The genuine, albeit grim, fun will be to watch the media profile Thompson in a way that proves they still don’t get it. HST once wrote, ‘No point mentioning the bats … the poor bastard will see them soon enough.’
What is my problem? Among other things, that … I grew up in New England? Yes, as a matter of fact. One of them. And long enough ago that the Yankee principle still held: the more deeply you Feel, the less you Show. And a lovely principle it was. Then. Never mind that it got my life fucked every whichway from Sunday, including falling in with the Wrong Kind, the Kind that didn’t Show for the simple reason (I didn’t know anyone could be that simple) that there was nothing to Show. That wasn’t old-fashioned reserve, you dunce, you utter fucking blockhead, that was—no, never mind what it was. Let us just say, one of the Occupants ran my carcass over like a truck and kept on going, because, well, because they were a truck, inside. I still don’t get it—I don’t get why the really important lessons in life have to use up great honking chunks of said life, at least in some cases—nor do I get, nor shall I ever, the Big Why.
Must I embroider. Alright—though you already know this, it is in some way your own question too, it is the bones of the human question. Though I do sometimes feel I have been specially singled out, jesus christ, take that away and what the hell is left? No, this is too dreary; I am not going to spell it out, not list my misfortunes (why bother, they’ll shove their way to the forefront anyway, in time.) Everyone and her sister is in the business of listing their misfortunes, a.k.a. fate. Look at it this way: when the time comes that every person in America has been on Oprah … will we implode? As a nation?
Is it possible to introspect Too Much? Is your life as existentially interesting as mine? Really? Then why am I not reading you.
Because it’s a crap shoot. Because God giveth on the one hand, and with the other hand, the mo’facker taketh away. What the TV and the Web leave upon our doorstep, much like the bird guts my cat throws up (just the gall bladder, clever animal) is the general concept: Whoa! Other people have it better than me!
Disturbing. They are also sinful shits, Other People, in a multitude of ways, most of which I wish I’d never known about. Most of which my grandmother, born in 1897 New Hampshire, never dreamt. She turned on the television only for Bishop Sheen, who I dimly remember as a flickering figure in the funny hat, who delivered sermons and said prayers on the new, new thing, TV. That these were Catholic sermons—okay, mass, then—and Catholic prayers took a back seat to the astonishment of having church broadcast into her living room. And a far back seat it was, my grandmother so Protestant, the family arrived two years after the Mayflower. Where was I.
Oh, right: the homage to gonzo. Which is to say, to caring, to good writing, to breathtaking phrases, to goodness and purity of heart, all of which must be layered over with complex and beautiful strategies of reserve, the same way paintings on paper, with their fugitive colors, must be protected under glass. Only, being human, capable of employing all manner of transparency, we get to disguise our god-face from one another, and why the fuck not? Would it not shatter you? The light?
It would shatter me.