by Travis Mateer
The distance from Missoula to Waco, Texas, is 1,733 miles. Along the way I’ve stopped at plenty of bookstores and I’ve found some excellent books, but the book I’m most excited about is the one I’m writing as I go.
Jack Kerouac and his fellow beatniks were cultural agents of a force they didn’t understand. My road trip is nothing like the east/west blasts of manic frenzy Kerouac made famous. Instead it’s a loop of inquiry and reflection of a country that’s truly lost it’s shit.
I’m writing this on a phone in a tent, but my tent living is by choice, and I’m on someone’s property by invitation. Back in Missoula, the PROGRESSIVE leadership wilted again and kicked the urban camping ordinance vote to November.
November? Will that be, like, AFTER the elections? How subtle.
While Missoula does that, I’m seeing documents and listening to audio files and wondering how the pieces can be assembled for the maximum exposure of this utter rot that sits just beneath the surface of my town and so many other towns in this twilight of America.
My book will be better than Jack’s because his exuberance and need to hedonistically gobble up the American landscape was adolescent and has, in part, led us here to a place where any cultural cohesion keeping these states together is quickly disappearing.
I’m going to wrap this short post up without the usual requests for support because the time is getting late and I need to get back on that American road.
Thanks for reading!