"When I was very young and the urge to be someplace else was on me, I was assured by mature people that maturity would cure this itch. When years described me as mature, the remedy prescribed was middle age. In middle age I was assured that greater age would calm my fever and now that I am fifty-eight perhaps senility will do the job. Nothing has worked. Four hoarse blasts of a ship's whistle still raise the hair on my neck and set my feet to tapping. The sound of a jet, the engine warming up, even the clopping of shod hooves on pavement brings on the ancient shudder, the dry mouth and vacant eye, the hot palms and the churn of stomach high up under the rib cage. In other words, I don't improve; in further words, once a bum always a bum. I fear the disease is incurable. I set this matter down not to instruct others but to inform myself.
When the virus of restlessness begins to take possession of a wayward man, and the road away from Here seems broad and straight and sweet, the victim must first find in himself a good and sufficient reason for going. This to the practical bum is not difficult. He has a built-in garden of reasons to choose from. Next he must plan his trip in time and space, choose a direction and a destination. And last he must implement the journey. How to go, what to take, how long to stay. This part of the process is invariable and immortal. I set it down only so that newcomers to bumdom, like teen-agers in new-hatched sin, will not think they invented it."Travels with Charley in Search of America
by John Steinbeck
Travels with Charley was our audiobook selection last weekend as we traveled into the path of the nor'easter. I've been a huge Steinbeck fan since high school, so my husband and Twin B decided to humor me when I suggested this title for our journey. His eyes were mostly closed (don't worry, I was driving) and Twin B was plugged into the iPod, but as I listened, I fell in love with Steinbeck all over again.
This is my first experience with Steinbeck's non-fiction and his 'voice' is simply captivating. Only one CD played before my passengers awoke or unplugged and wanted to talk. There were so many quotes I wanted to note and hear again, I plan to purchase a print copy today.
Tuesday Intros is hosted by Diane at Bibliophile by the Sea, who remains without power following the nor-easter mentioned above.