Jesse Jarnow

the motel party, no. 7

“The Warmth of the Sun” – The Beach Boys with Willie Nelson (download) (buy)

The Motel Party: no. 1, no. 2, no. 3, no. 4, no. 5, no. 6, no. 7, no. 8, no. 9, no. 10, no. 11, no. 12

The first to arrive was Walter Manteau, a local artist who gave Peabody rides home, up the soft incline to his house near town, when Peabody was too drunk. Manteau had a wife and a child. We chatted pleasantly, though he didn’t stay very long. He was closer to my age than Peabody’s. “He has these moments of profound lucidity,” Manteau said. “Once, I had a painting with me, and he looked at it. This was on a day when he wasn’t making much sense. He told me, ‘if you put that on TV, it would be like… reality.'” I looked at Peabody, who was fiddling with the record player he’d carried in earlier, finally getting it playing. He put on Charlie Parker. He was on his fourth or fifth beer, and was starting to tilt mildly when he walked. I wondered if I would see that side of him. “You think he really knew Harrison?” Manteau asked me. I was somewhat taken aback. Manteau backpedaled. “I’ve heard some crazy stuff come out of his mouth, that’s all,” he said. Manteau excused himself. He had to get home. It was nearing midnight when I stopped wondering when the party would start.