Wednesday, 2 March 2005

RIP HST, The death of a warrior

I’ve carried my copy of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas with me everywhere I’ve been for the last four years, over three continents and tens of thousands of miles. I watched the film on the recommendation of a friend, I read the book after some research on the internet and my life changed.

I was overcome with a passion and fervour for extreme life, the type Hunter lived. I raced through Fear and Loathing for the first time when I was on holiday with my friends in Malta. The country was going through a scorching heat wave at the time, that would send the day temperatures soaring well over 100 Fahrenheit. We’d sleep until just before the sun set, and then, as the evening temperature began to mellow in the twilight hours, we would go down to the pool and sit in the shade. Hydrating from the previous night’s debauchery and getting ready to do it again. It was fantastic, the perfect time to read the anarchy of Hunter. We’d binge drink the night away, convincing former East Bloc country folk that we were magicians with a penchant for skateboarding and late night dips in the Mediterranean Sea. Not a care in the world “I’m Michael Hopperfield buddy! You better believe it! The half brother of David Copperfield, I taught that man everything he knows!” and they’d believe us. As the numbers dwindled and the sun began to rise we’d grab our wheels and speed down the melted smooth tarmac roads, the cool sea air freshening our party-torn bodies.

I turned 18 there, the loss of innocence whilst reading HST. We brawled with amphetamine addled swine in the main square of the town. An old man with a large tattoo of a shark on his torso and sun drenched skin told us he was a pirate and kissed me on my forehead. Amazing times, total freedom and absolute optimism before September 11, and this was only four years ago, incredible to think really. I came back and knew I had a mission, a path of domination was set out for me and it’s been absolutely necessary to maintain ever since. The chance to pause and reflect has been just out of my grasp from that point until now, Hunters death has made me take the time to do so. My paper trail leads directly back to those still vivid nights in Malta, now I’m here about to finish my degree in journalism four years on and just as ferocious as ever.
Balls to the wall, aiming straight and dominating all, my mind is set and I will succeed. And remember, as Hunter said “The crazy never die!”