The method never worked for me. The last I remembered was arising in the late afternoon with one of those vicious, evil hangovers. You know, the type that moves its way down the back of your neck and makes the walls painful to look at. Every part of my body felt bathed in poison. It had been one of those nights. How long had I been asleep? Were the stars still out when I finally crawled into bed, or had I decided to push the envelope until morning, bringing on this frightful bout of forgetfulness, remorse, and crapulence?
I wandered into the front room and saw the remnants of what I had done. Coffee table at a skewed angle, papers thrown about the room, some with their edges burned off. I owned no matches. Where had the fire come from? The blinds on my windows had the unmistakable, broken appearance of having been continually pulled apart and looked through. It seems some late night lunatic paranoia had been involved as well. There didn’t appear to be any new holes in the walls, but I had changed the ceiling light. Instead of a normal, white bulb, the fixture now had one of those yellow, outdoor lights screwed into place. That, I know I took from the back porch, which means I may have been seen. There was a pile of music in front of my stereo. I can’t tell what I had been looking for. And in the middle of the room, staring label up, mockingly, lay an empty bottle of Wild Turkey.
All you need to imitate the writing method of Hunter S. Thompson is a bucket of ice, a glass, a bottle of Wild Turkey, a typewriter, and a disposition for the weird. Drugs, fast cars, and guns are optional. That’s the method, but I can guarantee you the results won’t be the same. After this latest bout of morbid creativity in my apartment, when I regained my senses, I rounded up all the stray bits of prose scattered about the room and saw that method is not all you need. The most unintelligible scraps of amateurish shit was printed on those pages, and I filed them away with the rest of the previous night’s activities in the shame department of my brain, never to be seen again. I have an impression that while I was writing it, I was convinced of its brilliance, enough so that I had no regard for the hour of night I was working, and fired up the printing feature of my bulky word processor. A high-school graduation gift from the old man, I still have it, eleven years later. When it prints out a file it screams and chatters with a million tiny explosions, bells, and whistles. My neighbors must have hated me. But that is what you do when impressed by a lothario of the written word like the good Dr. Thompson. Maybe lothario isn’t right. He was less a seducer of words and more of a blunt-force trauma. His pessimism contained all the aura of a nuclear holocaust, yet it was clear he was describing the world exactly as he saw it, spinning out of control toward a future in which all non-believers are forced to grovel at the feet of the Nixon altar. His writing was at times confusing, at times a revelation, and at times a eulogy for what he believed.
Maybe that is what led him to blow his head off the other day. Just how long can a person hold out, horrified, before enough is enough? Maybe he killed himself because he was a man determined to live fast, with a body crying out for him to slow down. Maybe he just had a house full of guns and no more reason to live. Whatever it was, it was not the blaze of glory you picture for someone like him (he may have used a gun, but the slow burn that usually leads to suicide is anything but glamorous), or the withering away, bed-ridden, slow-death reality that usually occurs. For anyone who has spent enough time swimming through his work, does suicide really come as a surprise? Not anymore. Look back through those works after yesterday and it all jumps out at you, like getting hit with a brick. But the fact of the matter is, any way that man died, based on how he lived, was bound to leave a sour taste. So long and Mahalo.