San Francisco and Ripple Wine, 1968
In 1966, an eighteen-year-old is long-estranged from his family and fears being drafted into the Vietnam war. He’d prefer to write celebrated poetry and achieve a shaman’s higher consciousness.
When Allen Ginsberg comes to Lincoln, Nebraska, the famous beatnik says to him, “My hand doesn’t exist. You’re shaking a cloud,” validating his certainty that lofty ideals and mystical serenity won’t be found in mainstream USA.
As a solitary seeker, he crisscrosses flyover country on a 22,000-mile hitchhike, mingling with the under-culture heroes and the complete unknowns of America’s cities: mimeo-revolution poets, juvenile runaways, San Francisco Diggers, outlaw bikers, gay-rights pioneers, and crash-pad squatters.
After an eerie vision breaches his familiar sense of earthly existence, he finds that “dropping out” entails an inner transformation few would willingly choose.
"To be on your own, like a complete unknown, like a rolling stone..." Bob Dylan, Like a Rolling Stone