Excerpt from “On The Road” by Jack Kérouac ~~Frisco~~

picture-OnTheRoad-KerouacI decided to leave. I went out on the porch. ‘No, dammit,’ I said to myself, ‘I promised I wouldn’t leave till I climbed that mountain.’ That was the big side of the canyon that led mysteriously to the Pacific Ocean.
So I stayed another day. It was Sunday. A great heat wave descended; it was a beautiful day, the sun turned red at three. I started up the mountain and got to the top at four. All those lovely California cottonwoods and eucalypti brooded on all sides. Near the peak there were no more trees, just rocks and grass. Cattle were grazing on the top of the coast. There was the Pacific, a few more foothills away, blue and vast and with a great wall of white advancing from the legendary potato patch where Frisco fogs are born. Another hour and it would come streaming through the Golden Gate to shroud the romantic city in white, and a young man would hold his girl by the hand and climb slowly up a long white sidewalk with a bottle of Tokay in his pocket. That was Frisco; and beautiful women standing in white doorways, waiting for their men; and Coit Tower, and the Embarcadero, and Market Street, and the eleven teeming hills.
I spun around till I was dizzy; I thought I’d fall down as in a dream, clear off the precipice. Oh where is the girl I love? I thought, and looked everywhere, as I had looked everywhere in the little world below. And before me was the great raw bulge and bulk of my American continent; somewhere far across, gloomy, crazy New York was throwing up its cloud of dust and brown steam. There is something brown and holy about the East; and California is white like washlines and emptyheaded – at least that’s what I thought then.

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1 Comment

Filed under Fiction, Literature

One response to “Excerpt from “On The Road” by Jack Kérouac ~~Frisco~~

  1. Jack Kérouac was born in Lowell, Massachusetts on 12 March 1922, and died on 21 October 1969, aged 47 years. ‘On The Road’ was published in September 1957.

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