“Why I’ve kept this library book now for over a month baffles me,” is what I’d been thinking.
The day I’d picked it up was one of those “going to the library for a designated book & a couple of movies and then randomly grabbing this book because I can’t believe I’ve never read it” scenarios. I began reading it on September 17. I know the date because I was putting the finishing touches on our wedding trip (more like an elopement that would begin September 20) and Kerouac’s opening lines, “I first met Dean not long after my wife and I split up. I had just gotten over a serious illness that I won’t bother to talk about, except that it had something to do with the miserably weary split-up and my feeling that everything was dead” aren’t exactly quotable for wedding vows. So I left it.
We took our wedding trip to Half Moon Bay and we ditched our plans to wed. To call it a “less-than-perfect trip” would be an understatement so we opted to come home briefly, re-pack and jet to Hawaii to try it again. The day we were in Phoenix, I ‘d returned all the other library stuff, but renewed this book. Couldn’t seem to return it…
So there the book sat. When my snoring husband (first time to put it in print, “husband!”) forced me out from the sheets on October 11, I glanced at the book thinking…”I should start it now.” However, I’m easily drawn to the computer late at night and something had stuck in my head from earlier that week…the blog named “bluecenterlightpop.” It had been featured on the wordpress.com homepage and I’d navigated over to it. I liked the content, loved that name & the layout. Wanted to go back and check it out. I began with the “about” section…
So, of course, when I got to the second-to-last paragraph, my jaw did the little drop that jaws tend to do when their owners are a bit amazed.
Now, I’m reading the book. Up to page 35. Excellent, ever made better because I’ve done this trip many times and I’ve had experiences in some of these places of which he speaks…Rock Island (I roamed here in tribute to a Chicago friend who’s from there), North Platte (couldn’t get a hotel here because, it was girl’s volleyball championships & everything sold out so I cat-napped in the car before I could drive again), Gothenburg (where people still return a lost wallet – with everything in it – and the sheriff’s office will go out of their way to track you down, even if you’re in Chicago & your license says “Arizona.”) My adventures are hardly as exciting however I did get a good feel for place, people, topography and I bring that to my reading of Kerouac. I’m also looking for the deeper meanings, of course. Maybe things I was too busy driving to have experienced. What a lark! His story does me good!
I have always been a believer that books find their way into our lives at the right time. I’ve gone so far to think that, since we are all energy,…maybe, especially the dead authors…have a way of summoning a reader. I don’t know, I guess it’s because I definitely feel summoned!