Jun 21, 2015

My Date with Jack Kerouac and His Bratwurst

Ok, I didn't really have a date with Jack Kerouac -- he died when I was eight years old.  But Jurgen came close.

During my freshman year at Augustana,  I often saw him sitting by himself in the Student Union lounge -- in his twenties, tall, husky, bearded, with wavy brown hair and brown chest hair sneaking up over his lumberjack shirt.  He would smoke a pipe, of all things, drink coffee, and read a book or scribble into a little spiral notebook.  Too old to be a student -- we didn't have any "nontraditional" students at Augie -- but certainly not a professor.  Was he a townie who for some reason liked the ambience of the Student Union at a small Lutheran college?

Athat point I hadn't met any gay people yet, and I didn't know how to go about finding any, so I figured: he's not with a woman, he dresses oddly, must be gay.  

So one Tuesday afternoon I got a cup of coffee myself -- even though I hated the stuff -- and sat down in the chair across from him.

"What are you writing?"

He looked up and smiled.  "Just a poem I'm working on.  'Tucumcari Two-Step: Heat in the Year of the Drought.'"

The rest of the story, with uncensored photos, is on Tales of West Hollywood