When I was in college, junior year, I made friends with a few select individuals who changed my life. Nick, Ben, and Lane. These three fellows introduced me to the Beat Generation – specifically Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg. After class we would congregate off campus, either at a dingy coffee shop or at a mutual friend’s disgusting dwelling, and we’d read. Aloud.
Sometimes we recited verses of our own; other times we shared the works of past authors. But the constant was that we celebrated the art of literature and poetry together. We’d raise our glasses of Port wine and celebrate the past Beats. Ben Adams, in particular, impressed me with his affinity for free verse. Together we shared our most intimate thoughts in the form of poems. Laugh if you want to; not everyone feels so strongly toward this particular form of literature. But through the works of Whitman, Teasdale, and Ginsberg, I found a part of myself.
I’ll always remember those months fondly, and not without a longing twinge in my stomach. Life seemed simpler then; I was a mere text and half block away from what felt like perpetual relief. It was our own, personal Dead Poets’ Society. And I miss it.