Desolation Angels

[ sleeping under the stars ]

   Okay, we get out and I go in the back of the huge yard among bushes, and spread out my sack, from the rucksack, on dewy grass, and the stars are cold÷ But that star air hits me and as I slip into my bag like it's a prayer÷ To sleep is like a prayer, but under the stars, if you wake up at night, at 3 A.M., you'll see what a big beautiful Heavenly Milky Way room you're sleeping in, cloudy-milk with a hundred thousand myriads of universes, and more, the number is unbelievably milky, no Univac Machine with the brainwash mind can meaure that extent of our reward that we can see up there÷
   And the sleep is delicious under stars, even if the ground is humpy you adjust your limbs to it, and you feel the earth-damp but it only lulls you to sleep, it's the Palaeolithic Indian in all of us÷ The Cro-Magnon or Grimaldi Man, who slept on the ground, naturally, and often in the open, and looked at the stars on his back and tried to calculate the dipankara number of them, or the hoodoo oolagoo mystery of them blearing there÷ No doubt he asked "Why?" "Why, name?" ÷ Lonley lips of Palaeolithic men under the stars, the nomad night÷the crackle of his campfire÷
   Aye, and the zing of his bow÷
   Cupid Bow me, I just sleep there, tight÷When I wake up it's dawn, and gray, and frosty, and I just burrow under and sleep on÷ In the house Raphael is having another sleeping experience, Cody another, Evelyn another, the three children another, even the doggy another÷ It will all dawn on tender paradise, though.

© Jack Kerouac, 1965; Desolation Angels

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