It's one of a series, "The Legend of Dulouz", which is
loosly autobiographical. Read them at random and the order
will become apparent. Or get a good Kerouac biography(Ann Charters or Barry Miles wrote the best ones, I believe)and
see the chronological order in life, starting with "Visions Of Gerard." It's about his older brother who died when they were
very young. You're right, it is a love story, but much deeper and varied than you realize. Also, look up something on the poetry reading that was held at the Six Gallery in the late fifties. It will open up a whole new world. Do you write poetry? Come to the poetry board and post!
Thanx for your time. Rain70