Good-bye Hunter S.

Went to Hunter S. Thompson’s memorial service in Aspen. The next day, we went to Owl Farm -- which remained untouched since Hunter’s death two weeks before. The sun was shining and gunfire echoed as friends and family gathered and shot targets on the lawn. Norman Greenbaum’s “Spirit in the Sky” booming. Books, notes, numbers, pills, bullets, totems and talismans everywhere. Outside his wife offered liquid acid to people in the driveway. In the kitchen where he took his life, a huge American flag overlooked his suicide. He was looking right at it.

I jotted down a few things he had written and posted on the walls.

In the kitchen:

Wisdom is better than wit -- Jane Austin
The final mystery is oneself. Who can calculate the orbit of his own soul? -- Oscar Wilde
Beauty is not in the face…it is a light in the heart -- Khahlil Gibran
One changes from day to day…every few years one becomes a new being -- George Sand

And down in the basement amidst the endless archives of a lifetime, in the “war room” where he wrote his great works:

In my own country
I am in a far off land
I am strong yet have
No force or power
I win yet remain a loser
At break of day I say goodnight
When I lie down I have a great fear of falling -- François Villion

And finally, scribbled with customary flair on a half ripped paper thumbtacked above his desk:

the floor is slick
and greasy
And dangerous…
Get down on all fours to proceed
-- Doc

Goodbye Hunter. All the good ones seem to be moving on these days...

Here is just one of the good doctor’s final ruminations on our American experience. He sent it to me on a t-shirt a few months ago:

'Politics is the art of controlling your environment.' That is one of the key things I learned in these years, and I learned it the hard way. Anybody who thinks that 'it doesn't matter who's President' has never been Drafted and sent off to fight and die in a vicious, stupid War on the other side of the World -- or been beaten and gassed by Police for trespassing on public property -- or been hounded by the IRS for purely political reasons -- or locked up in the Cook County Jail with a broken nose and no phone access and twelve perverts wanting to stomp your ass in the shower. That is when it matters who is President or Governor or Police Chief. That is when you will wish you had voted.