He walks slowly, as in to take his sweet time. I, on the other hand, had to constantly change my pace to stay within a moderate distance from him. I guess I should probably build a powerful image of him, some sort of metaphor about being within speaking distance of someone like him, but I won’t, because there just isn’t anything powerful about him or his presence. He was a man, with some ideas, that he liked. I don’t mean to sound disappointed, because I am not, no, no, I guess, I was just expecting more. Needless, I followed him while he walked into a red brick bookstore in Manhattan, though that isn’t saying much as everything in this area seemed to be made of red brick. I open the door to the shop only seconds after it closed for him, the smell of old books, burnt coffee, and cigarettes filled the bookstore. It was 1950’s America, of course, a place like this would exist. I pick up something by Robert Frost and pretend to read it in front of the bookshelf, every-so-often stealing glances at him. I can’t understand what image I made him into, but it wasn’t there now. I guess this would be my ‘run-in’ with Jack Kerouac.
I flip through a couple pages and look towards him again, to my surprise was no longer there. I hastily and clumsily put the book back on the shelf and hurried outside. He was standing outside smoking when I made it out of the store; I didn’t notice him at first and bumped right into him. “Fuck…” He mumbled as his cigarette hit the ground. I did some sort of spin, I guess it wasn’t quite a spin more like a haphazard turnaround. “Shit, I’m sorry Jack… Uh, have one of mine.” I said as I reached into my pocket and pulled out my cigarette case. He removed one with nimble fingers and lit it. “MMM… What are these?” He examined the cigarette, the brown paper and sweet smoke spilt from the cigarettes as he turned it in circles. “Oh, they’re… Uh, Cuban, imported…” I said as he flicked the ash with his index finger and placed the cigarette in his mouth. “This would be the point it seems where I ask you things like, how in the fuck do you know my name, and other important shit.” He said in which it felt as if a narrator went off script in my head. I paused for probably too long. I finally answer with: “I’m a journalist for the Post.” of all papers I had to choose. He gives me a look up and down “So does this Post journalist have a name?” I quickly answer “Karl!” He had the type of smile you would get when the summer’s warm breeze touches your face or something better than that. “So the Post, you must be a heavy drinker for that rag, since you’ve been following me want to follow me to a bar to talk?” He asked. I felt on edge, so something to take the edge off sounded perfect.
There’s this interesting thing when it comes to some writers when they drink they become more whimsical than they were sober. Jack was this kind of drunk writer. This is also when his powerful charm comes out. “So how does a God fearing man like yourself get stuck with the Godless men of the Post?” He asked with a grin. “I don’t think there’s any god to it.” He slaps my back, I feel my spine shift, or I thought I did. “See there’s God in everything, like the word ‘fuck’, if you look close enough, you can find God in there too…” He stops to take a drink. “A little bit between the F and U.” I said with a chuckle. “Don’t you have questions for me, I feel like I have been asking all of them tonight.” He said. Thankful that the bartender came up to get our next drink orders, he orders than me. He killed the rest of his drink then asked “Anything?” I looked at my empty glass. “Uh, besides, uh, fuck…” I said. “It’s pretty useless anyway; they won’t publish something for a two cent writer like me. So let ‘fuck’ be the cast we can lure in our almost Godless night!”
He was pretty damn drunk at this point and well, so was I. We stumbled to where he thought his house was. The sidewalk kept shifting under our feet as if it had a personal vendetta against us. Jack walks, or well, without grace makes his way up a stoop. He shakes the black door. “Fucking thing should be unlocked!” He shook the door some more before he saw the address. “Oh fuck, this isn’t mine.” He took two steps and lost his already loose footing and falls to his face. He bounced and skidded. “fuck…” He said in a hushed tone and picked himself up. “Damn ground, always there for you when you fall down.” He said as I chuckled. We made it to his house, he tried the door and it opened. “Coming up?” he asked, the door provided him with most of his support. “No, I think this our journeys end sir.” I said. “Well fuck you too.” He said as he slammed the door. “Goodbye.” I said. I stumble a little bit away from his house. I struggle with my device and head home.