…the only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars… Jack Kerouac
The yellowed pages had been many places before.
Just as I have.
In truth, the book had been many places more.
From candlestick to wrinkles in time on the road.
Fabled lines where dreamers who dream can go.
in numerous ways,
an outlet for the abused to avoid the scold.
Everything between leather and lace.
Recollections of wonderful sin…
Where the journey begins.
the ecstasy of paper-thin pulp.
A library amassed with the texture of worn wafer.
An effortless phrase would slay a demon.
Chapters bound with heroic souls who made us safer.
Smoked stained pages absorbing all our childhood fears…
As I take out my…paperback novel…there is only one direction in which my spirit will roam. It will accost the unwilling young adult that resides in me …heading in no real direction but with a belly full of asshole writer adrenaline.
The paperback novel has what no other edible, explainable and/or tangible item has, history that smells like faded ink and feels like you are touching the worn hands of such greats as, Mark Twain, Edgar Allan Poe or Jack Kerouac.
I had been in search of faith this week. Subdued by winter. Passive aggressive towards the adult decisions I have to make. The question begs me during these times of turmoil and possible self discovery…What do the faithless do? How do they survive? What is the name of their disability..the handicap that makes these, earth persons, smile all the f—ing time?
When I get touched by the S.A.D.! Seasonal Asshole Disorder…I do what any person who dabbles in self indulgence does, I pull out a book of woe!
My Sylvia Plath collection had been packed away. Poe’s the Raven had flown the coup. My two book collection set of Hitler’s Time and Tyranny…got burned in the last fire that wouldn’t start via it’s own abilities.
Funny, all I really could see out a vast wall of totally not connected literary greats and not so greats…On The Road.
Even odder? The page I happened upon. Pages 292 – 293. Part and parcel of a not wonderfully organized book. But a piece of Americana an a lifestyle…I had always envisioned myself being part of.
I have taken the easy way out by snapping a Jack Kerouac Worded Selfie. Something I am sure, Jack, himself, would find very amusing. Particularly in the self indulgent aspect.
The two small faded easily ripped and soiled pages are not much to the submissively conforming eye. But to those of us who wish to see something in everything. The handful of paragraphs discuss FAITH in an oblique but ‘out of this world’ manner.
In a nutshell, does a drive without headlights into a vast unknowing and at times, threatening area of darkness (real or imagined) evoke a certain kind of faith? Or, does one turn it around, pretend and bend to the idea that life and divinity…should be well lit and easily navigated?
Or, maybe, just possibly, none of the two means to an end… come into play at all. Does the FAITHFUL…no matter, the spirit/higher power he/she chooses to follow…bare all? As in the selected reading, that just happened to make itself available to me…while I dwell on my occasional fight with conscientiousness:
Three young, wild, free spirited and often times, high on more than life, antagonists, find themselves without light in a Bayou, a swamp, a creepy place that could hold the promise of enlightenment or maybe the vow of certain death.
The choice in the book and to those who have had faith, argued with it and eventually, shook hands with it, hugged it and welcomed back home. The choice is easy. Run, scream, sing and dance in the moonlight. Embrace the creatures of the night. It is a serenade of virtue mixed with the unknown. Run naked and place no plans on the destiny. Destiny will only happen if we participate in the making of it.
I found my answer to my battle with FAITH within those few pages. At least, for now, until a new chapter of unplanned hell opens up. Simply put, I did not need to put my spiritual devotion and it’s teachings… …upon a shelf. Somewhat like a paperback novel. My faith is akin to running naked through the night. Running into people, places and things that scare me yet open my eyes to new ways…of living.