Letter from Neal Cassady to Jack Kerouac (March 7, 1947)
I am sitting in a bar on Market St. I’m drunk, well, not quite, but I soon will be. I am here for 2 reasons; I must wait 5 hours for the bus to Denver & lastly but, most importantly, I’m here (drinking) because, of course, because of a woman & what a woman! To be chronological about it:
I was sitting on the bus when it took on more passengers at Indianapolis, Indiana — a perfectly proportioned beautiful, intellectual, passionate, personification of Venus De Milo asked me if the seat beside me was taken!!! I gulped, (I’m drunk) gargled & stammered NO! (Paradox of expression, after all, how can one stammer No!!?) She sat — I sweated — She started to speak, I knew it would be generalities, so to tempt her I remained silent.
She (her name Patricia) got on the bus at 8 PM (Dark!) I didn’t speak until 10 PM — in the intervening 2 hours I not only of course, determined to make her, but, how to DO IT.
I naturally can’t quote the conversation verbally, however, I shall attempt to give you the gist of it from 10 PM to 2 AM.
Without the slightest preliminaries of objective remarks (what’s your name? where are you going? etc.) I plunged into a completely knowing, completely subjective, personal & so to speak “penetrating her core” way of speech; to be shorter (since I’m getting unable to write) by 2 AM I had her swearing eternal love, complete subjectivity to me & immediate satisfaction. I, anticipating even more pleasure, wouldn’t allow her to blow me on the bus, instead we played, as they say, with each other.
Knowing her supremely perfect being was completely mine (when I’m more coherent, I’ll tell you her complete history & psychological reason for loving me) I could concieve of no obstacle to my satisfaction, well “the best laid plans of mice & men go astray” and my nemesis was her sister, the bitch.
Pat had told me her reason for going to St. Louis was to see her sister; she had wired her to meet her at the depot. So, to get rid of the sister, we peeked around the depot when we arrived at St. Louis at 4 AM to see if she (her sister) was present. If not, Pat would claim her suitcase, change clothes in the rest room & she and I proceed to a hotel room for a night (years?) of perfect bliss. The sister was not in sight, so She (not the capital) claimed her bag & retired to the toilet to change —— long dash ——
This next paragraph must, of necessity, be written completely objectively —
Edith (her sister) & Patricia (my love) walked out of the pisshouse hand in hand (I shan’t describe my emotions). It seems Edith (bah) arrived at the bus depot early & while waiting for Patricia, feeling sleepy, retired to the head to sleep on a sofa. That’s why Pat & I didn’t see her.
My desperate efforts to free Pat from Edith failed, even Pat’s terror & slave-like feeling toward her rebelled enough to state she must see “someone” & would meet Edith later, all failed. Edith was wise; she saw what was happening between Pat & I.
Well, to summarize: Pat & I stood in the depot (in plain sight of the sister) & pushing up to one another, vowed to never love again & then I took the bus to Kansas City & Pat went home, meekly, with her dominating sister. Alas, alas ——
In complete (try & share my feeling) dejection, I sat, as the bus progressed toward Kansas City. At Columbia, Mo. a young (19) completely passive (my meat) virgin got on & shared my seat … In my dejection over losing Pat, the perfect, I decided to sit on the bus (behind the driver) in broad daylight & seduce her, from 10:30 AM to 2:30 PM I talked. When I was done, she (confused, her entire life upset, metaphysically amazed at me, passionate in her immaturity) called her folks in Kansas City, & went with me to a park (it was just getting dark) & I banged her; I screwed as never before; all my pent up emotion finding release in this young virgin (& she was) who is, by the way, a school teacher! Imagine, she’s had 2 years of Mo. St. Teacher’s College & now teaches Jr. High School. (I’m beyond thinking straightly).
I’m going to stop writing. Oh, yes, to free myself for a moment from my emotions, you must read ‘Dead Souls’ parts of it (in which Gogol shows his insight) are quite like you.
I’ll elaborate further later (probably?) but at the moment I’m drunk and happy (after all, I’m free of Patricia already, due to the young virgin. I have no name for her. At the happy note of Les Young’s ‘jumping at Mesners’ (which I’m hearing) I close till later.
To my Brother
Time to read.
What 13 successful people do before going to bed -
Inventor Benjamin Franklin asked himself the same self-improvement question every night.
Bill Gates reads for an hour before bed, no matter what time he gets home.
Arianna Huffington only reads “real books” before bed. She recommends banning iPads, Kindles, laptops, and any other electronics from the bedroom to unwind.
Stephen King’s nightly routine includes washing his hands and making sure all the pillows face a certain way.
Woman Reading by Window. Jessie Wilcox Smith (American, 1863-1935).
Smith was a US illustrator famous for her magazine work in Ladies Home Journal and children’s book illustrations. In 1884, she attended the School of Design for Women and later studied under Thomas Eakins at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. After finishing school, she worked in the production department of the Ladies Home Journal for five years. She furthered her education by taking classes under Howard Pyle and also attending the Brandywine School.
You have to look at what you have right in front of you, at what it could be, and stop measuring it against what you’ve lost. I know this to be wise and true, just as I know that pretty much no one can do it. — Jonathan Tropper; This is Where I Leave You
Love never dies a natural death. It dies because we don’t know how to replenish its source. It dies of blindness and errors and betrayals. It dies of illness and wounds; it dies of weariness, of witherings, of tarnishings. —
[I’d add to that, it also dies because we expect love to always be this soaring emotion that we feel on a regular basis. We want love to be something it’s not. We want love to take action when in fact love only exists because we make it happen. Love is a verb, not an emotion. It takes effort, our effort. Love is not easy, it takes work.]
I’m ready for Autumn.
I have to write to be happy whether I get paid for it or not. But it’s a hell of a disease to be born with. I like to do it. Which is even worse. That makes it from a disease into a vice. Then I want to do it better than anyone has ever done it which makes it into an obsession. An obsession is terrible. Hope you haven’t got any. — Ernest Hemingway (via dominicmatthew)
Reading books is not an assembly line event. Take your time, enjoy the story, the world. Get lost in the book.
(Source: the-book-addict, via she-loves-books)
This is what I want to do every time someone says, “Why should I read the book when I can just see the movie.”
READ THE BOOK you lazy dumbass! Expand your mind!
(Source: bookjunkie26, via merit12)
Libraries will do whatever it takes to get people to read! Read about it here.