December 19, 2020:

Rain through mountain oaks. Fire in the iron stove. Ornette Coleman, low enough to let the rain sound splash. Kerouac, On the Road. I am alone with my books and music and rain through tall trees.

I last read Kerouac my first summer home from college. That is now forty-five years past and on this second reading I find I remember not one word, only the warm sun on Mission Bay then and the letters I wrote to beautiful college girl Lise in a spiral notebook I probably still have.

That was the right setting, this is the wrong setting, and while I now have concrete plans to end my exile I am certain I will no longer recognize my boyhood home.

So that in the end Kerouac's lonely road novels feel fitting.