“(…) by instinct I wandered down to the railroad tracks – and there’s a lot of them in Des Moines – and wound up in a gloomy old plains inn of a hotel down by the locomotive roundhouse, and spent a wonderful long day sleeping on a big clean hard white bed with dirty remarks carved in the wall beside my pillow and the beat yellow windowshades pulled over the smoky scene of the railyards. I woke up as the sun was reddening ; and that was the one distinctt time in my life, the strangest moment of all, that 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 ceiling and really I 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 hauted 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. But I had to get going and stop moaning, so I picked up my bag, said so long to the hotelkeeper (…) and went out (…)”
Jack Kerouak, On the Road (original scroll)
Forse per conoscersi davvero e andare verso l’altro, bisogna sentirsi altro, diventare straniero a se stesso e poi tornare. Who can say at which point strangeness transforms itself into beauty?