That all changed this past Monday. Wandering around Northampton after an offseason high school track practice looking for a copy of the New York Times to bring into a coffee shop so that I might climb upon it's pretensions to gain the proper footing to flirt with an older, liberal local female sipping a pot of organic green tea at 5 in the afternoon I came upon a bookstore with seven copies of '72 stocked among it's verbal weaponry. It was a true omen, seeing as I hadn't been able to causally locate a copy in some years, in spite of noticing title upon title of Gonzo Papers, Las Vegas and Hey Rube but never the Golden Goose. I picked one up and haven't looked back.
"It was just before midnight when I left Cambridge and headed north in U.S. 93 toward Manchester--driving one of those big green rented Auto/stick Cougars that gets rubber for about twenty-nine seconds in Drive, and spits hot black divots all over the road in First or Second ... a terrible screeching and fishtailing through the outskirts of Boston heading north to New Hampshire, back on the Campaign Trail ...running late, as usual: left hand on the wheel and the other on the radio dial, seeking music, and a glass of iced Wild Turkey spilling into my crotch on every turn (43)."
That is where it begins, both for Hunter and myself: a commitment to the '72 Campaign Trail and a deep-rooted love of Austin Nichols, bred on cold nights after closing up Harriman's Pub in West Dover, Vermont and warm nights dreaming of the gulf stream in Cotuit, Massachusetts with Manchester, Nashua, Keene, Berlin and all the rest on the docket.
The Lord knows that I am a small fraction of Hunter S. Thompson, but the Lord also knows a thing or two about inspiration. With that said, it is likely only a matter of time before we see some sort of bootleg publication of Thugs and Cowardice: On the Campaign Trail '08. Then again, given that the New Hampshire primary was in March of 1972, perhaps a more fitting title would be On the Campaign Trail '07-'08. Frontloading, shame be thy name.
In the meantime I have briefly traded digs, tonight choosing The Spoke over the M & D, in part because of prior engagements and in part because this is the kind of place where you can see fat, drunken townies mingling some 10 feet away from a table full of pre-gaming sorority sisters on their way, ultimately, to The Pub. Over yonder sits a woman on a barstool with a Weezer tattoo on her neck. The whole fuckin' pie, by the way, with wings and everything. She is obnoxiously loud, and probably prefers Beverly Hills to Why Bother?. To Hell with that. In the words of Rivers, "I know I should get next to you/You got a look that makes me think you're cool/But it's just sexual attraction/Not something real so I'd rather keep wackin'/Why bother? it's gonna hurt me/It's gonna kill when you desert me/This happened to me twice before/It won't happen to me anymore." Then again, who am I to judge?
Lastly, let me give a shout out to the Indian Hill Cemetery (aka the Sem-ET-ery, copyright James S., 2004). I randomly thought about this place tonight because of the facebook and it's infernally lovable newsfeed. I have seen so many sunsets at that place, it's not even funny. Yet how is it that I hadn't thought about the place in 3 years?? O hallowed Indian Hill. Hail, hail, Mattabeseck.
Meanwhile, it's Ballard Bitter all the way. Ya Sure? Ya Betcha!