And so everything must follow the circle and return to from where it came
From San Francisco, we drive east for the first time since New Orleans. It’s weird to think we have been as far west as we’ll go. Every mile from this point will close the loop.
Since reading Jack Kerouac’s seminal account of (repeatedly) driving across America in ‘On the Road,’ I’ve had a strong desire to drive coast to coast. As a 17 year old boy, I was entranced by the sense of adventure and speed and, like most teenagers, lured by the overwhelming impression of freedom and independence. It wasn’t until later that I understood the work in a more complete sense - becoming more interested in the nuances and tragedies of these enshrined cultural icons - and saw them as complicated, flawed men fleeing responsibility. But the quest for understanding and the decision to detach, however briefly, from the responsibilities of normal life still held my interest.
Our drive West was not as direct and involved far fewer amphetamines than Jack and Neal’s, but nevertheless it was an adventure. To see the vast landscapes of America unfold is a remarkable thing and worthy of the costs. A journey of this scale inevitably allows for growth and change, but I always find it hard to contextualise that change while living it. Hopefully time will give some sense of perspective from which to consider my past and current selves and their relationship. But who fucking knows?