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
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.
1. Ballad Of Thunder Road – Robert Mitchum
2. I Smell A Rat – Howlin’ Wolf
3. Spirit In The Sky – Norman Greenbaum
4. The Hula Hula Boys – Warren Zevon
5. Maggie May – Rod Stewart
6. The Wild Side Of Life/It Wasn’t Who Made Hanky
7. Will The Circle Be Unbroken – Nitty Gritty Dirt
8. Mr. Tambourine Man – Bob Dylan
9. Walk On The Wild Side – Lou Reed
10. If I Had A Boat – Lyle Lovett
11. Stars On The Water – Rodney Crowell
12. Carmelita – Flaco Jiminez
13. Why Don’t We Get Drunk – Jimmy Buffet
14. American Pie – Don Mclean
15. White Rabbit – Jefferson Airplane
16. The Weight – The Band
17. Melissa – Alman Bros
18. Battle Hymn Of The Republic – Herbie Mann


16 responses to “An Unexpected Dream

      • Listen to Shalifi – that was good advice. It’s the product of a journalist, so you get the gist of him along with a good dose of humor, in that particular collection.

        He has books, Gonzo Papers/essays – different forms of presentation. If following him along in older politics doesn’t quite interest you, you could pick up a used copy of Fear In Loathing In Las Vegas; it has some very beautiful passages about 60’s counterculture (romantic, even). He was supposed to cover a motorcross event and ended up focusing on a lot more.

        In fact, you really need to get both of these. I don’t like the idea of someone starting out by just reading one of them. Combined, they are a good balance of coverage, story, and doom-haunted reality.

  1. i watched fear and loathing a couple weeks ago. johnny depp nailed him. its a tragic comedy… parts are hard to watch. the book without the visuals is almost better although i couldn’t improve on them. they were too real. i try to find a nitch to put him in. i can’t.

    • Hey, Rick. You know, I really didn’t want to post a 2nd Hunter entry – one was good enough. But the dream happened, and it was strong. Guess it was silly to think I could sort out my feelings for someone I cared about, in a matter of hours.

      It took me by surprise, really. Mourning in my sleep.

      • ya, i wan’t going to write anything. but i got to thinking about my experiences with him… they were sort of miniture Fear and Loathing things… i always felt like he hated going on those pubicity tours to promote his column, but he never did actually promote anything other than with his presence. he came and just hung out with us and i realized he had given me a few memories that are part of my-wow… i got to do that- memories.

      • Cool.

        He talks a lot in his letters about absolutely NOT being interested, so I wouldn’t doubt it.

        “I can’t handle the idea of a speaking tour”. 1968.

  2. My day has just plain sucked from start to finish. I woke up to this news, I had to make two trips back home before I could finally get to work, only to have my first appointment be canceled without warning. And the whole time, all I could think was…well…essentially nothing.

    *picks up her tattered 1983 reprint of ‘Hell’s Angels’ and settles in for some memorial reading*

    This was a beautiful post, though. Thank you.

    • Heh.

      Mine says, “Twenty-third Printing: June 1984” so you have me beat. It has that plastic sticker on the paper cover like a lot of library paperbacks and the pages are browning. Thank you,

      I’m more proud of my 1992 Rolling Stone issue: Fear and Loathing In Elko. Rather than slap a music star on the cover, it’s this huge illustration by Ralph Steadman taking precedence over the Nirvana interview inside. I like that.

      • Re: Heh.

        Beautiful. My mom, when I broke down in the kitchen just now, asked if I’d like to look through our family’s collection of Rolling Stone’s to try and find some Thompson articles.

        “No,” I replied, wiping my nose, “I already have. We don’t have anything of his.”

        It’s sad. About a hundred back issues from the seventies, and not one of them includes an article by the man. Oh, well. More’s the pity.

      • Re: Heh.

        You might be able to snag some from a used book store – that’s where I got mine. It’s something easily hidden and overlooked – I found my issue in a pile in the backroom with comic books and record albums, shuffled between an issue with Michael Keaten/Batman I on the cover, and like… Tom Hanks, or something.

        I just put up an audio file of his, to this entry, too, if you wanna grab it.

  3. we will never have a hero like him again. hunter was the soul of america in my opinion. not like he set out to be that, but its something that found, and possessed him in a way that only be witnessed once in a life time. like a person who sacraifices themselves for the greater good with the full understanding that they will never be the same person, or in essence the same thing again. also understanding that the masses will never recognise it. his was the quietest sacrafice in the loudest manner possible. hunter was not human, he was the embodiement of america, the spirit that we all hope to find in the “new world”. hunter was the new world.

    hopefully some of that spirit finds itself into the rest of us.

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