I was half captivated by the fact that I was hanging out with Allen Ginsberg, fellow poet, and half captivated by the photos and stories of Jack Kerouac and William S. Burroughs. My heroes – his friends. I appreciated Ginsberg’s poetic talents, and wish I had spent more time grilling him on them rather than just his adventures with the crazies. I also wish I hadn’t been so stressed about his penchant for young boys – I’ve never been freaked out by gay people, but with my long (at the time), curly locks and my baby face that definitely did not look 18, I was worried about an awkward come-on and let this prevent me from opening up and taking advantage of some moments alone.
Good chance for me to interject here that I never read “On the Road” till I was in my mid-30s. It didn’t change my life but it changed my perspective about what really matters. I imagine we all dream of living the mad freedom of Kerouac’s clique, but we don’t because other things keep getting in the way. What Jack & Co. taught me was that those other things are OK so long as you really want to do them. It all matters.