by Jeffrey Miller
I felt the pull of the open road long before I heard of Jack, Sal, Dean and all those other hipsters with their jazz and smoky clubs; their yearning for something bigger than who they were and the freedom that went along with it; their rendezvous with destiny traveling from coast to coast while pounding out the rhythms of post World War II America and not looking back.
The open road—it’s in our blood, I’m sure. It’s as American as apple pie. It’s that primal hunger to find America and ourselves.
Reading On the Road didn’t hurt, either. My copy came way of my older brother who once hitchhiked across America to find himself before he went off to Nam and got himself shot up. Now that paperback hand-me-down was my ticket, Rosetta Stone and Bible all rolled up into one dog-eared, highlighted and underlined copy.
When I felt the time had come to satisfy that yearning, I didn’t get too far that first day. Just got out of the driveway in the beat up Chevy my buddies and I worked on all last year in auto mech class before my mom yelled that I had to cut the grass. Said there were a few bucks in it for me. Hmm...gas money. She also made Sloppy Joes for me. Jack and the others would have to wait until tomorrow. Damn, I promised Steve I’d look at his bike. The day after tomorrow, then. Definitely.