Wednesday, August 29, 2007

I Dumped Jack

I got into a beer-fueled discussion last weekend about whether Jack Kerouac was a total loser.

When I was high school, dreaming of dirty, claustrophobic New York City from the suburbs of Orange County, On the Road captured my imagination the way it does every adventure-craving, freedom-panting hipster in the making. I read all the books, imitated his writing style, scribbled poems and drawings in the margins.

I should have left it alone.

But nooooo, I had to grow up--I had to read his biographies and I had to begin dating a legion of Brooklyn mini-Jacks (drinking problems and issues with women included with price of admission). Sadly, at the end of the day, my literary paramour ended a shadow possessed by his alcoholism, infantilism, conservatism, self loathing. All of these probably made him a the writer we admire, but a pretty pathetic character in his own life. Perhaps I am too sensitive or too self involved myself, but I'd never felt so let down.

That's why I dumped Jack.

(But then we got back together. Would I have driven to Lowell in a snowstorm just to take a picture of his typewriter and argyle socks if it was truly over? Love ya, Jack!)

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