An Unexpected Dream

LJ readers, feel free to snag the audio file Ode To Jack by Hunter S. Thompson, from HERE :

one of my favorite photos
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Last night I dreamed that I was at the station, making my way across the street with a large and heavy sack slung over my shoulder. Walking across a grass lawn under a warm, sunny sky, I proceeded to make my way up front porch stairs.

Roy came out, though it clearly wasn’t his house. My stop was feeling something like an errand, like perhaps I was somewhere I knew he hung out at. I was glad to see him.

“Hunter shot himself last night,” I said, as I unloaded my baggage. In the dream world, it never dawned on me that I’d recently gone to bed in reality.

Roy gave a nod like he had already found out, and handed me a yellow index card with type on it. The stage of my sleep was too deep to make it out, but I stared at the letters and it made me think of code, of acid, of “Surrealistic Pillow”. He said something about “the TVs” and how “they aren’t telling everything”.

I could make out a VHS box inside the sack. It was the cover to Fear and Loathing In Las Vegas. I briefly wondered just what all in the hell I was so sweetly giving up. Did I own the DVD now, or something? I couldn’t remember purchasing it.

After my words with Roy, I walked down the steps and approached a concrete slab that was a few feet off the ground. From this view, I could see my family’s van parked alongside the curb with its sliding door open. Waiting, with the engine on.

I turned back around and crawled up on this white platform in the shade. Then I brought my legs up and laid down on my side – I could feel the cold, hard concrete below me. I started to cry with my mouth firmly closed, breathing irregularly as my eyes started to leak. The perspective started to pull away, and I saw that I was actually on a large column that looked like it was chipped away from the White House or a Memorial.

Alongside the top of it was engraved: HEROES. There was no bust or sculpture.

A moment or two later, I climbed down. Then I got into the van, saying something to my family before pulling the door closed. And that was everything.

Have a godawful dream like that, and you’ll wake up with a heavy heart.

At least, that’s how it was, for me, stepping off the bastard train.

***
Hunter made a mix CD that’s available for over $150, but you can see the track listing behind the lj-cut if you’d like to download the individual songs for significantly less. Continue reading

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Written early Monday morning and released after a long reflection.

***

“Dissipated potential is never so sad as when it finally admits defeat, and these are tragic hours – between surrender and death.” 1960

Apparently, the news of Hunter Thompson’s death ran rampant over the internet and television, hours ago. I’m currently sitting in the respectable time afterward, when timezones are excusable – when it’s old news to avid feed readers but too early for the morning paper. This is all before the Rolling Stone tribute issue, before thousands of Live Journal bloggers throwing up Captain Jack Depp for their user icons, and the time previous to crazed gonzo fans writing poetic justifications for a man “too weird to live.” I can see it, now. It’s going to be sad, isn’t it?

To be perfectly honest in a moment of staying on topic, I saw the possibility coming. A few years ago I read an article that compared Hunter’s writing style to that of beat writer Jack Kerouac’s, which sparked my interest in his published works. Though I’ve never claimed to be a veteran fan – after all, I was born in 1981 and didn’t see the 60’s culture or witness the coverage of several peak campaigns – I went scrambling after the books, reading history from a trend-settingly disturbed mind that I would eventually come to suspect as literally… brainsick.

Something strange happened during the period of Kingdom Of Fear’s release. Perhaps because I was afraid to approach an aged icon, there seemed no rush to get to it. The bookstore’s lights above the stand were dim, and I hesitated to look past the cover. My eyes skimmed a few pages of the book and in no time I had slammed it shut and gone on my way without a purchase, very disappointed. Where there had once been a source of unflagging humor and hope was now a complainer. His newer assignments continued to be shadows of an unrecovered impression, in my opinion.

It was obvious all the while, that he had created an identity and was hell-bent on maintaining it. The taunting of his image was a monster in plain sight. Didn’t anyone else get that sickening notion in their guts whenever they saw a photo of Hunter and Johnny Depp reunited, or feel somewhat responsible for the pressing curse of the constant dangling cigarette? How was he ever going to accomplish anything, in such neurotic demand?

I realize that I won’t find an answer. I can’t write this so that it isn’t a sad thing, because then it wouldn’t be true. A bad thing happened that shouldn’t have. We lost someone.

I found some text that helped me focus and made me feel better. It’s something of his that I believe in and will remember:

“We do not strive to be firemen, we do not strive to be bankers, nor policemen nor doctors. We strive to be ourselves…

So if you now number yourself among the disenchanted, then you have no choice but to accept things as they are, or to seriously seek something else. But beware of looking for goals: look for a way of life. Decide how you want to live and then see what you can do to make a living WITHIN that way of life….

Let’s assume that you think you have a choice of eight paths to follow (all pre-defined paths, of course). And let’s assume that you can’t see any real purpose in any of the eight. THEN – and here is the essence of all I’ve said – you MUST FIND A NINTH PATH.

Ciao,
Hunter”

Scan the Item before placing it in the bag.

“You can’t be hungry if you didn’t earn it.” -William Dean

“I am not afraid of a donut that has long since seen the end of a healthy shelf life,” I decided, just now. My father, bargain hunter that he is, invests his coins into all kinds of death row baked goods. It’s not uncommon to see some form of snack sitting on the counter with a bright red discount sticker on it. In the event of a sweet tooth with no other options, the expired products tempt me.

Cut-to-scene: Autumn is at her station ripping DVD rentals while music plays. There is a loud calling signal and she turns to address a walkie talkie sitting on a nearby stool.

William Dean: Sleeping Bear, this is Sgt. Pepper. Can you hear me? It’s time for the potatoes to go in the oven. Over.

The view briefly focuses on a small tank above the desk – two pink frogs are maniacally grabbing food at the surface and shoveling it into their mouths with their front legs.

Autumn May: Sgt. Pepper, this is Sleeping Bear. I’ll do it right now. Over and out.

My company threw me the kind of odd look that makes you retrace the facts.

I paid extra attention to the security camera at the superstore. Apparently, I am a girl with a long, black coat. I’m not smiling. A few steps, and she was out of sight.

The following is a recent reply I gave Kirsten, who popped her head in wanting to apologize for many of the things she said to me before realizing some of what had actually happened:

You startled me just now, as I did not expect to find
a ghost stirring for aftermath to stories left behind
your inquiry’s sincere and though I normally would concede
I must explain, a haunting is the last thing that I need.

sometimes when I look back or try to smooth some acts gone wrong
The past just seems to be the only place where those belong
With all due repsect to better memories from that time
please return to the shadows and leave me here, in mine

My bedroom window was visible from the road. There were enough strings of lights inside to brighten the pirate flag being used as a curtain, and the rest of the house and trailer were completely dark. Pulling into the driveway, I knew I was close.

I’ve been looking for me, you see.

***

JetGrindMav: What are you writing about?
JetGrindMav: I can help.
Faith Rivada: I was writing about stale donuts.
Faith Rivada: And Sgt. Pepper.
Faith Rivada: Insert help here ___________ .
JetGrindMav: Nevermind. You’re on your own, kiddo. I dunno where to take that.