Part 2, Chapter 8 Notes from On the Road

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On the Road Part 2, Chapter 8

"What is that feeling when you're driving away from people and they recede on the plain till you see their specks dispersing? - it's the too-huge world vaulting us, and it's goodbye. But we lean forward to the next crazy venture beneath the skies." Part 2, Chapter 8, pg. 156

They drive back across the Mississippi River, listening to the radio. They stop to buy food and gas and have barely enough money to make it to California. As they drive through swamps, they think they see an apparition. That night everyone is frightened. Through Texas, they return to the radio, and Dean talks about his days in Houston when everyone was either drunk or stoned. The Houston streets are empty at four in the morning except for someone singing on a motorcycle. Sal drives and almost hits a car that is driving in the wrong lane. They get stuck in mud and it takes 30 minutes to get out of it. Dean and Sal get soaked and Sal falls asleep as Dean begins driving.

As they drive on, there is a terrible blizzard. Sal drives again with Dean sleeping, and Marylou renews her vow to have sex with him in California. They stop again, steal food, and then Dean drives all the way across Texas. Driving into the sun, he suggests they all take their clothes off. Marylou puts cold cream on their bodies. Truckers stare as they pass. They get out at Pecos Canyon Country and Dean refuses to put clothing on. They park the car later and Dean and Marylou have sex while Sal falls asleep. They arrive in El Paso with no money.

"We tried everything. We buzzed the travel bureau, but no one was going west that night. The travel bureau is where you go for share-the-gas rides, legal in the West. Shifty characters wait with battered suitcases. We went to the Greyhound bus station to try to persuade somebody to give us the money instead of taking a bus for the coast. We were too bashful to approach anyone." Part 2, Chapter 8, pg. 162

Dean runs into some reform school kid and they go out to try to rob someone. Marylou comes on to Sal in the car, but he tells her they should wait until San Francisco. Marylou is sad about everything because Dean is so crazy. Dean comes back without money and they leave with the hope of picking up a hitchhiker. They pick up a hitchhiker who has no money, but promises some in California where his aunt lives. Sal decides that he can borrow money from someone in Tucson. In Benson, Arizona he pawns his watch for gas money. A policeman asks to see his license, and pulls out a gun when Dean reaches down to button his fly. They iron out the misunderstanding and the policeman lets them go. They find Sal's friend who gives them dinner and the money they need. The friend, also a writer, says that he wants to go back to New York. They drive on.

Topic Tracking: Dean 9

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