Of the Road

I can’t set out on a six-thousand mile road trip across Europe without giving it a moment’s thought.
Why am I going?
Because I can. At fifty-nine, I have very nearly lived out all my cat’s lives and am simply amazed to still be here and in a position to just GO!

Since it’s the sixtieth anniversary of that great spiritual opus On the Road, which its author described in a letter as ‘…a story about 2 Catholic buddies roaming the country in search of God…’ I could use this as a reference point. If I do, it will be as a point of departure – with no pun originally intended; but there for all to see. Miles-wise, JK covered about twice this distance, over three years, and the same trips often repeated. Jack was half my age.

Am I searching for God?
No. Been there. Done that.
Am I a Catholic, even?
Hell, no!

Going with a buddy?
You bet. The best buddy ever – my missus (lapsed RC).
(A previous road trip we undertook recently through wintry southern California and Arizona in a beat-up old Chevrolet Astra van is re-told in ANSWER.)
This one is different…
We’re going in the summer and we’ll be going through lots of different countries (inshalla) – about fifteen or so, and in a circular motion rather than there-and-back. So that ought to make it more interesting, by my reckoning – culturally-speaking.

Kerouac: ‘Oh, where is the girl I love?’
Me: Beside me.
K was looking for kicks; I’ll be looking for…the midnight sun.
K was looking for sex (as I said this morning: A whole year of this…!)

And so, the road beckons – and, god-willing, we’ll be on the ferry out of the UK come early June.

Ah, yes, now I recall why I am going – to escape this benighted country with its lying politicians and media before it separates itself off from the rest of Europe and we’ll all need visas and passes to get around.

(Except I won’t, because I am actually…

irish passport

…half-Irish..!)

GLYN F RIDGLEY BOOKS

 

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