Monday, February 21, 2005

Lord have mercy. Heaven help us. Hunter S. Thompson has done gone and shot hisself dead.

I awoke today amidst thunder in February to learn that Hunter S. Thompson had committed suicide. Rarely does the death of a public figure bring tears to my eyes. Roy Orbison's death resulted in a week of dimmed lights, covered mirrors and a mournful wailing to the tune of 'A Love So Beautiful'. I'm still trying to deal with the loss of Warren Zevon. This was a man who had followed me from 8-tracks to CDs. He was the rebellious bad boy boyfriend from high school that I never truly got over. The one that you secretly check up on well into middle age. I wept through each late show appearance and each playing of 'Keep Me in Your Heart'. It was like losing a lover who had looked into the darkest part of my soul and called it beautiful.

I'm sort of pissed at H.S.T. right now. We are in the middle of a political environmnent in the U.S. that rivals the darkest days of the McCarthy Era and Nixon administration. Surely this was worthy grist for the mill of Hunter S. Thompson's mind? The enormous absurdity, the monumental hubris and the willing suspension of disbelief of an entire nation must have moved him. Perhaps it just depressed him beyond the point of existence. I don't know. I just know that we desperately need Hunter S. Thompson and his ilk right now.

Perhaps he had learned of something that he couldn't deal with. Up here on the mountain, Jamie's granddaddy shot himself in the head last month. The pain from inoperable brain cancer finally was too much to bear. The unfortunate consequence of oxycontin abuse is that the people who actually need it, don't get it. Perhaps H.S. T. found out something along those lines.

All I know is that one of the great journalists of our time is gone by his own hand. He was truly an original and I can't think of anyone capable of filling his shoes. Let the rest of the world mourn its princesses...I'll reserve my tears of the like of Hunter S. Thompson.


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