Hip Cool Beating Women
Remember how we ignored the cause of the hilarious Balloon Thumb sequence from Road? It resulted from ol' desirous-to-be-saved Dean punching Marylou, one of many times.
Neal Cassady was probably a textbook manic depressive, now called bipolar. Two anectdotes should suffice.
Carolyn is off work, downtown SanFran, and there's no Neal to drive her home. Usually he's punctual. She catches a bus...and there he is, outside their house. He's lying in the seat of their auto. He has a borrowed pistol. He has been contemplating suicide all the livelong day.
Here he is, dutiful and diligent, working on the railroad, wife and kids at home, savings in the bank. He walks by a showroom featuring the brand new shiny 1948 Hupmobile.
Whereupon he rushes to the bank, withdraws all their funds, buys the auto, lies to Carolyn, and sets out with buddy Al Hinkle to pick up first wife Luanne for another mad dash to the other coast.
Crazy was cool in the era of Eisenhower. I mean, if you weren't a wife or mother.