"So in America when the sun goes down and I sit on the old broken-down river pier watching the long, long skies over New Jersey and sense all that raw land that rolls in one unbelievable huge bulge over to the West Coast, and all that road going, all the people dreaming in the immensity of it, and in Iowa I know by now the children must be crying in the land where they let the children cry, and tonight the stars'll be out, and don't you know that God is Pooh Bear? The evening star must be drooping and shedding her sparkler dims on the prairie, which is just before the coming of complete night that blesses the earth, darkens all rivers, cups the peaks and folds the final shore in, and nobody, nobody knows what's going to happen to anybody besides the forlorn rags of growing old, I think of Dean Moriarty, I even think of Old Dean Moriarty the father we never found, I think of Dean Moriarty."
Those were the last, gasping lines of Jack Kerouac's "On The Road".
We all know "Dean Moriarty", for he might be your brother, your father, your husband (or maybe just a guy that you dated once that left permanent scars on your psyche), or he might be your best friend in the world... one with whom you've had such a tumultuous relationship with, but continues to wave himself in and out of your life like the threads on your favorite worn sweater, so torn from age.
In a way he's a little bit of everybody you've ever known, who somehow shattered and left pieces of themselves deep within your soul. He's the feeling that you get sometimes when you 'remember that time that you _______' (you laugh to yourself, even though that strange thickness forms in your throat as you look out to a million-year old crimson sunset that lays on your eyes like lovers on satin).
Maybe he's you (still restless and longing) after all of the trials and troubles that have left you, broken down and ragged, on the side of just that same road.
This is the effect Jack Kerouac had on me, as I hugged his words and rode alongside them. This must be how the others felt too... Dylan, Morrison, all those other kindred spirits who locked on to Kerouac's words, and who've try to create, only if to bring about a temporary fog of beauty in an ever-dying world (whether for themselves, so they might withstand it, or for mankind).
I too, now think of Dean Moriarty...