Thursday, May 14, 2009

taking a page from my fave book...

a kind of tribute to "fear & loathing in las vegas" meets "dude, where's my car":

"we were someplace around barstow on the edge of the desert when the drugs began to take hold. i remember saying something like 'i feel a bit lightheaded; maybe you should drive . . .' and suddenly there was a terrible roar all around us and the sky was full of what looked like huge bats, all swooping and screeching and diving around the car, which was going about a hundred miles an hour with the top down to las vegas. and a voice was screaming: 'holy jesus! what are these goddamn animals?'" -- fear & loathing in las vegas, hunter s thompson

for a formative part of my life this book propped by its counter-culture ilk was the closest to a bible i got. as a life metaphor & an incredible piece of literature & history i still love it to pieces.

unlike many people i did not adore the 1998 film probably because of my prior intimate relationship with the novel. i had lived the book many times over a generation late post publication without ever actually driving to vegas.

one day i'll most probably take that road trip but am terrified of anti-climax & my dr gonzo is now fried in an institution from somewhere back there when i lost him on one too many trips which left the "acid fanciers" blubbing like akira kurosawa crybabies in the early school district days. like hunter s observes, sometimes reality is already too twisted. i've already indulged in several lifetimes of & perhaps there's time for more. who knows? escapism is ultimately a less skewed mirror, but right now i don't feel a need to run & hide.

as a direct result from those hedonistic exploratory days, drug tolerance has been swallowed up by extensive enhanced sensory experiments & consequently my resting state is the equivalent of a pretty fucked-up individual. i don't need help to be any more interesting & have technically died, not once but twice since then, when just licking the envelope perchance to push, more's the pity. death and i have a flirtatious relationship. what i have retained however [apart from about three brain cells] is extremely accurate perception, strong sense of experimentation, bizarrely twisted innocence & an arcanely honed sense of intuition. and the colour girls sing...

cut to today.

i said "...plans are mutable which is fine but even hunter s thompson knew where he was going when he & his attorney loaded up the car trunk with their stash of mind altering goodies..."

you said "no, i think hunter s knew what ingredients were needed but not where they would take him. truly serendipitous..."

although i don't completely disagree with the above mentioned statement, in context with our argument it is inherently flawed.

hunter s said "the trunk of the car looked like a mobile police narcotics lab. we had two bags of grass, seventy-five pellets of mescaline, five sheets of high-powered blotter acid, a salt shaker half full of cocaine, and a whole galaxy of multi-colored uppers, downers, screamers, laughers . . . and also a quart of tequila, a quart of rum, a case of budweiser, a pint of raw ether and two dozen amyls . . . not that we needed all that for the trip, but once you get locked into a serious drug collection, the tendency is to push it as far as you can. the only thing that really worried me was the ether. there is nothing in the world more helpless and irresponsible and depraved than a man in the depths of an ether binge. and i knew we'd get into that rotten stuff pretty soon."

you said: "add mutual admiration, attraction, remove baggage, doubt and let its own course be."

and then[hunter s said]...

"there was every reason to believe i was heading for trouble, that i'd pushed my luck a bit far. i'd abused every rule vegas lived by -- burning the locals, abusing the tourists, terrifying the help. the only hope now, i felt, was the possibility that we'd gone to such excess, with our gig, that nobody in a position to bring the hammer down on us could possibly believe it . . . when you bring an act into this town, you want to bring it in heavy. don't waste any time with cheap shucks and misdemeanors. go straight for the jugular. get right into felonies. the mentality of las vegas is so grossly atavistic that a really massive crime often slips by unrecognized."

and then...

"it is a weird feeling to sit in a las vegas hotel at four in the morning—hunkered down with a notebook and a tape recorder in a $75-a-day suite and a fantastic room service bill, run up in forty-eight hours of total madness—knowing that just as soon as dawn comes up you are going to flee without paying a fucking penny . . . go stomping out through the lobby and call your red convertible down from the garage and stand there waiting for it with a suitcase full of marijuana and illegal weapons . . . trying to look casual, scanning the first morning edition of the las vegas sun."

and then....

"we were the menace -- not in disguise, but stone-obvious drug abusers, with a flagrantly cranked-up act that we intended to push all the way to the limit . . . not to prove any final, sociological point, and not even as a conscious mockery: it was mainly a matter of life-style, a sense of obligation and even duty. if the pigs were gathering in vegas for a top-level drug conference, we felt the drug culture should be represented. beyond that, i'd been out of my head for so long now, that a gig like this seemed perfectly logical. considering the circumstances, i felt totally meshed with my karma."

hunter s knew exactly where he wanted to go on every possible level that the concept encapsulates. maybe not when he originally sourced the ether before our story begins. however the moment he placed it in the trunk with his attorney, they knew they were going on a helluva ride. not all of it was road-mapped but that candy red convertible was always going to vegas, with him & his attorney in it.

no, the bats weren't sign-posted but the physical destination was, whether the car & its passengers ultimately made it or not. when the physical & psychological converge nobody is surprised except for perhaps the method of manifestation. where did the bats come from? ask bruce wayne. they weren't in the visible notes although there was space left for them to be written in [both in the pages & collective minds].

i refuse to play your chinese food mind games. fess up that you're a commitment phobe, want to wear marie antoinette's frock, have cake & eat it too, or other... day by day is fine if it's under two people's terms & not just a thinly-veiled one dimensional booty call connect. your rules suck. why can't we redefine & make up new ones together?

i don't want to hijack you for a vegas wedding, i just want to jump in the car. drive. together. neon-bound. let the course be. <-- we can agree to agree!

and then, and then, and then, AND THEN!

hunter s said "but our trip was different. it was a classic affirmation of everything right and true and decent in the national character. it was a gross, physical salute to the fantastic possibilities of life in this country--but only for those with true grit. and we were chock full of that."

if you're going to deconstruct my favorite book back at me then at least have the balls to give me 100% of the story. a mash-up is fine; our chronology is arguably reversed. life, with me in it, is pretty fuck-off cool. i'd like to share more pages. with you.

PS. sharing is a two way street. BYO candy red convertible. or we can graffiti the clio. but please, get in the car. on the sidewalk, the ghosts of our suitcases wave goodbye.

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