Lu Anne Henderson :
« He [Neal] was proud that someone found him interesting enough to be written about, but especially someone that he thought so much of as Jack - someone he admired as much as he did Jack. The strange thing about the two of them, when they were with each other, it seemed like they were totally unaware of the other one’s real feelings. This was true even for Neal - even though he knew Jack had written so much about him. I mean, they knew that they cared for each other ; but i think on both of their parts they felt the friendship was unequal. They, Jack and Neal, each felt it was more on their part than it was on the other side. Do you understand what i’m saying ?
They were both very envious of one another. It never interfered with their association, but it was a very obvious thing when you’d see them together. Everything that Neal was, Jack would want - had wanted - would like to be. And everything that Jack was, Neal would have given his right arm to be, or to have. Neal not only envied the schooling Jack had ; he also envied the football thing, the athletic ability, the good looks, the ability to sit down and write the way Jack did. There were just so many things Neal didn’t have that had come naturally to Jack. And on the other hand, on Jack’s part, he envied Neal for his powers with women, of course ; but he also envied Neal’s whole attitude, the confidence that Neal projected that Jack lacked. Neal’s ability to go anywhere and to act sure of himself was something Jack was very envious of Neal about. I think the women part of it was a small part. I mean, Jack was very envious of Neal’s ability to talk to women so easily, and talk them into anything so easily, but i think that’s on any man’s mind.
The tragedy was that they never seemed to be aware of how great, how deep, were the feelings each one had for the other. Maybe in later years they started to understand a little. But i know in the beginning years they didn’t. Neal was always apologizing to Jack. Like when Neal would write letters to him, it was a constant series of apologies. “I’m sorry, well you know how i can’t write”, Neal would always begin. ” I can’t write letters - i’m lousy at letter writing”, and blah blah blah. It was torture for him to write to Jack because he felt so inadequate because of Jack’s writing. Neal even felt that his handwriting was bad, and he didn’t feel that he expressed himself well.»
One and Only : the untold story of on the road