On the Road
by Jack Kerouac
On the Road Time Quotes
How we cite our quotes: Citations follow this format: (Part.Chapter.Paragraph)
We felt silly and didn’t know what to say, and I for one didn’t want to get hung-up with a carnival. I was in such a bloody hurry to get to the gang in Denver.
I said, "I don’t know, I’m going as fast as I can and I don’t think I have the time." Eddie said the same thing, and the old man waved his hand and casually sauntered back to his car and drove off. And that was that. (I.3.22, I.3.23)
Interestingly it is Sal, not frantic Dean, that begins the novel with a sense of running out of time.
"What’s the schedule?" I said. There was always a schedule in Dean’s life.
"The schedule is this: I came off work a half-hour ago. In that time Dean is balling Marylou at the hotel and gives me time to change and dress. At one sharp he rushes from Marylou to Camille - of course neither one of them knows what’s going on - and bangs her once, giving me time to arrive at one-thirty. Then he comes out with me - first he has to beg with Camille, who’s already started hating me - and we come here to talk till six in the morning. We usually spend more time than that, but it’s getting awfully complicated and he’s pressed for time. Then at six he goes back to Marylou - and he’s going to spend all day tomorrow running around to get the necessary papers for their divorce. Marylou’s all for it, but she insists on banging in the interim. She says she loves him - so does Camille." (I.7.11, I.7.12)
While Sal claims he doesn’t have enough time, Dean is the master of time, scheduling everything to the minute and never being late. Sal envies this ability.
"It is now" (looking at his watch) "exactly one-fourteen. I shall be back at exactly three- fourteen, for our hour of reverie together, real sweet reverie, darling, and then, as you know, as I told you and as we agreed, I have to go and see the one-legged lawyer about those papers - in the middle of the night, strange as it seems and as I tho-ro-ly explained." (This was a coverup for his rendezvous with Carlo, who was still hiding.) "So now in this exact minute I must dress, put on my pants, go back to life, that is to outside life, streets and what not, as we agreed, it is now one-fifteen and time’s running, running - " (I.7.17)
Dean does, however, later reflect a franticness. He, too, shares Sal’s sense of urgency.