On the Road
Poverty Quotes Page 5
How we cite our quotes:
The final topper was the racetrack. Remi saved all his money, about a hundred dollars, spruced me up in some of his clothes, put Lee Ann on his arm, and off we went to Golden Gate racetrack near Richmond across the bay. [...]
We proceeded to the racetrack. He made incredible twenty-dollar bets to win, and before the seventh race he was broke. With our last two food dollars he placed still another bet and lost. We had to hitchhike back to San Francisco. I was on the road again. A gentleman gave us a ride in his snazzy car. I sat up front with him. Remi was trying to put a story down that he’d lost his wallet in back of the grandstand at the track. "The truth is," I said, "we lost all our money on the races, and to forestall any more hitching from racetracks, from now on we go to a bookie, hey, Remi?" Remi blushed all over. The man finally admitted he was an official of the Golden Gate track. He let us off at the elegant Palace Hotel; we watched him disappear among the chandeliers, his pockets full of money, his head held high. (I.11.78, I.11.79)
Each of Sal’s friends seems to manifest madness in their own way – for Slim it is music and speech, for Carlo poetry, for Dean time, and for Remi, it is money.
"I get so sick and tired of that sonofabitch," snapped Lee Ann. She was on the go to start trouble. She began needling Remi. He was busy going through his little black book, in which were names of people, mostly seamen, who owed him money. Beside their names he wrote curses in red ink. I dreaded the day I’d ever find my way into that book. Lately I’d been sending so much money to my aunt that I only bought four or five dollars’ worth of groceries a week. In keeping with what President Truman said, I added a few more dollars’ worth. But Remi felt it wasn’t my proper share; so he’d taken to hanging the grocery slips, the long ribbon slips with itemized prices, on the wall of the bathroom for me to see and understand. Lee Ann was convinced Remi was hiding money from her, and that I was too, for that matter. She threatened to leave him. (I.11.82)
Sal’s aunt becomes a barometer for his monetary situation, as we see him either sending her or asking her for money. He seems not to be able to strike a balance in between. Like Dean, his activities begin taking the form of extremes.
For the next fifteen days we were together for better or for worse. When we woke up we decided to hitchhike to New York together; she was going to be my girl in town. I envisioned wild complexities with Dean and Marylou and everybody - a season, a new season. First we had to work to earn enough money for the trip. Terry was all for starting at once with the twenty dollars I had left. I didn’t like it. And, like a damn fool, I considered the problem for two days, as we read the want ads of wild LA papers I’d never seen before in my life, in cafeterias and bars, until my twenty dwindled to just over ten. (I.13.1)
Sal only starts to work for money when he has a goal on which to spend it.