Kerouac Rules for Spontaneous Prose #14

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Like Proust be an old teahead of time

There had been a general feeling of dreaming in those days. When I think back on those egregiously rambling roads against a deliriously bright backdrop of sand and sky, I cannot bear to think on how bleak I felt then compared to now. To be drenched in the naked flame of a desert sun should have been the evidence to a robust life. The thermals that manifested in the deceptive distance made the climate controlled environment of the Mercedes Benz surreal and inappropriate. The idea that any time spent outside the automobile in the desperate heat would release me to burst into a phoenix was something that seemed enchanted as I reclined against the cool leather interior, doe-eyed and uninterested.

As you drove, determined and resolute to make time, I pondered how aware you were of my reveries for our future. Your mind was always blank when I asked you what you were thinking. I fancied that the only sound you ever heard was the sound of the wheels on your car. I had looked forward to a life of travel and discovery. I saw many lives experienced as a couple with many stories to realise. Life and love would be a succession of road-side attractions and exotic vistas. But your thoughts were more solemn. Your ambitions did not comply with the winding paths and fay-like whims in my head. In the end, you were much engaged elsewhere and I was happy being so very distracted with whatever current endeavours I put my hand to.

Love turned to lovers—lovers turned to memories—time after time and adventure into misadventure—life leads us where it may.
How would I have known that I would have traded it all in for the damp winding roads that penetrate austere forests and bleak glens only to look back winsomely, as if in some kind of nostalgic time-lock? I cannot blame the idiocies of youth for the mindless move, either. Nor can I blame being blind to love’s promise. It was a case of wanderlust, pure and simple. It was the need to be somewhere else that was not known–To find colour after the lack of it–To find darkness after the blinding light then back again. It was the need to cross oceans and traverse the centuries to find adventure and mirth. I learned that the song never really changed; it simply went into key change.

My romance would always be fickle. Your career would always be diabolical. I would always be a chess piece. You would always be as elusive as the thermals on that highway all those years ago. And we would always remain apart.

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About A. E. Wallace aka [EL] Selkie

Ann Wallace holds a degree from the University of Texas at El Paso in Mass Communications and minored in Creative Writing. She worked at the NBC Affiliate Newschannel9 in El Paso, was a journalist for the El Paso Diocese Catholic Newspaper, held writing workshops with The Tumblewords Project, performed as a Slam Poet and published poetry in small literary magazines. She is now an ex-pat in the UK where she lives, knits, games, works and writes. View all posts by A. E. Wallace aka [EL] Selkie

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