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.
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.