Girl On Verge

nineteen_NEWLife sort of sucks when you feel like you don’t belong anywhere. Like your parents don’t care. Like all the people you used to think were your friends suddenly aren’t. Like your boyfriend, if you can call him that, only wants you around at bedtime or in the backseat of the car. Like your life is falling apart and there is nothing you can do to stop it while everywhere around you people seem happy and content. You want some of that, but don’t know how to get it.

You can’t see into the future and your past is pretty damn bleak.

So why not do what you want? Your best friend, let’s face this, your ONLY friend, wants you to hitchhike across several states with her. Skip school for a week or two. Go visit some guy she’s crazy about. Her plan makes your body buzz, without weed or wine. It sounds so fun. You’ve never been out of your little town. And you can play the parents off each other so each will think you’re with the other one. And they’ll both be happy. For once, you will be, too.

An adventure. It’s Kerouac On The Road that your crazy English teacher made everyone read, and you secretly loved. Like you would marry Sal Paradise if he asked. If he existed. Hey maybe he does. Maybe he’s out there, waiting for you, his female half.

You don’t have the right tools for this trip, but you don’t know it yet. Soon, awareness will hit. And the shit you land in will test you and hurt you and help you learn to love for real. Safe trip, sweet Melissa.

On the (research) road

When is it time to stop researching and to start writing again? For me, it’s a question I try to be mindful of while madly clicking away and taking notes and cutting and pasting and making lists.

The point came for me today when I realized I was way too deep into Jack Kerouac for no reason other than the fact that he has always interested me. Oh, and the slight fact that he died in St. Pete around the time Rose & Belinda are in the area.

Wiki says that “throughout most of the ’50s, Kerouac was constantly trying to have his work published, and consequently he often revised and re-arranged manuscripts in an often futile attempt to interest publishers” which is the exact opposite of the writing advice he gave others, among which was to try to only get drunk in your own house, and to smoke pot, like Proust.

Kerouac had better writing ideas than staying stoned; some that reminded me of Natalie Goldberg, which isn’t surprising since they are both students of Zen. My favorite: “Scribble secret notebooks and wild typewritten pages for yr own joy.”

I need to start doing that again and stop already with the research. At least for now.