A Kerouac Detour 

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“In God’s name and under the stars what for? For joy, for kicks, for something burning in the night.” -Jack Kerouac. I finished reading “On the Road” earlier today. I had been meaning to read it for years, and finally got around to it. The timing couldn’t have been better. What an adventurous story. The magic is in the details. I’m wondering if there are any drastic differences in the “original scroll” version which I read, compared to the 1957 edition. I enjoyed being able to read the story with the actual names. Of course seeing the final line read, “I think of Neal Cassady” instead of “I think of Dean Moriarty” would probably make a difference for some people. None the less, what a powerful thing it is to have such a complex person in your life. It’s true isn’t it? There are some people that come into your life and make a mark on you. Their always going to be there in your mind. You’ll always think about them. Neal Cassady seemed to be the type to set ones soul on fire in a inconsistent way, but that was the beauty of it.

One quote that really stuck out to me as I read was, “At the end of the American road is a man and a woman making love in a hotel room.” Even though there is a lot of explanation surrounding that statement, I couldn’t get my mind off of it. It’s one of those sentences that I will write in my journal, stare at, and pick apart for the next few weeks. On the Road is far from a love story, but there are tons of moments that focus on relationships. In that particular instance, Jack is talking about his wife. However, I think that a lot of us can relate to a statement like that. When you cut it down and peel back the layers, he’s talking about a reality that most of us have experienced. Sure, there are many joys in life, but there are certain things you can’t compare. Sometimes it’s the simplest of statements that create the most meaning.

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Overall, I’m so glad I took the time to detour from my poetry books to read “On the Road.” It is a book that I will remember forever.

Until next time,

Christine

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