Mr. Suttree it is our understanding that at curfew rightly decreed by law and in that hour wherein nigh draws to its proper close and the new day commences and contrary to conduct befitting a person of your station you betook yourself to various low places within the shire of McAnally and there did squander several ensuing years in the company of thieves, derelicts, miscreants, pariahs, poltroons, spalpeens, curmudgeons, clotpolls, murderers, gamblers, bawds, whores, trulls, brigands, topers, tosspots, sots and archsots, lobcocks, smellsmocks, runagates, rakes, and other assorted and felonious debauchees.
I was drunk, cried Suttree.
You were indeed Mr. Cornelius Suttree. You drank the river dry. Why, Suttree, why must you be so? You are a bright boy and there is really no call for you to be hanging about with the lowest of the low. You could have made something of yourself. You came from a good family...well most of the family tree seems pretty solid.Mr. Suttree in what year did your greatuncle Jeffrey pass away?
It was in 1884.
Did he die by natural causes?
And what were the circumstances surrounding his death.
He was taking part in a public function when the platform gave way.
Our information is that he was hanged for a homicide.
Every family has a few hiccups.
You don't like your family much. You are in hiding not only from them, but a wife and a son you left behind. You make a haphazard living running a trot line. Selling fish for nickles and dimes don't put much comfort in the belly. You live on the river in an abandoned house boat. That boat might be fine in the summer time, but it sure got damned cold in the winter time didn't it sir? Ice lay along the shore, frangible plates skewed up and broken on the mud and the small icegardens whitely all down the drained and frozen flats where delicate crystal columns sprouted from the mire. He hauled forth is shriveled giblet and pissed a long and smoking piss into the river and spat and buttoned and went in again. He kicked the door shut and stood before the stove in a gesture of enormous exhortation. A frozen hermit. His lower jaw in a seizure.
Your best friend, Gene Harrogate is a melonmounter. Yes, he stuck his dingus in a variety of citrullus vulgaris. They sent him to prison. What the hell else were they supposed to do with him? Once they found out in prison things got rough for the both of you didn't it Suttree? The crimes of the moonlight melonmounter followed him as crimes will.
Yes sirree a prison bad ass put lumps on both your skulls. The Patch where Harrogate fell in lust.
Your other friend Billy Ray likes to beat up cops. He is barely recovered from one assault when he takes on another trio of cops. These aren't the right sorts of people to be friends with. You can't expect to live a long and healthy life surrounding yourself with people like this.
Are you sad Suttree?
You hook up with this pretty filly from Chicago. Wasn't her name Joyce? Yes, yes here it is in my notes... Joyce from Chicago. You really liked Joyce didn't ya? That woman knows her way around a penis. There was all together too much of her sitting there, the broad expanse of thigh cradled in the insubstantial stocking and garters with the pale flesh pursed and her full breasts and the sootblack piping of her eyelids, a gaudish rake of metaldust in prussian blue where cerulean moths had fluttered her wake from some outlandish dream. Suttree gradually going away in the sheer outrageous sentience of her. Their glasses clicked on the tabletop. Her hot spiced tongue fat in his mouth and her hands all over him liked the very witch of fuck.
Unfortunately Joyce needs to keep plying her trade to keep you in clothes, toiletries, and living quarters. You are pretty cool about it, but the life of a whore starts to wear on her, and when she starts putting on weight then the real fireworks started. Yes indeed, one thing we know you are good at Suttree...yes we do...we know you are good at running.
Are you sad Suttree? Is it soul sadness?
It is no wonder you end up in the hospital with Typhoid Fever. You never eat right and you drink too much. You shiver and shake and suffer heat stroke. Your immune system is almost nonexistence. You almost checked out my friend. And now you have this writer...this Cormac McCarthy character from West Texas who wrote a book about you. Cormac McCarthy
The questions will just never end now. So what's next for Suttree? At the end of the book you are, supposedly, finally shaking the dust of Knoxville from your clothes. He was a man with no plans for going back the way he'd come nor telling any soul at all what he had seen.
Too late Suttree, you are just too damn late.