On the Road Quotes

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On the Road Quotes

Quote 1: "I first met Dean Moriarty after my wife and I split up." Part 1, Chapter 1, page 3

Quote 2: "doing terrible things" Part 1, Chapter 1, page 5

Quote 3: "My first impression of Dean was of a young Gene Autry- trim, thin- hipped, blue-eyed, with a real Oklahoma accent- a sideburned hero of the snowy West. In fact he'd just been working on a ranch, Ed Wall's in Colorado, before marrying Marylou and coming East." Part 1, Chapter 1, page 5

Quote 4: "In the bar I told Dean 'Hell man, I know very well you didn't come to me only to want to become a writer, and after all what do I really know about it except you've got to stick to it with the energy of a benny addict." Part 1, Chapter 1, page 6

Quote 5: "I began to learn from him as much as he learned from me." Part 1, Chapter 1, page 7

Quote 6: "And this was really the way that my whole road experience began, and the things that were to come are too fantastic not to tell." Part 1, Chapter 1, page 9

Quote 7: "If you drop a rose in the Hudson River at its mysterious source in the Adirondacks, think of all the places it journeys by as it goes out to sea forever- think of that wonderful Hudson Valley. I started hitching up the thing. Five scattered rides took me to the desired Bear Mountain Bridge, where Route 6 arched in from New England." Part 1, Chapter 2, page 12

Quote 8: "one of the biggest troubles of hitchhiking is having to talk to innumerable people, make them feel that they didn't make a mistake picking you up." Part 1, Chapter 3, page 16

Quote 9: "I woke up as the sun was reddening; and that was the one distinct time in my life, the strangest moment of all, when I didn't know who I was- I was far away from home, haunted and tired with travel, in a cheap hotel room I'd never seen, hearing the hiss of steam outside and the creak of the old wood of the hotel, and footsteps upstairs, and all the sad sounds, and I looked at the cracked high ceiling and really didn't know who I was for about fifteen strange seconds." Part 1, Chapter 3, page 17

Quote 10: "pal of the road" Part 1, Chapter 3, page 23

Quote 11: "the greatest ride of my life" Part 1, Chapter 4, page 24

Quote 12: "liked everything. They never stopped smiling. I tried to talk to them- a kind of dumb attempt on my part to befriend the captains of our ship- and the only responses I got were two sunny smiles and large white cornfed teeth." Part 1, Chapter 4, page 26

Quote 13: "although Gene was white there was something of the wise and tired negro in him." Part 1, Chapter 4, page 28

Quote 14: "war with social overtones" Part 1, Chapter 6, page 38

Quote 15: "I walked five miles up Colfax to my comfortable bed in the apartment. Major had to let me in. I wondered if Dean and Carlo were having their heart-to-heart. I would find out later. The nights in Denver are cool, and I slept like a log." Part 1, Chapter 7, pg. 46

Quote 16: "That last thing is what you can't get, Carlo. Nobody can get to that last thing. We keep on living in hopes of catching it once for all." Part 1, Chapter 8, page 48

Quote 17: "We grabbed them and danced. There was no music, just dancing. The place filled up. People began to bring bottles. We rushed out to hit the bars and rushed back. The night was getting more and more frantic. I wished Dean and Carlo were there- then I realized that they'd be out of place and unhappy. They were like the man with the dungeon stone and the gloom, rising from the underground, the sordid hipsters of America, a new beat generation that I was slowly joining." Part 1, Chapter 9, pages 53-4

Quote 18: "Suddenly we came down from the mountain and overlooked the great sea-plain of Denver; heat rose as from an oven. We began to sing songs. I was itching to get on to San Francisco." Part 1, Chapter 9, page 56

Quote 19: "Boys and girls in America have such a sad time together; sophistication demands that they submit to sex immediately without proper preliminary talk. Not courting talk- real straight talk about souls, for life is holy and every moment is precious." Part 1, Chapter 10, page 58

Quote 20: "the only community in America where whites and Negroes lived together voluntarily; and that was so, and so wild and joyous a place I've never seen since." Part 1, Chapter 11, page 60

Quote 21: "This is the story of America. Everybody's doing what they think they're supposed to do. So what if a bunch of men talk in loud voices and drink the night? But Sledge wanted to prove something." Part 1, Chapter 10, page 68

Quote 22: "In reverent and sweet silence she took all her clothes off and slipped her tiny body into the sheets with me. It was brown as grapes. I saw her poor belly where there was a Caesarian scar; her hips were so narrow she couldn't bear a child without getting gashed open... I made love to her in the sweetness of the weary morning. Then, like two tired angels of some kind, hung-up forlornly in an L.A. shelf, having found the closest and most delicious thing in life together, we fell asleep and slept till late afternoon." Part 1, Chapter 12, page 84

Quote 23: "Everywhere in America I've been in crossroads saloons drinking with whole families. The kids eat popcorn and chips and play in back. This we did. Rickey and I and Ponzo and Terry sat drinking and shouting with the music; little baby Johnny goofed with other children around the jukebox." Part 1, Chapter 13, page 92

Quote 24: "We bent down and began picking cotton. It was beautiful. Across the field were the tents and beyond them the sere brown cornfields that stretched out of sight to the brown arroyo foothills and then the snow-capped Sierras in the blue morning air." Part 1, Chapter 13, page 96

Quote 25: "Emotionlessly she kissed me in the vineyard and walked off down the row. We turned at a dozen paces, for love is a duel and looked at each other for the last time." Part 1, Chapter 14, page 101

Quote 26: "I was going home in October. everybody goes home in October." Part 1, Chapter 14, page 103

Quote 27: "but now the bug as one me again, and the bug's name was Dean Moriarty and I was off on another spurt around the road." Part 2, Chapter 1, page 115

Quote 28: "What is the meaning of this voyage to New York? What kind of sordid business are you on now? I mean, man, whither goest thou? Whither goest thou, America, in thy shiny car in the night?" Part 2, Chapter 3, page 119

Quote 29: "I like too many things and get all confused and hung-up running from one falling star to another till I drop. This is the night, what it does to you. I had nothing to offer anybody except my own confusion." Part 2, Chapter 4, page 126

Quote 30: "It was drizzling and mysterious at the beginning of our journey. I could see that it was all going to be one big saga of the mist. 'Whooee!' yelled Dean. 'Here we go!' And he hunched over the wheel and gunned her; he was back in his element, everybody could see that." Part 2, Chapter 6, page 133

Quote 31: "'Oh I love, love, love women! I think women are wonderful! I love women!' He spat out the window; he groaned; he clutched his head. Great beads of sweat fell from his forehead from pure excitement and exhaustion." Part 2, Chapter 6, page 140

Quote 32: "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, page 156

Quote 33: "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, page 162

Quote 34: "Suddenly we were all excited. Dean wanted to tell me everything he knew about Bakersfield as we reached the city limits. He showed me rooming houses where he stayed, rail-road hotels, poolhalls, diners, sidings where he jumped off the engine for grapes, Chinese restaurants where he ate, park benches where he met girls and certain places where he'd done nothing but sit and wait around." Part 2, Chapter 9, page 168

Quote 35: "You see what a bastard he is?...Dean will leave you out in the cold anytime it's in his interest." Part 2, Chapter 9, page 170

Quote 36: "And for just a moment I had reached the point of ecstasy I had always wanted to reach, which was the complete step across chronological time into timeless shadows, and wonderment in the bleakness of the mortal realm, and the sensation of death kicking at my heels to move one, with a phantom dogging its own heels, and myself hurrying to a plank where all the angels dove off and flew into the holy void of uncreated emptiness, the potent and inconceivable radiances shining in bright Mind Essence, innumerable lotus-lands falling open in the magic mothswarm of heaven." Part 2, Chapter 10, page 173

Quote 37: "What I accomplished by going to Frisco I don't know. Camille wanted me to leave; Dean didn't care one way or the other. I bought a loaf of bread and meats and made myself ten sandwiches to cross the country with again; they were all going to go rotten on me by the time I got to Dakota." Part 2, Chapter 11, pages 177-8

Quote 38: "We were all thinking we'd never see one another again and we didn't care." Part 2, Chapter 11, page 178

Quote 39: "At lilac evening I walked with every muscle aching among the lights of 27th and Welton in the Denver colored section, wishing I were a Negro, feeling that the best the white world had offered was not enough ecstasy for me, not enough life, joy, kicks, music, not enough night." Part 3, Chapter 1, page 180

Quote 40: "I suddenly realized that all these women were spending months of loneliness and womanliness together, chatting about the madness of men. I heard Dean's maniacal giggle across the house, together with the wails of his baby." Part 3, Chapter 2, page 187

Quote 41: "because he no longer cared about anything" Part 3, Chapter 2, page 188

Quote 42: "'When Tom's money runs out Ed'll be back,' said Galatea looking at her cards. 'Damn fool-he doesn't know anything and never did. All he has to do is know that I love him.'" Part 3, Chapter 3, page 192

Quote 43: "I wasn't scared at all; I knew Dean. The people in the back seat were speechless. In fact they were afraid to complain: God knew what Dean would do, they thought, if they should ever complain." Part 3, Chapter 5, page 210

Quote 44: "These had been neighbors of mine in my Denver solitude of two weeks before. The mother was a wonderful woman in jeans who drove coal trucks in winter mountains to support her kids, four in all, her husband having left her years before when they were traveling around the country in a trailer." Part 3, Chapter 6, page 214

Quote 45: "As the cab honked outside and the kids cried and the dogs barked and Dean danced with Frankie I yelled every conceivable curse I could think over that phone and added all kinds of new ones, and in my drunken frenzy I told everybody over the phone to go to hell and slammed it down and went out to get drunk." Part 3, Chapter 7, page 220

Quote 46: "It was remarkable how Dean could go mad and then suddenly continue with his soul- which I think is wrapped up in a fast car, a coast to reach, and a woman at the end of the road- calmly and sanely as though nothing had happened." Part 3, Chapter 9, page 230

Quote 47: "We had come from Denver to Chicago via Ed Wall's ranch, 1180 miles, in exactly 17 hours, not counting the two hours in the ditch and three at the ranch and two with the police in Newton, Iowa, for a mean average of seventy miles per hour across the land, with one driver. Which is a kind of crazy record." Part 3, Chapter 9, page 237

Quote 48: "Not only that, but a few months later Camille gave birth to Dean's second baby, the result of a few nights' rapport early in the year. And another matter of months and Inez had a baby. With one illegitimate child in the West somewhere, Dean then had four little ones and not a cent, and was all troubles and ecstasy and speed as ever. So we didn't go to Italy." Part 3, Chapter 11, page 247

Quote 49: "'Inez loves me; she's told me and promised me I can do anything I want and there'll be a minimum of trouble. You see, man, you get older and troubles pile up. Someday you and me'll be coming down an alley together at sundown and looking in the cans to see.'" Part 4, Chapter 1, page 251

Quote 50: "All I hope, Dean, is someday we'll be able to live on the same street with our families and get to be a couple of oldtimers together." Part 4, Chapter 1, page 254

Quote 51: "Okay, it was agreed, Stan was coming with me. He was a rangy, bashful, shock-haired Denver boy with a big con-man smile and slow, easy-going Gary Cooper movements. 'Hot Damn' he said and stuck his thumbs in his belt and ambled down the street, swaying from side to side but slowly." Part 4, Chapter 2, page 258

Quote 52: "I looked over the map: a total of over a thousand miles, mostly Texas, to the border of Laredo, and then another 767 miles through all Mexico to the great city near the cracked Isthmus and Oaxacan heights. I couldn't imagine this trip. It was the most fabulous of all. It was no longer east-west, but magic south." Part 4, Chapter 3, page 265

Quote 53: "The hospital was full of poor Mexican women, some of them pregnant, some of them sick or brining their little sick kiddies. It was sad. I thought of poor Terry and wondered what she was doing now." Part 4, Chapter 4, page 272

Quote 54: "Soon it would be mysterious night in old gone Gregoria. The mambo never let up for a moment, it frenzied on like an endless journey in the jungle. I couldn't take my eyes off the little dark girl and the way, like a queen, she walked around and was even reduced by the sullen bartender to menial tasks such as bringing us drinks and sweeping the back." Part 4, Chapter 5, page 289

Quote 55: "The end of our journey impended. Great fields stretched on both sides of us; a noble wind blew across the occasional immense tree groves and over old missions turning salmon pink in the late sun. The clouds were close and huge and rose." Part 4, Chapter 6, page 300

Quote 56: "I didn't know who he was anymore, and he knew this, and sympathized, and pulled the blanket over my shoulders." Part 4, Chapter 6, page 302

Quote 57: "Go moan for man." Part 5, Chapter 1, page 306

Quote 58: "So I went up and there she was, the girl with the pure and innocent dear eyes that I had always searched for and for so long. We agreed to love each other madly. In the winter we planned to migrate to San Francisco, bringing all our beat furniture and broken belongings with us in a jalopy panel truck." Part 5, Chapter 1, page 306

Quote 59: "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...I think of Dean Moriarty, I even think of Old Dean Moriarty, the father we never found, I think of Dean Moriarty." Part 5, Chapter 1, page 309-10

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