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I Had a White Bandage

Dreamed July 1957 by Jack Kerouac

photo of writer Jack Kerouac at mic

I HAD A WHITE BANDAGE on my head from a wound, the police are after me around the dark stairs of wood near the Victory Theater in Lowell, I sneak away--come to the boulevard where a parade of children chanting my name hide me from the searching police as I duck along their endless ranks, keeping low--

The parade of children is endless--

Chanting and singing we go marching into Mongolia with me with my white bandaged head in front

(dreamed the day after the publication of

--Jack Kerouac


This dreamlet encapsulates the great turning point in Kerouac's life. He's struggled just to survive and stay out of jail, let alone have time to write; On the Road changed everything. I don't think it's a coincidence it's set by the Victory Theater. Or that he sees himself still injured and chased by cops but protected by an endless parade of children. He senses he's just the first (honorably wounded) soldier in a long rebellious crusade. History's on his side.

SOURCE: page 303 of Book of Dreams by Jack Kerouac, expanded (2001) edition, City Lights Books.
Date: On the Road published July 1957.
Title: Kerouac always capitalized a dream's first phrase as a working title, even if it didn't fit the dream as a whole. I'd have titled it Marching to Mongolia.

--Chris Wayan

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