I knew nothing aboutAmerica other than what my dreams had been telling me: I wanted to travel theMother Road. Lots of people told me not to go, saying bad things about theplace: that place doesn’t exist anymore, they kept saying, America doesn’t evenexist anymore. But whenever I thought about it I felt something in my stomachthat was almost pain! Maybe I set out on an unsuitable vehicle in order to goslow even though I could otherwise have gone fast, and my dream explodes in abig country. Everything I’ve always dreamed of beats inside my soul, changingmy life forever. Along the road people hug us, bless us, give us hospitalityand live our dream as if it were their own. Those hugs are so powerful thatthey allow usto throw ourselves headlong into thunderstorms while lightningstrikes the ground only feet away from us… I leap into that road and find abeautiful America; on the burning hot asphalt I brush by poisonous snakes andspiders while listening to the song of the coyotes, and together with them Igaze at the moon from that place/non-place known by the bad name of DeathValley; I touch heaven while standing inhell, motionless at the bottom of the valley while the sky from Chicago to LosAngeles runs above me. I skid between dream and reality until I no longerdistinguish between them. I almost need help because my emotions are toostrong. I travel with a huge electric guitarsuspended in the sky playing rock music.I wrote this book for the angels I met, and to tell those who think America isnothing but war and business: Hey man, you’re wrong! The Americans of thestreet still exist. The eyes of a homeless person, of a waitress, of a motelowner, can still see beyond, and if you look at them closely, you can see whatI saw, you can see them looking beyond. The little Vespa was my soul whichhumbly and slowly brought me across a country’s people in a place where dreamsstill grow, a place where you can regrow your wings if you want and the strongwind carries you up high to where, if you’re quick enough, you can give Godhimself a high five!
English version with introduction by Jack Hirschman
Page 141 + colors photographic insert ( 38 pictures)