Neal Cassady’s Long-Lost 18-Page Letter to Jack Kerouac That Inspired the Literary Style of ‘On The Road’ Found

I can’t say On the Road changed my life. It was more of a matter of finding a kindred spirit, there, in a faded paperback. An ember. I blew my breath upon it, made the story glow, and I carried it far. And though I cannot take to the road as I once did, I did, for a long, long time, stay unmoored, unspooled, loose like a cat sleeping in yarn in a sunbeam. On crack. With a dashiki.

I used to work in St. Petersburg, Florida. I’d take slow drives, sometimes, past his mama’s house, Jack’s. I’d been unmoored, spooled out like sleeping yarn sunning in a cat’s pay, credenzad and plaid out, troubled, forgetting myself, letting the sea roll around in my hollows, my sorrows washing away with me, but it was so nice.

If you ever wanted to travel, read On the Road. If you ever want to know Jack, about Sal,  you gotta know about Neal Cassady. Nobody juggles hammers and hearts like him.