Copyright (c) 1961, William S. Burroughs. All Rights Reserved.

"Salt Chunk Mary" had all the "nos" and none of them ever meant "yes". She named a price heavy and cold as a cop's blackjack on a winter night and that was it. She didn't name another. Mary didn't like talk and she didn't like talkers. She received and did business in the kitchen. And she kept it in a sugar bowl. Nobody thought about that. Her cold grey eyes would have seen the thought and maybe something goes wrong on the next lay John Citizen come up with a load of 00 into your soft and tenders or Johnny Law just happens by. She sat there and heard. When you spread the gear out on her kitchen table she already knows where you sloped it. She looks at the gear and a price falls out heavy and cold and her mouth closes and stays shut. If she doesn't want to do business she just wraps the gear up and shoves it back across the table and that is that. Mary keeps a blue coffee pot and a pot of salt pork and beans always on the wood stove. When you fall in she gets up without a word and puts a mug of coffee and plate of salt chunk in front of you. You eat and then you talk business. Or maybe you take a room for a week to cool off. room 18 on the top floor I was sitting in the top room rose wall paper smoky sunset across the river. I was new in the game and like all young thieves thought I had a license to steal. It didn't last. Sitting there waiting on the Japanese girl works in the Chink laundry a soft knock and I open the door naked with a hard-on it was the top floor all the way up you understand nobody on that landing. "Ooooh" she says feeling it up to my oysters a drop of lubricant squeezed out and took the smoky sunset on rose wall paper I'd been sitting there naked thinking about what we were going to do in the rocking chair rocks off down the line she could get out of her dry goods faster than a junky can fix when his blood is right so we rocked away into the sunset across the river just before blast off that old knock on the door and I shoot this fear load like I never feel it wind up is her young brother at the door in his cop suit been watching through the key hole and learn about the birds and the bees some bee I was in those days good looking kid had all my teeth and she knew all the sex currents goose for pimple always made her entrance when your nuts are tight and aching a red haired smoky sunset one bare knee rubbing greasy pink wall paper he was naked with a hard-on waiting on the Mexican girl from Marty's a pearl of lubricant squeezed slowly out and glittered on the tip of his cock.

(From The Soft Machine , 1961).