Hunter S Thompson

It’s been a while since I posted anything. I have been writing a lot of non-fiction lately and it has taken a lot of my time, but I wanted to post this piece. I was given an assignment to write about Hunter S Thompson and his abuse of drugs and alcohol. This is what I wrote before I got the full instructions. The finished piece was good, but I thought this was more playful and better suited to my personal blog.

Please enjoy

 

I’ve never been a big fan of personal heroes. Heroes have an elevated position that creates unrealistic standards of who and what they are. It’s like the objectification of women to me, it’s fun intellectually, but as soon as they start talking the cover is blown. They become human, and therefore cease to be objects. I have never liked objectification so I never had heroes. When it comes to writing there are perhaps two people, and I regret that they are both white men. I wish there was a more inclusive list in my head, but there isn’t so we need to move past this. One is William S Burroughs and the other is Hunter S Thompson. Luckily they are both deceased so they’re actions are immortalized and fixed. I can objectify them all I want now.

The subject of this article is Hunter S Thompson and his prolific drug and alcohol use. I have used both drugs and alcohol, but never to the legendary levels that Mr. Thompson used drugs and alcohol. I thought it would be an interesting experiment to try and follow his drug regimen as listed through multiple sources on the internet here, here, and here. I would also like to note that I am not lampooning Mr. Thompson’s gonzo style so much as paying homage to a man that meant a lot to me over the years. You would see through it in a heartbeat if I tried.

His drug regimen began at 3pm when he woke. He would apparently have Chivas Regal, a Dunhill cigarette and read the paper. I have none of those things, so I am already off to a bad start. It follows with Cocaine at 3:45. I don’t have that either. Luckily as of the time of this writing it is only 9:43 am so I have time before his schedule takes effect. Chivas Regal is a blended Scotch Whiskey and fairly easy to acquire. The Dunhills will be easy as well, they just require a walk to the store. I will resume writing once I return.

I couldn’t find a newspaper, I found it odd, but they were out at every gas station that I passed. I was walking into the last grocery store on my way back when I saw him. A man of about 6 feet tall with dark sunglasses. He had a stack of newspapers under his arm and was moving rapidly towards a vehicle that was idling nearby. I ran towards him, but was not quick enough to catch him. The vehicle sped away and nearly clipped me as it moved past. I lit a cigarette and decided a free City Pages would work in place of an honest newspaper.

Cocaine is not as difficult to acquire as you might think. I don’t have any great connections in the city. I do not know any drug dealers. I didn’t think I knew any. I was mistaken. I passed a friend on my way to get a newspaper, we’ll call him J for sake of anonymity. I told him about my bold experiment. He said, without skipping a beat, “How much do you need?” I told him quite a lot to really do the experiment properly. He replied, “Meet me back here in about twenty minutes.” I agreed and decided to drink some of the Chivas while I waited.

It is not legal to drink in public where I live. I don’t usually drink before noon, but given the fact that I was waiting for coke on a city street to help write an article about Hunters S. Thompson I suddenly felt painfully sober at 11 am. I cracked the bottle and took a deep pull.

I sat on a nearby bench waiting for my drugs and sipping at my bottle. When you sip on a bottle of alcohol it has been my experience that it is difficult to gauge how much you have drunk. When my friend returned I stood to greet him. All the alcohol I had ingested hit me like a tidal wave and I felt my head swoon. A glance at the bottle in my hand told me I had about half the bottle put away. Not too shabby, but I hadn’t eaten much so the sudden inebriation was intensified and I doubled over. I reached out to the bench that I was sure existed, but missed and cracked my head on the cement. The bottle rolled gently to a patch of grass and was feeding the ground with its contents.

After J was done laughing he helped me up and grabbed what was left of the scotch. I blathered at him and tried to hand him money for the drugs. He pushed my hand away and kept telling me to put the cash back in my pocket. I was insistent, “I need that coke.” I yelled. That’s when I heard a new voice above me. I looked up and saw what appeared to be a pit bull dressed as a man. He had a dark blue bullet proof vest and a matching hat. He barked in a way that sounded like an order, but I was beyond the English language at that point and tried to ignore him in the hopes that he would go away. The rest of the encounter was a blur. What I do know is that I was not arrested and neither was my friend, since he was unable to score the drugs he was sure he could procure. I was given a fine and my scotch was taken from me.

By some miracle I made it back to my place and promptly passed out in the doorway. 3 o’clock came and went and I woke somewhere around 7 very sore and unable to turn my neck. I considered the experiment over and a complete failure. I couldn’t get past breakfast and that is my lament, but as Hunter once said, “I hate to advocate for drugs and alcohol, but they’ve worked so well for me.” I am not Hunter and to tell the complete truth I am glad of this. I am more glad that he was the inspiration for adventures like this and it is his spirit that sometimes spurs me to push myself beyond the ordinary boundaries I am acquainted with.

Thank you Mr. Thompson and I wish you well wherever you may be.

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Once more into the breach

When I feel that I am not the man I am supposed to be, or the man I was meant to be I feel dread. Not as a slow creeping malignancy, but as this all consuming fire that swallows my rational mind. I am supposed to be a writer and when asked I tell people I am a writer, but I don’t write. I drive, work, clean, and philosophize, but I don’t write. I have this problem that I’m afraid of rejection and success simultaneously.

I have written sporadically over the last year. I have always written sporadically, but it is increasingly troubling as I am trying to move further along in an effort to become a professional writer. I enjoy writing, but often it becomes a slog where I feel an excitement and the words come easily and freely, but soon after comes anxiety and then boredom. This is the cycle. It is a cycle that I struggle with constantly so it is with this is in mind that I am writing now. I want to move forward and become a better writer in order to do that I have to force myself to write consistently. There are no awards. There is possibly no one reading, but it has to become a habit like brushing teeth or exercise.

I will write. I will move past this longstanding roadblock and progress.

This blog is designed to feature my creative writing and the creative process as a whole. I listened to a radio documentary about William S Burroughs presented by Iggy Pop. The documentary was entertaining, but what inspired me was the concept of the Cut Up process that he became involved in. I thought to try it out but didn’t have access to a newspaper so I instead turned to Twitter, lifted three phrases out of context and created a story around them. The story evolved naturally and despite the lifted phrases it is a completely original work.

Note: I do not condone violence towards women. The piece below is a work of fiction and not meant to display any politics on my part. I am proud of the piece. It has an underworld quality that reminds me of Tom Waits or Nick Cave in regard to subject matter.

He believes she’s a hooker, a reject from Hell returning to Earth for a life of depravity. He thinks about her, this hooker and wonders what Hell was like, wonders if he’ll ever see its shores. He believes what he wants to believe and he hears Dennis Hopper screaming “Feel my muscles. Feel it. You like that?” and all the old stereotypes resurface.
He believes she is a hooker, but he hasn’t asked her. He sits quietly in the cafe dreaming of her life of depravity, dreaming of her return to Earth to test his will. His will is a weak and flimsy thing and despite his knowledge of her demonic origins he knows if she were to approach he would let his soul be damned. He believes what he wants to believe, but his soul is weak. He can’t have it. Dinner with this hooker in his sight. To him, she becomes more the whore with each movement, each breath. Every second she is transforming trollop, harlot, adulteress. Where is her man? Where is the cop to arrest her indecency?
He wishes now, in the pit of his heart that he had read the scriptures more carefully. He wishes he were better defended. She is beautiful and he can see her leg from his vantage. She touched it lovingly as she drank her coffee. How could he not? Her skirt was so short and her skin was practically glowing in the florescent light of the cafe. There is a twist in his stomach, a slow churning that comes before vomit. He can’t stand the sight of her, but he also can’t look away and has become caught in her devilish spell.
He closes his eyes and hums to himself. Sixteen years sober today. He believes she’s a hooker. He picks up his coffee pot. Grips it tightly as he stands. “Feel my muscles.” the words sing to him. He walks to her table slowly, deliberately. Each step is a victory for heaven. He looks her in the eye. She stares up at him and smiles. He believes she’s a hooker, “You like that?” He says as he raises the pot. She can see what’s coming now, but it’s too late. She is going to feel pain. The coffee pot shatters on contact with her head. “You like that?” He screams and hits her again.
She was reading a book. He didn’t see the book before, but he sees it now. Its title is obscured by her blood. He keeps hitting because now the demon must know he is righteous and that he will not back down from Satan. He keeps hitting her until a waitress, a cook and three other customers pull him from on top of her. His eyes sting with tears as they lay him on the cold tile of the diner floor. His fingers feel the texture of grime beneath him and he cough and then laughs at his victory over the devil. He believes she’s a hooker.

A Very Short Manifesto

I have a habit of indulging my flaws and allowing old habits to take root.  My habits, my peccadillos burden me with a lack of focus.  I’ve been writing, drawing, painting, acting and filmmaking for as long as I can remember, but none of these skills have produced much in the quantitative sense, I float from thought to thought dropping projects, letting go of ideas because I can’t quite remember what was so exciting about it when I started.  So it is with all that in mind that I decided to start a blog. 

I am a Luddite, I have always rejected new technologies, scoffed at these tools of social media, but time and time again I have seen people as smart as me, as unfocused as me start careers in these creative fields.  I’ve known about Twitter, Reddit, Facebook, etc. forever, but I always thought I was somehow better than that.  Like somehow I could just lift that veil and show my talent with one well placed submission, one agent that saw the diamond in the rough.  None of that ever happened, I remained obscure and then I would flit across to another obsession and loose track of where I was. 

The problem is a lack of commitment, I have a lot of interests, but everybody does, but everybody also knows it is important to choose a major.  I’m not unique, I’ve got some talent, but I have an opportunity to utilize tools that would have put a creative career completely out of reach due to simple economic class twenty years ago.  I live in an unprecedented moment where nearly all human information is at my fingertips, where you can build a worldwide audience from your simple efficiency apartment.  

So three days ago I embraced this new paradigm, and made a commitment.  I am a writer.  I also paint, draw, do martial arts, know my way around a film set and have fantastic customer service skills and I will always have those things.  Today I am a writer and I am making a commitment to that field.  Today I’m picking a major, it took me twenty five years, but now I’m here.  I’ll be tweeting and blogging and writing and self promoting the Hell out of my writing.

I hope anyone reading this has enjoyed the stories so far, strange tenses, sudden shifts in time, bad punctuation, typos and all.  Keep reading, I’ll keep writing and this post was something I just needed to get off my chest.