Hunter S. Thompson took his own life. He committed suicide at age 67.

Something I read early this morning mentioned Thompson in passing. For some reason, that casual aside about him led me down a rabbit warren. I refreshed my memory of his style of writing and his style of living. Though I know very little about the way he lived his life, day by day. I know his wife, Anita, was 32 years old when Thompson died; less than half his age. I know Thompson’s funeral was an expensive endeavor, said to have been financed by Johnny Depp. I know Thompson’s ashes were shot out of a cannon as part of the funeral service. But those facts do not reveal what his life was like, day by day. Not that it matters.

Reading that Thompson insisted on always having the ability to take his own life if things got too bad (whatever that means) got my attention. I had a discussion along those lines the other day when mi novia and a friend and I engaged in casual conversation.


Time has flown by this morning. I woke at around 5:30. It’s nearing 8:00 now. How did that happen?

Time compression. I am 69, two years older than Thompson when he died. I remember when I was 67. It was no big deal. But 69 is a surprise. I did not expect it. I remain a teenager at heart. Or maybe a 20-something. Possibly a 30-something. But no older. Not a day over 39.

Yet Reality screams at me and grabs me by the shoulder, sending pain sufficient to cause me to gasp; “You’re an old man!” Reality screams it, pushing me in just the right place so I can feel the damn pain in my hip that periodically reminds me that I should avoid climbing on the roof. Or stairs. I reply with a stream of vulgarities, loud enough to send the birds outside my study window fluttering away.


I deleted what I wrote earlier. Roughly 750 words. It was not suitable for all audiences. Epithets accounted for a quarter of it. That may be an exaggeration. But not much. And the subjects I covered were, at best, awkward and troubling. Had I left it untouched and simply published it, my very small number of followers might have worried that I was in danger. I wasn’t, but I am sure some would argue the point. Best to simply delete the post and start over. So I did. I wish I had saved it for myself, though. It captured what was on my mind. Next time, I will save what I wrote so I can look back, later, and marvel at the depth of the hole into which I crawled.


Enough. Time to move on.

About John Swinburn

"Love not what you are but what you may become."― Miguel de Cervantes
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