during my worst times on the park benches in the jails or living with whores I always had this certain contentment- I wouldn’t call it happiness- it was more of an inner balance that settled for whatever was occuring and it helped in the factories and when relationships went wrong with the girls. it helped through the wars and the hangovers the backalley fights the hospitals. to awaken in a cheap room in a strange city and pull up the shade- this was the craziest kind of contentment
and to walk across the floor to an old dresser with a cracked mirror- see myself, ugly, grinning at it all. what matters most is how well you walk through the fire.
“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. I wasn’t scared; I was just somebody else, some stranger, and my whole life was a haunted life, the life of a ghost. I was halfway across America, at the dividing line between the East of my youth and the West of my future, and maybe that’s why it happened right there and then, that strange red afternoon.”—Jack Kerouac (via dancingwithwolves)