By Alexander Carpenter
I woke up as the sun was reddening; and that was the one distinct time
in my life, the strangest moment of all, when I didn’t know who I was —
I was far away from home, haunted and tired with travel, in a cheap
hotel room I’d never seen, hearing the hiss of steam outside, and the
creak of the old wood of the hotel, and footsteps upstairs, and all the
sad sounds, and I looked at the cracked high ceiling and really didn’t
know who I was for about fifteen strange seconds. I wasn’t scared; I
was just somebody else, some stranger, and my whole life was a haunted
life, the life of a ghost. I was halfway across America, at the
dividing line between the East of my youth and the West of my future.
50 years ago Jack Kerouac’s On the Road was published. Here he is, accompanied by Steve Allen.