I believed in a good home, in sane and sound living, in good food, good times, work, faith and hope. I have always believed in these things. It was with some amazement that I realized I was one of the few people in the world who really believed in these things without going around making a dull middle class philosophy out of it. I was suddenly left with nothing in my hands but a handful of crazy stars.
Nothing behind me, everything ahead of me, as is ever so on the road.
All around me were the noise of the crazy gold-coast city. And this was my Hollywood career - this was my last night in Hollywood, and I was spreading mustard on my lap in back of a parking-lot john.
I was a man of the earth, precisely as I had dreamed I would be.
The bus roared through Indiana cornfields that night; the moon illuminated the ghostly gathered husks; it was almost Halloween. I made the acquaintance of a girl and we necked all the way to Indianapolis. She was nearsighted. When we got off to eat I had to lead her by the hand to the lunch counter. She bought my meals; my sandwiches were all gone. In exchange I told her long stories.
Every now and then a clear harmonic cry gave new suggestions of a tune that would someday be the only tune in the word and would raise mean's souls to joy.
It seemed like a matter of minutes when we began rolling in the foothills before Oakland and suddenly reached a height and saw stretched out ahead of us the fabulous white city of San Francisco on her eleven mystic hills with the blue Pacific and its advancing wall of potato-patch fog beyond, and smoke and goldenness in the late afternoon of time.
This is the story of America. Everybody's doing what they think they're supposed to do.
I could hear Dean, blissful and blabbering and frantically rocking. Only a guy who's spent five years in jail can go to such maniacal helpless extremes; beseeching at the portals of the soft source, mad with a completely phsycial realization of the origins of life-bliss; blindly seeking to return the way he came
Oh these dumb dumb dumb Okies, they'll never change, how com-pletely and how unbelievably dumb, the moment it comes time to act, this paralysis, scared, hysterical, nothing frightens em more than what they WANT- it's MY FATHER MY FATER MY FATHER all over again!
All he needed was a wheel in his hand and four on the road.
I was halfway across America, at the dividing line between the East of my youth and the West of my future.
The cowboy music twanged in the roadhouse and carried across the fields, all sadness. It was all right with me. I kissed my baby and we put out the lights.
For the first time in my life the weather was not something that touched me, that caressed me, froze or sweated me, but became me.
It was a fine night, a warm night, a wine-drinking night, a moony night, and a night to hug your girl and talk and spit and be heavengoing. This we did.
This was a manuscript of the night we couldn't read.
I had traveled eight thousand miles around the American continent and I was back on Times Square; and right in the middle of a rush hour, too, seeing with my innocent road-eyes the absolute madness and fantastic hoorair of New York with its millions and millions hustling forever for a buck among themselves, the mad dream-grabbing, taking, giving, sighing, dying, just so they could be buried in those awful cemetery cities beyond Long Island City.
Prison is where you promise yourself the right to live.
And so we picked up our bags, he the trunk with his one good arm and I the rest, and staggered to the cable-car stop; in a moment rolled down the hill with our legs dangling to the sidewalk from the jiggling shelf, two broken-down heroes of the Western night.
I was having a wonderful time and the whole world opened up before me because I had no dreams.
The road must eventually lead to the whole world.
Go moan for man. It's the pathos of people that gets us down, all the lovers in this dream.
It was a rainy night. It was the myth of a rainy night.
We agreed to love each other madly.
I have finally taught Dean that he can do anything he wants, become mayor of Denver, marry a millionairess, or become the greatest poet since Rimbaud. But he keeps rushing out to see the midget auto races
She spoke of evenings in the country making popcorn on the porch. Once this would have gladdened my heart but because her heart was not glad when she said it I knew there was nothing in it but the idea of what one should do.
And though Remi was having worklife problems and bad lovelife with a sharp-tongued woman, he at least had learned to laugh almost better than anyone in the world, and I saw all the fun we were going to have in Frisco.
I was surprised, as always, be how easy the act of leaving was, and how good it felt. The world was suddenly rich with possibility.
The sun goes down long and red. All the magic names of the valley unrolled - Manteca, Madera, all the rest. Soon it got dusk, a grapy dusk, a purple dusk over tangerine groves and long melon field; the sun the color of pressed grapes, slashed with burgundy red, the fields the color of love and Spanish mysteries. I stuck my head out the window and took deep breaths of the fragant air. It was the most beautiful of all moments.
He has to blow across bridges and come back and do it with such infinite feeling soul-exploratory for the tune of the moment that everybody knows it's not the tune that counts but IT.
More Jack Kerouac Quotations (Based on Topics)
Jack Kerouac's "On the Road" Quotes - View All Jack Kerouac Quotations
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