| Quote #4
I rush to explain to Cody what happened the year before when his religious advisor at the prison had invited me to come to San Quentin to lecture the religious class -- Dave Wain was supposed to drive me and wait outside the prison walls as I'd go in there alone, probably with a pepup nip bottle hidden in my coat (I hoped) and I'd be led by big guards to the lecture room of the prison and there would be sitting a hundred or so cons including Cody probably all proud in the front row -- And I would begin by telling them I had been in jail myself once and that I had no right nevertheless to lecture them on religion -- But they're all lonely prisoners and dont care what I talk about -- The whole thing arranged, in any case, and on the big morning I wake up instead dead drunk on a floor, it's already noon and too late, Dave Wain is on the floor also, Willie's parked outside to take us to Quentin for the lecture but it's too late (13.4)
This anecdote reminds us of the futility of plans for these characters, and of their wasted potential.
| Quote #5
And I tell this to Cody who ponders a chess problem and says "Drinkin again, hey? " (if there's anything he hates is to see me drink). (13.4)
This is an incredibly important line, and it's given in parentheses. It's important that we get the reactions of Jack's friends to his drinking. This perspective is not an easy task for the author in a first-person narrative.
| Quote #6
There he is wearing goggles working like Vulcan at his forge, throwing tires all over the place with fantastic strength, the good ones high up on a pile, "This one's no good" down on another, bing, bang, talking all the time a long fantastic lecture on tire recapping which has Dave Wain marvel with amazement -- ('My God he can do all that and even explain while he's doing it') -- But I just mention in connection with the fact that Dave Wain now realizes why I've always loved Cody... (13.7)
The friendships between Jack and his friends are characterized by this intense amazement, bordering on hero worship. Part of the pain in reading about Jack's alcoholism and break-down is watching his friends witness it.