More From The Road

I dropped some text up here yesterday that almost sounded like a motivational speech. It wasn't meant that way - I am no motivator. I was just thinking out loud but nothing would make me happier than if you happened to pick up the gauntlet and joined me in my 9:18 goal of throwing some happy shit at the world instead of just shit for the next year.

It's only a year - it will fly by. Trust me. Plus, the place could use a break don't you think?

On a different note, I learned something new today - please allow me to share my cultured find.

Pictured here is a letter from Neal Cassady to Jack Kerouac. The caption beneath is the entry in the auction book when it went up for grabs at Christie's:

CASSADY, Neal (1926-1968). Typed letter completed in autograph and with autograph additions, corrections, and deletions in pencil and pen, to JACK KEROUAC (1922-1969), Denver, 17 December 1950. 18 pages, comprising nearly 16,000 words, some pale browning and minor marginal chipping. Estimate: $400,000-600,000

CASSADY, Neal (1926-1968). Typed letter completed in autograph and with autograph additions, corrections, and deletions in pencil and pen, to JACK KEROUAC (1922-1969), Denver, 17 December 1950. 18 pages, comprising nearly 16,000 words, some pale browning and minor marginal chipping. Estimate: $400,000-600,000

I like Kerouac a lot. Some days we get along better than others. Some of his books have great covers and some of them really suck - for some reason, this is important when walking into Kerouac's house. Anyway, though I had heard of this letter - which was lost, found, failed at auction and is now at the Emory in Atlanta -  I never knew how it was written was the inspiration for the style Kerouac used when he wrote On The Road.

I hunted around for a variant of the picture I could actually read - and found one. It's odd. It's like listening to an album of a band you don't rate and finding out that one of your favourite bands copied everything about it and just added a little of their own sugar on the top to push the casual observer off the kerb. 

Maybe people who are better versed in The Beats will laugh at my ignorance here but ignorance is a wonderful thing when it means many years later, you can discover new things and have a whole new lease of life injected into something you loved already.

Unless perhaps, twenty years down the line, you happen to find out your lover once killed a school friend with a pencil and a live sea-sponge stolen from the marine tank in the teachers staff-room. That's not so wonderful, but you could write a book about it, so all would not be totally lost.

Maybe I will type a letter on my Olympia and send it to a writer-friend in the vague hope that one day, somebody I don't know and will likely never meet may likewise benefit from me emptying my head of its frustrations onto a piece of paper.

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If you're interested, this Olympus is indeed very portable - I don't think she is much heavier than the MacBook Pro I used to have. The case is held together with gaffer tape but that's nothing new, everything I ever owned that's ever hit the road with me has been held together with the stuff. It is 100% possible to write a book on her.

It would be a very slow book to write, but it would be a book all the same and probably a very different type of book than I would write on this MB-Air. Maybe during my December sabbatical from technology (that's a very real thing here) I'll spend some quality time with her and get to know her better than I do at the moment. Maybe I'll learn how to strip her down and rebuild her, get real smooth at dropping sheets of paper in and out of the roller and figure out how hard to tap the keys to get the most out of her.

Most of all, maybe I can just get better at typing on her and actually write that book.

How hard can it be?