Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Give Me the Beat, Boys

In between a meeting at the United Way and a shift at the jail today, I stopped to get something to eat at the tasty, offbeat Station 22 Cafe in downtown Provo.

I ordered the Jack Kerouac burger, partly because I liked the name, but mostly because of the melted brie, applewood bacon, and bourbon sauce. 

About 10 years ago, I read Kerouac's On the Road just a few months after reading Salinger's Catcher in the Rye. It struck me that Sal Paradise was Holden Caulfield, only a bit more grown up and with a bit tamer language. Both yearned for freedom from convention, but ultimately both were tethered at their core to a sense of responsibility they just couldn't shake.

I can relate.

As I ate my burger, I read in Andrew McCarthy's Longest Way Home about the time he flew to Buenos Aires and headed south to Patagonia. When he got there, he climbed up a glacier, high enough to look down on the low level clouds. He fantasized about doing flips in the clouds like he did when he was a kid looking out airplane windows. Back before he was afraid to fly.

When I was done, I headed south on the highway toward the setting sun and sang real loud when Bill Withers came on the radio.

Give me the beat, boys, and free my soul
I wanna get lost in your rock and roll
And drift away

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