by Tom H. Brooks 3
THIS IS NOT AN EXIT
Dreams and Nightmares…….
“Welcome to my nightmare,
I think you`re gonna like it.”
TALES OF LIFE AND DEATH IN A PLASTIC CITY…
Now what the hell could this be about?…..
“Pearls before swine….”
“I want to see real living, and in the hours of my own days, that glory I create as an illusion.
I want it real. I want to know that there is someone, somewhere, who wants it too. Or what
else is the use of seeing it, and working, and burning oneself for an impossible vision? A
spirit too, needs fuel. It can run dry….”
” `…why don`t you tell me what you think of me?`
`but I don`t think of you…` “
“It is not the works, but the belief which is here decisive and determines the order of rank–
to employ once more an old religious formula with a new and deeper meaning–it is some
fundamental certainty which a noble soul has about itself, something which is not to be sought,
is not to be found, and perhaps, also, is not to be lost. THE NOBLE SOUL HAS REVERENCE
“Beyond Good and Evil”
“Somewhere in a southern city Fucktowski was drunk at his typewriter, writing a story. It wasn`t
a great story but a necessary one. He wrote a story a month for a sex magazine that religiously
printed everything he wrote, no matter how bad, probably due to his international reputation.
Fucktowski liked his words to appear among the split-beaver shots. He imagined some of the
girls who were the photo models fingering through the mag and coming upon one of his stories.
What the fuck is this? they would say. Girls, he would answer if he were able, this is the simple
uncluttered line and the realistic dialogue. This is the way it should be done. And you may only
kiss my ugly yellow-toothed face in your dreams. I am already taken.
Fucktowski pulled the last page from the typer, clipped it to the others and then looked for a
manila envelope. That was the hardest part about writing: getting it in the envelope, addressing
it, putting on the postage and sending it out. And it usually took a couple of glasses of wine to
complete one of the most beautiful ways to spend a night that was ever invented. He poured
the first one.”
I was just watching the news and I must say, her Majesty, the Queen of Jordan, is a lovely sex goddess…..
“I can forgive my injuries in the name of wisdom.”
A moment is just that,
Eternity is in a moment,
I know what I`m talking about.
I know nothing.
I contradict myself.
I do no such thing.
What is this?
It is nothing.
This will take a while.
It will only be a moment.
Nothing to talk about here….
I just want a sandwich
but I`m too lazy to get up….
“A careening, chaotic rollercoaster ride through time.
Crackling, electrical-charged, fused from the fires of hell.
William Burroughs on Hunter S. Thompson
“For me there is only the traveling on paths that have heart.
There I travel, and the only worthwhile challenge is to traverse
its full length. And there I travel, looking, looking, breathlessly…”
“Down on the lake rosy reflections of celestial vapor appeared, and I said,
`God; I love you,` and looked up at the sky and really meant it. `I love you,
God. Take care of us all one way or another.` To the children and the
innocent it`s all the same. With a little grin, I began to walk, because I knew
that shack and that mountain would understand, and I turned and started
down the trail back to this world.”
“The Dharma Bums”
“…and if I can`t find a suitable and rewarding job, I`m thinking seriously
of trying to get a position laboring on some ship.”
Hunter S. Thompson
Another classic bus ride. An old half-senile white lady at the front of the bus was
babbling on and on….especially about languages; “This is an English-speaking
country, and if they want to speak Spanish or slang, they should go back to
wherever they came from.” Now, of course, more than half the people in her
vicinity were Mexicans and one man in particular, an intelligent-looking bespectacled
Latino gentleman, began jokingly berating her for her ridiculously closed-minded
attitude and ignorance in both Spanish and English. Other Mexicans nearby
responded and pretty soon, everyone in the first 5 or 6 rows was snickering and
giving furtive looks to each other. It was so damn funny, you had to be there.
The sexy young Latina girl next to me was giggling hysterically and smiling at
me and I felt right at home with my Mexican friends….
Thinking, always thinking about trying to write novels….
3rd person or Ist person? Now, 3rd person involves one in a story with omnipresence
and an all-knowing take on everything but it can sometimes seem impersonal or detached.
Ist person is always captivating…involving. The reader sees what I see, what I report, through my
eyes. The reader can agree or disagree, can draw his/her own conclusions, but either way,
the reader becomes involved, on a personal and intimate level, with the story. This, to me,
is crucial; a vital factor in some of the best literature.
“A great truth blundered out of the sky and embedded itself in my skull. With a great thunderous
clatter, a million jangled pieces of a long-scrambled puzzle fell miraculously into place. The
inner eye has finally acquired the long lost third dimension. In the course of a rambling, nervous
discourse on some absolutely irrelevant subject, I exposed myself to myself as a severe neurotic,
a virtual headless chicken, totally incapable of making value judgements, and running on a
rum-soaked treadmill towards a schizophrenic rainbow in a huge, two-dimensional sky. I don`t
know how or why, but this suddenly dawned on me like a flash of black lightning. It was like
walking nervously into a dark room and finding myself in front of a mirror when the light suddenly
flashed on. In brief, I`ve never channeled my energy long enough to send it in any one direction.
I`m all but completely devoid of a sense of values: psychologically unable to base my actions on
any firm beliefs. I seem to be unable to act consistently or effectively, because I`ve no values
on which to base my decisions. As I look back, I find that I`ve been taught to believe in nothing.
I have no god and I find it impossible to believe in man. On every side of me, I see thousands
engaged in the worship of money, security, prestige, symbols, and even snakes. I`m beginning
to see what Kerouac meant when he said, `I want God to show me his face!` It is not the statement,
but what the statement implies, `I want to believe in something.` “
Hunter S. Thompson
“To be, or not to be:
that is the question.
Whether `tis nobler in the mind
to suffer the slings and arrows
of outrageous fortune
or to take arms against
a sea of troubles…”
“We must make the goal conform to the individual, rather than make the individual conform to
the goal. In every man, heredity and environment have combined to produce a creature of
certain abilities and desires–including a deeply ingrained need to function in such a way that
his life will be MEANINGFUL. A man has to BE something; he has to matter.
As I see it then, the formula runs something like this: a man must choose a path which will
let his ABILITIES function at maximum efficiency toward the gratification of his DESIRES.
In short, he has not dedicated his life to a predefined goal, but he has rather chosen a way
of life he KNOWS he will enjoy.
When you were young, let us say that you wanted to be a fireman. I feel reasonably safe
in saying that you no longer want to be a fireman. Why? Because your perspective has
changed. It`s not the fireman who`s changed but you. Every man is the sum total of his
reactions to experience. As your experiences differ and multiply, you become a different man,
and hence your perspective changes. This goes on and on. Every reaction is a learning process;
every significant experience alters your perspective. So it would seem foolish, would it not,
to adjust our lives to the demands of some goal we see from a different angle everyday? How
could we ever hope to accomplish anything other than galloping neurosis? The answer, then,
must not deal with goals at all, or not with tangible goals, anyway. To put our faith in tangible
goals would seem to be, at best, unwise. So we do not strive to be firemen, we do not strive
to be bankers, nor policemen, nor doctors. WE STRIVE TO BE OURSELVES.”
Hunter S. Thompson at 21-years-old….
I wish I was this wise at 21………I was a complete fucking idiot……(perhaps, I still am….)
I hate to see you go, baby, but I LOVE to watch you leave….
PEA RATTLES LOUDLY IN EMPTY HEAD
Nothing but a good time
“Look what the cat dragged in…..”
“It kills the very good and the very gentle and the very brave indiscriminately. If you are
none of these, you can be sure it will kill you too, but there will be no special hurry.”
It`s funny, but I can`t even conceive of a number when it comes to how many times
I`ve woken up in Koreatown with these sexy little Asian vixens….whatever, I LOVE IT.
Last night, I found myself at a club on Hollywood Blvd. named King King with Helene. There was
truly a surplus of beautiful ladies, especially those of Far Eastern descent, needless to say, right
up my alley. I spent a fair amount of time dancing and grooving with some Indonesian babes, 2 in
particular from Bali and Jakarta. Then Helene and myself went to some after hours club party at
“The Space” on Santa Monica Blvd. FREAKY. It was 15 bucks to get in but, as usual, we just
slid right in for free. This girl has got some party connections. A lot of mushroomed-out hippy freaks,
people on ecstasy, weed everywhere, art, loud deep house music and even a little Hindu shrine
trip-out room. The weirdest standouts were the girl dancing on 8 foot stilts (that can`t be easy!),
and the guy jamming on guitar with an oxygen mask on, and my conversation with that sexy and
lovable Scottish girl. There were also a lot of ladies dressed up like belly dancers and a lot of guys
dressed up like Indian gurus. Fascinating and bizarre to say the least; just another of my many
forays into the depths of the Hollywood nights underworld….the throbbing drums, the electronic
pulses and the sexual tension and undercurrents of lustful abandon, the drug-addled perversions of
a thousand freaks dancing. And the madness went on and on. Finally, Helene and myself made
it home to her bed and engaged in a sexual frenzy of naked lust and then drifted off into a blissful
sleep, holding each other and dreaming that there was more….
MY CUP RUNNETH OVER
On the train, chatting with two adorable little minxes with that sexy, freaky styley Tokyo look….
Most people get bored all the time.
I am so easily amused that it is almost scary.
“If it comes down to you or them, send flowers…”
“To be nobody but yourself, in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you somebody
else, means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight; and never stop fighting…”
“Stay pretty, my dear girl, and have faith. I think you and I are fighting a losing battle here, but then
so is everybody else in this lunatic world, and if you are on my side, it might take the pain out of losing.”
Hunter S. Thompson
It seems that the only way we ever learn any lessons in life, ultimately, is on our own, through our own
foolish mistakes. We (I am) are often too stubborn to listen to the advice of others. So, we blunder forward,
each of us enclosed in our own private darknesses, searching, searching, looking in vain for an answer,
a reason, or even a damn light switch.
TO EACH THEIR OWN PATHS
TO EACH THEIR OWN ANSWERS.
OUR LIVES CAN ONLY BE FILLED
FROM THE LIGHT WITHIN.
THE AMERICAN DREAM HAS BECOME THE AMERICAN REAM
9 to 5 paid slavery
complacent adherence to mediocrity
2 cars in 2 car garage
tract house in suburbia
white picket fence
2.5 kids and dog
living in a shell of ignorance
look without seeing
listen without hearing
speak without heart
life without living
Can somebody explain to me……WHAT IS THE FUCKING POINT?!?
This madness has just begun….
“GONZO is a style of `reporting` based on William Faulkner`s idea that the best
fiction is far more true than any kind of journalism–and the best journalists have
always known this.”
Hunter S. Thompson
“I suspect you of cherishing a dream that you will someday find someone who will
provide the central meaning in your life. I distrust this dream because I believe that
the central meaning must come from yourself. If you can`t find it there, you won`t
find it…in fact, I wonder if it is possible to love at all without having achieved a degree
of personal fulfillment within oneself.“
“You got another thing coming…”
“Write in a voice without restraint.”
The only time I seem to get a job of any sort is when I manage to convince them
that I am, in fact, quite sane. And that, of course, is NOT easy.
JABBERWOCKY AND HURLY BURLY
“The beast is loose and prowling everywhere.”
“Of course there`s LA, but that`s too much for an honest man to face or even question.”
“I am looking forward to a none-too-distant day when I can QUIT. Yes, QUIT. I have
rubbed all my guns with silicone waterproofing and put my dog in the care of decent
people and I am now in the process of making one last rush at the world and its lunacy.
Whatever comes of it won`t matter, good or bad, because somewhere in the distance
I have a vision of mountains and space and quiet and a place to make beer and mumble
to myself and walk around naked and shoot out the front door and not give a damn about
much of anything but the weather. The world is not mad, as I thought, but sane in the
cheapest kind of way. So chalk me up as mad and to hell with it.
I have read the “National Observer” and know this to be true. Smyrna, Delaware is the
axis of the earth and all reason emanates from there. The Bomb is good and we are all
reasonable people due to our training in Rotary Clubs over the course of many years.
God is on our side because we invented Him. And if he wavers, we`ll invent another one.
If you can`t buy them, squash them. That`s the ticket. OK.
Mad and drunk I remain,
for good or ill,
“Life has improved immeasurably since I have been forced to stop taking it seriously.”
“Let me warn you to turn in the most bizarre copy imaginable. I enclose a sample. Never
hesitate to editorialize with a vengeance or abuse anyone you disagree with. Mock generals
indiscriminately and state flatly that all non-Americans are thieves and queers. Drink with
as many people as possible, and when they tell you some heinous secret in confidence, quote
them directly and if possible, get photos of them drunk. And if all else fails, pull a gun and
get rough. This last is guaranteed to produce surefire quotes. One of the best ways to lend
validity to your copy is to point out (in print) that what you are saying is contrary to erroneous
information in The New York Times. You can also slam Time, but it is not as impressive.
Another good gimmick is to say you were hampered in your work by drunken hacks from
other papers and wire service, this will give you a certain status.”
“You scurvy shyster bastard…”
Hunter S. Thompson
“The Proud Highway” The letters of HST
I have just graduated from clown school and will now begin graduate school to major
in Circus Freak Sociology. It has been a rough year, what with the big red shoes, all the
white make-up and that goddamned pie-in-the-face routine. I should have been an attorney
like my dad said, but then again, he shoveled elephant dung for a living. Write soon.
On the edge….
Loopy the Clown
( I had forgotten this, but I think it was my
attempt to emulate the hysterical letter writing
of the great H.S.T.)
“Art to Choke Hearts”
“Pissing in the Gene Pool”
“He lived and died as walking proof that all heads exist alone and at their own risk.”
“All my life my heart has sought a thing I cannot name.”
“Once you have given up the ghost, everything else follows with dead certainty,
even in the midst of chaos.”
“The shark ethic prevails–eat the wounded. In a closed society where everybody`s guilty,
the only crime is getting caught. In a world of thieves, the only final sin is stupidity.
Our trip was a classic affirmation of everything that was right and true and decent in the
national character. It was a gross, physical salute to the fantasticpossibilities of life in
this country–but only for those with true grit. And we were chock full of that.”
“We were riding the crest of a high and beautiful wave.
So now, you can go up on a steep hill in Las Vegas and look west, and with the right
kind of eyes you can almost SEE the high water mark–that place where the wave
finally broke and rolled back.”
Hunter S. Thompson
“Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas: A Savage Journey to the Heart of the American Dream”
“We are the miracles that God made to taste the bitter fruit of Time.”
May I present the query?……
what good does intelligence do if it is not applied to anything worthwhile?
“Where it comes from is often cooler than where it ends up.”
“Though many landscapes are increasingly sullied, that need not spell the decline of
travel writing. It does mean, however, that travel writing must confront the real world,
slums and all, rather than escape into an airbrushed version of a more rustic past.”
“We rushed through heated garbage days
with fear in morbid blood-raw eyes;
mobs in cancerous slums….
At noon, angled faces in
twisted patterns of survival…”
“His face is turned towards the past. Where we perceive a chain of events, he sees one
single catastrophe which keeps piling wreckage upon wreckage and hurls it in front of his
feet. The angel would like to stay, awaken the dead, and make whole what has been smashed.
But a storm is blowing from Paradise; it has gotten caught in his wings with such violence
that the angel can no longer close them. The storm irresistibly propels him into a future to
which his back is turned, while the pile of debris before him grows skyward. This storm
is what we call `progress.` “
“I spoke of the uselessness of art but said nothing truthful of its consolations.”
“The solace of such work as I do with brain and heart lies in this–that only there, in the
silences of the painter or the writer can reality be reordered, reworked and made to show
its significant side.”
“The sea is high again today, with a thrilling flush of wind. In the midst of winter you can feel the
inventions of spring. A sky of hot nude pearl until midday, crickets in sheltered places, and now
the wind. I have escaped to this island with a few books….
I return link by link along the iron chains of memory to the city which we inhabited so briefly
together: the city which used us as its flora–precipitated in us conflicts which were hers and which
we mistook for our own: beloved Alexandria. I have had to come so far away from it in order to
understand it all. What is this city of ours? In a flash, my mind`s eye shows me a thousand
dust-tormented streets, flies and beggars, long sequences of tempera. Light filtered through the
essence of lemons. An air full of sweet-smelling brick dust and the odor of hot pavements
slaked with water. Light, damp clouds, earthbound, yet seldom bringing rain. Upon this, dust red,
dust green, chalk mauve and watered crimson lake. In summer, the sea damp lightly varnished
the air. Everything lay under a coat of gum. And then in the autumn, the dry palpitant air,
harsh with static electricity, inflaming the body through its light clothing. The flesh coming alive,
trying the bars of its prison. The sulking bodies of the young begin to hunt for a fellow nakedness.
She would come a few minutes late, of course, so fresh, so young, the open petal of her mouth
that fell upon mine like an unslaked summer. It was good to stand there, feeling the lithe weight
of this creature as she leaned on my arm smiling with the selfless candor of those who had given
over with secrets. It was good to stand there, awkward and a little shy, breathing quickly because
we knew what we wanted of each other. The messages passing beyond conscience, directly
through the flesh–lips, eyes, water, ices, the colored stall. To stand lightly out there, our little
fingers linked, drinking in the deep camphor-scented afternoon, a part of the city….
And now, this Island.
In the great quietness of these winter evenings there is one clock: the sea. Its dim momentum
in the mind is the fugue upon which this writing is made. Empty cadences of sea water, licking
its own wounds, sulking along the mouths of the delta, boiling along these deserted beaches–
empty, forever empty under the gulls, white scribble on the gray, munched by clouds. We have
all of us taken different paths now; but in this, the first great fragmentation of my maturity, I feel
the confines of my art and living deepened immeasurably by the memory of them. In thought I
achieve them anew; as if only here–this wooden table over the sea under an olive tree, only here
can I enrich them as they deserve. So that the taste of this writing should have taken something
from its living subjects–their breath, skin, voices–weaving themselves into the supple tissues
of human memory. I want them to live again to the point where pain becomes art.”
A masterpiece of visceral imagery…..
“…days became simply the spaces between dreams, spaces between the shifting floors of time,
of acting, of living out the topical…
A tide of meaningless affairs nosing along the dead level of things, entering no climate, leading
us nowhere, demanding of us nothing save the impossible—that we should be.”
I just saw Harrison Ford at the Starbucks at Highland and Wilshire! Indiana fucking Jones, man!
“I feel as if Heaven lay close upon the earth and I lay between them both, breathing through the eye of a needle.”
“Does not everything depend on our interpretation of the silence around us?”
BUT GONE BEFORE
go ahead and put it on my gravestone…
LA “A superficial gloss of striking beauty…glowing, light and pastel hues, which together
conspire to conceal a hideous culture of malice, mistrust and mutiny.”
4/29/02 Ten years after the riots….
Sometimes in a lucid moment of crystal clarity, I get an overwhelming notion that this physical body
is a relatively minor step in this multi-layered existence of ours; almost to the point of being ridiculous
in its stupid little struggles and worldly concerns that mean nothing in the end. It is in these profound
and private silences of mine that I feel most at peace and alone and one with everything. I feel
disembodied from the physical realm, a mind floating in the ether and tethered to a mortal shell,
a sense of wind, movement, whispering, oneness…..I realize how much there is and how little we understand…
I sit on Broadway downtown as I write this. It`s a beautiful day but the vibes are strange and a little
dark today. Bad electricity. The city stinks in the noonday heat, all the disgusting possibilities of filth
are present here–baking in the sun, dizzying, nauseating. I have seen much anger and yelling today, hostile
stares, evil, palpable, intense…The city rushes by me here in all its madness. The faces are grotesque
masks of anger and frustration, mutated in inner tension and pain. Sirens, loud music, passing conversations,
the bus thunders by and I choke miserably in a cloud of black dust, incredibly I hear birds chirping in the
distance. A cigarette butt is hurled from a passing automobile and lands, burning at my feet. There is no
sanctuary here. Only in my mind. Ugliness is everywhere. People are dying in the streets with no hope.
Depression is splattered on every disgusting sidewalk. Dreams are melting in the sun. Nightmares on the
edge. Welcome to the dark underbelly of the city. This is an exercise in contrast. I am going back to
my private nirvana. Next time, I will tell you a story about the exciting dramas that occur behind closed
doors in Beverly Hills.
Hollywood……in this city, it is easy to fall in love every 5 minutes…..
Oh yes, and as for contrast……
I am now sitting in the peace and quiet of Runyon Canyon, surrounded by green, breezy trees and long, cool,
blue shadows of Eucalyptus trees. Wind rustles through lush plants blossoming in an explosion of vivid color.
I sit amongst it all, content and still like a skinny Buddha, focusing inward and out, rhythmically breathing the
song of life. The birds sing, little creatures rustle in the bushes, a strange-sounding bird ( a dove, an owl? whooooo…),
a distant voice and laughter, a dog barks, and then everything stops suddenly….intense silence, and a moment
later, the world resumes its business as if it never missed a beat, but I know otherwise. I am in the shadow
of an ancient tree, layered with secrets and rooted in sorrow, reaching for the light. I embrace them all and in
my mind`s eye, the sun is a diamond pulling me into its warm enveloping light….I go, I go, and in the light, I find……….
just don`t fall on me….”
“Our hearts go out to the dirtbags. While all those fucking twats in denim dress shirts are putting fucking
gel in their hair and buying sport sandals there are still a few hosers out there that only change their outfit when it stinks….”
I wouldn`t have written the crazy things that I`ve written if I was rich……