a more careful once-over, and, only after the driver was satisfied that his scrutiny hadn't detected whatever it was he thought might be wrong, did he put the roomy sandy in gear and pull away in the direction of Regent's Park with his passenger enjoying memories of the view from the window, while dropping a questioning line or two about the July cricket matches at Lord's Ground to let the cabbie know that he knew London and didn't want to be driven around to fatten the meter.

Emmett had never heard, or at least couldn't remember ever having heard, of the street that was the address he repeated to the driver. He understood the reason behind this unfamiliarity when they finally got through the thick traffic and arrived in front of one of only four brilliantly white, Grecian-columned houses, standing side by side with a dignified magnificence that was designed to accentuate the exclusiveness of what was not a street, but a "terrace" bordering the rolling green splendor of the very private northwest side of Regent's Park. It was then that the driver again asked Emmett whether he was still sure that this was where he wanted to be let out, because, he explained, he knew for a fact that at least three of the four imperial houses were presently occupied by members of the Queen's royal family and, " 'Scuse me, mate, but you jus' don't [end page 425]

look the type t' be visitin' them class of people, 'less you're goin inside to fix the plumbin' or something. Ya know wha' I mean?"

The fact of the matter was that Emmett did know what he meant and wasn't really certain any longer, and, after showing the driver the slip of paper with the address on it which they both agreed he could have written down wrong, he told him to wait a minute, until he found out if he was in the right place by ringing the doorbell to see whether the residents were expecting him.

The door was opened by Marietta, the young, stoically tall woman of pale silence who taught Allen Ginsberg this and that about Indian music, prayers and mantra chants, whose mere appearance in the doorway all dressed in a cotton sari, wrapped warm with a bulky wool sweater told Emmett that this was where he was supposed to be, and he kissed her.

After paying his fare and reassuring the MacNab driver that he was home, Emmett took his small bag filled mostly with notes, papers and an extra pair of socks and walked back up the marble stairs, under an archway, and through the front door. He felt as if he were entering a palace, and he was. A small palace, but a palace just the same, lightly decorated with antiques and furnished with sparse but deliciously mellow Louis XIV furniture to avoid cluttering up the elegant space of walnut-paneled floors and ever-so-grand rooms.

Everyone was there and Allen introduced him first to two of the men who'd affected his life and whom he'd always wanted to meet, William Burroughs and Alexander Trocchi, both writers, poets, prophets and seers. The woman whose place it was came forward with the grace and beauty of years of wealthy refinement and with a delicate whisper greeted Emmett and sincerely expressed hope that his journey across the sea had been a pleasant one. Her name, strangely enough, meant "bread" in certain dialects of Italian and that was exactly what she had to offer and had been offering to poets for years in her role as the chief benefactress of dozens of artists throughout the world. She was a good, gracious woman of whom very few unkind words have ever been spoken. She showed Emmett to his room.

The giant main event of the week-long "Dialectics of Liberation" conference was to occur that night, beginning at 8:oo P.M., and a few short hours before that, Emmett made a mistake. He went with some of the men, whom he considered his elders because of their "beat experience," across town to a communal house where many of the old-timers and founding fathers of white hipsterism lived to [end page 426]

 

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