“Nothing behind me, everything ahead of me. As is ever so on the road.”
Jack Kerouac, On the Road
The hands go up. The lips part and pucker. The eyes widen. Declan is sitting on the floor, ready to bounce up. He is looking at me and me only and his intention is clear. The command, as always, is “Go go go go!”
“Sal, we gotta go and never stop going ’till we get there.
Where we going, man?
I don’t know but we gotta go.”
Where are we going? Like Sal and Dean and the rest of the gang in “On The Road” we’re not really going anywhere. Or rather, we’re not going anywhere in particular. Just seeing the world is enough, with all of its machines and mechanisms, with all of its toys and temptations, with all of its light and darkness, with no prior knowledge or bias, just this urgent moment. And the thing is to just get up and get going.
“The best teacher is experience and not through someone’s distorted point of view.”
The enthusiasm has always been there. But the word “go” is new, the only one possible to describe the power of developing a new, more efficient mode of transportation. Up until now, it has been crawling, all slap-slap-slap of hands on hardwood floors, and vision limited to the things below. Below the tables, below the knees of the walking giants, way below the sky filled with birds and airplanes and the noises they make.
Now, with the ability to walk assisted, comes a new speed and expanded vision. Suddenly bananas on a high-top table exist. Everything out of reach is at least visible. And that one magic word–“Go!”– makes attainable the desirous pull of the entire world domestic. Vacuums. Lights. Blenders. Food. Books. Mama. If we don’t have them now, we can Go Go Go Go and get them.
“The air was soft, the stars so fine, the promise of every cobbled alley so great that I thought I was in a dream.”
Soon Declan will be walking on his own. And the middle man will be eliminated. Instead of thinking go and saying go and waiting expectantly for us, he’ll just go. First walking. Then running. And then what will happen? Where will this curiosity take him? Toward his dreams, hopefully, and to this final thought from Jack Kerouac:
“It always makes me proud to love the world somehow–hate’s so easy compared.”