This is too good for my eyes only. For posterity, I post the text of a message sent to me by my good friend Bewildered Rider:
Christ. What a fucking waste. I cannot believe that Thompson is dead, though I cannot argue with the vehicle which he chose to exit the Earth. I could see it coming from a long, long time ago, since he professed his love of Hemingway and resonated some of the same delusions of grandeur that Papa had first vibed in his earlier works. It's all quiet now as to why it was done, and I am sure that there will be some goodbye letter or rationale that will follow int he coming days, but it really makes no difference to me now. I fell in love and out of love with him, only to realize that all along this strange and quixotic trip that he'd been right all along, about everything, about politics and foreign affairs and the failings of high hopes and lofty promises.
I've spent much of the day wandering through the gushy musings of people who claim to be devoted fans, who have penned some asinine things about “he's blasting around through heaven on a Harley” or that he's “blasting across a desert in his great red shark” or some such sappy bullshit that they derived as being the essence of Thompson from probably the only two books they've ever read of Thompson's, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas or Hell's Angels. Anyone who has read further into Thompson's books, especially those that feature simply his letters to home or personal correspondence with friends and family, knows that motorcycles and convertibles were mere hobbies and passions of the man, extrinsic manifestations used to try to make the reality blur by at 100 mph or to run from the grim truth of our country in this year 2005.
If there is such a place as Heaven, Hunter would certainly be there. I don't really care what deity or theological branch you may subscribe to has mandated on the issue of suicide, the man did enough to warrant a passage into the promised land. He was a dreamer of dreamers and a voice for those who were too doped up or too inebriated to make their voice and passion clear; he was a scribe for muses who spoke only in babblespeak, to translate to the masses what they were thinking; he logically put onto paper and into words the most highly illogical rhetoric and even noted its failings and higher points in between. The most beautiful and ethereal whims of imaginations discounted as nonsense and products of hallucinogenic drugs were documented by Dr. Thompson…he wrote them and rode them out for what they were worth, long after so many had given up and had hopped back on to the common culture merry-go-round and accepted their fate. If there is a heaven, then Heaven will be as Thompson always wanted America to be…and, for that, he wouldn't need a Harley (and any Thompson fan knows he'd want a Vincent Black Shadow, anyway) or a convertible or hallucinogenic drugs to cope with it. He'd be at peace…just as he wanted all of us, too.
I hope he's there, and I hope it exists, and I hope it is all he ever wanted and dreamed of.
~ Bewildered Rider, 02.21.2005