Sunday, 9 November 2008

09 November 2008

Alfred. We wished him luck and godspeed to Oregon. He said it was the best ride he ever had. It was: he ate royally, he was at a party in a ranch, he rode horseback, he heard stories, he felt pretty good about it; but looked awful forlorn when we put him down where we’d found him, on the side of the road with his thumb stuck out, and darkness coming. We had to make Frisco. The golden goal loomed ahead. Neal Louanne and I leaned forward in the front, all alone again, and zoomed. 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. “There she blows!” yelled Neal. “Wow! Made it! Just enough gas! Give me water! No more land! We can’t go any further cause there ain’t no more land! Now Louanne darling you and Jack go immediately to a hotel and wait for me to contact you in the morning as soon as I have definite arrangements made with Carolyn and call up Funderbuck about my railroad watch and you and Jack buy the first thing hit town a paper for the wantads and…and…and..” and he drove into the Oakland Bay-Bridge and it carried us in. The downtown office buildings were just sparkling on their lights; it made you think of Sam Spade. The fog rolled in, the buoys went B-O in the bay. Market Street was a riot of crowds and sailors and girls; smells of hotdogs and food; noisy bars; screeching traffic; cable-cars---and all of it in soft delightful air that made us drunk when we staggered out of the car on O’Farrell street and sniffed and stretched. It was like getting onshore after a long voyage at sea; the sloppy street reeled under our feet; secret chop sueys from Frisco Chinatown floated in the air. We took all our things out of the car and piled them on the sidewalk. Suddenly Neal was saying goodbye. He was bursting to see Carolyn and find out what happened. Louanne and I stood dumbly in the street and watched him drive away. “You see what a bastard he is?” said Louanne. “Neal will leave you out in the cold any time it’s in his interest.” “I know” I said, and I looked back East and sighed. We had

1 comment:

information as material said...

The text is driven forward quite literally in Kerouac’s book. “We had to make Frisco. P.271: “The golden goal loomed ahead. Neal Louanne and I leaned forward in the front, all alone again, and zoomed.” By pushing their bodies forward in the car they’re willing themselves to get to their destination quicker, like a sprinter lunging at the finish line.