Kerouac is not Dead

I keep looking for the experiences of Bukowski, Kerouac and Thompson. Stories of the struggling writer, living in abject poverty in some seedy room in some rundown apartment block with only a typewriter, a bed and a crazy friend who introduces me to a host of crazy people  and through them I would lurch from one alcohol and drug induced debacle to another. Or something akin to that visual that every gritty writer will tell you about their experiences. Such romanticism of writers and the search for ‘life experience’ to fuel my own tomes. But I forget, we are the experiences we live and do I really want to tell those kinds of stories? Perhaps these are the stories I have come across or simply chose to remember because out of this world and yet so familiar, crazy, stupid, scary and fun and I really want to be thrilled  and freaked out in turn. But that’s not going to be. It couldn’t, whilst allowing myself to remain true to who I am. Or perhaps that’s the point? Nonetheless, I still have a story or two to tell-  about the time I slept underneath my bed for 4 days and ran around the place as if I was Jason Bourne. Or the time I slept in a park and the ridiculous and stupid rationalizations that made me do it. Or the time drunk I decided to be an upstanding citizen and delivered coffee to the cops on duty down the road at 5 am after a night out.

I once wrote a piece called Californicating on the Upper East Side and in it I mused about the supposed lack of drama in my life and what it meant for my literary future. I know I had it wrong then but what I did have right is that we write our lived experience. It might not be expressed in the manner in which it occurred or even it not but rather how we perceived it or came to terms with it-  our own personalized realities. I wonder what Lewis Carroll was projecting when he wrote Alice and Wonderland. So as much as want to have a story like Bukowski/King/Palanhuik/ Kerouac that will be the next On the Road or Fight Club, I can’t write those stories. I shouldn’t. All I can hope for is to write a story that expresses who I am in  a manner that stays with my readers and moves them to be just like me – 18/04/13

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