After my fifth drink or so, I kind of abandoned Hunter to take a look around. Present also were Amy Carter and Doug Brinkley, and a few other folks, celebrating the end, I think, of the 20th century. As the night wore on, I flirted with Amy and played pool with Doug. Now and then I snuck back looks at a ramrod-straight Hunter holding on to his whiskey glass, looking both wise and wistful, and still talking, as far as I could tell, to a fascinated Tulane student. I thought it best not to disturb his equilibrium with any sudden moves. I told Amy Carter that I thought her mom Rosalyn was very sexy, and she blushed so hard all her freckles lit up like a Christmas tree. A few days later, Doug Brinkley gave Exquisite Corpse a text by Hunter that we published on the front page; it was a rant-to-the-editor of Time magazine, written in the 1950s, a lovely mix of acid amusement and bracing veracity that was already pure vintage Dr. Gonzo; it was part of the letter collection Doug Brinkley edited and later published.
I remember the delight of all the waves of laughter that seized me when I first read Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, a delight similar to that of first reading Hasak's The Gold Soldier Svejk, another book of vertiginous outfoxing of a hypocritical establishment by a shameless bon-vivant. Hunter S. Thompson had more of a political conscience than Svejk, who just tried to survive, but both of them loved life more than their bosses. Whoever they may have happened to be. There are a million Hunter. S. Thompson stories being told as I scribble this, and they'll doubtlessly swell his lore and the legend. I applaud his life and his courage in ending it. Like those of his kindred spirits I mentioned before, Hunter will go on making life bigger and livelier. He played, inspired, suffered and showed us how writing is done. That's pretty damn good.