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Oh god, me too man. I remember once laying on the floor of my room spinning on gin and tonics and my girlfriend at the time yarning to me about how pretentious and empty all of Kerouac was. I remember sitting up and claiming “YOU JUST DONT UNDERSTAND HIM!” Because like most people she had only read On The Road and even worse probably for school or a feminism class or something. And then she sat up too and said “WHAT IS THERE TO UNDERSTAND?!” And there was me leafing madly through this book trying to find this quote, and I get to it and read it to her and then she takes the book and reads it herself and then snaps it shut and says “I’m taking this home with me.” I think she finished it in like three days.
And that was how I lost my first copy of The Dharma Bums. The second copy was even crazier.