Ask me where I want to go and I’ll say out of here. The reason everyone likes On the Road is because Jack Kerouac didn’t just sit at his typewriter in New York. He went all over the country with his friends and met people. Then he turned them into characters that met his character, Sal Paradise.
Where did he go? That’s easy. He drew us a map.
The editors didn’t care though, until someone read the part called “The Mexican Girl” about a woman he fell for in California.
If you want to be a writer, you can’t just sit at home. You have to get out there and get some stories to tell. Or poems, like Allen Ginsberg. He likes to travel too.
There’s a saying my teacher Sky tells me. “Wanderers are the lords of the earth.” So ask me where I’d go and I’ll tell you:
Today: Sky’s taking us uptown to the Cloisters, which is a kind of museum for the Middle Ages. It’s not very far but you have to start somewhere, right?
Next year: I want to go to Boston, maybe with Gary Daddy-o. He plays gigs there and I’ll have to talk him into taking me.
Three years from now: my friend Sophie’s mom sometimes goes to California. I want to ask her about San Francisco so we could go to Lawrence Ferlinghetti’s bookstore, City Lights.
In five years: Paris with Sophie.
In six years: All the countries that start with the letter i.
Where do you want to go? When are you going there or did you go already? What was it like?
Ruby Tabeata is an 11-going-on-12-year-old in The Beat on Ruby’s Street, set in Greenwich Village, 1958.
Young girl: Christina Welsh