I just finished reading Hunter S. Thompson’s “The Rum Diary”, and I can’t help but feel old and doomed.
In the book, he is almost 32, and talking about how old and weathered he feels… and I am already 32, on my way to 33. I can’t help sometimes feeling like it’s over, the whole kit ‘n kabootle has passed me by, and it’s only now, in the final moments, that I realize it was even moving past me. Too slow to realize, so damn clever that the simplest of facts bypassed me entirely.
The book, for some reason I cannot quite place my finger on, reminds me of The Great Gatsby. Maybe it’s the crazed relationships, with the backdrop of crazed parties. Perhaps it’s the solid sense of place and time, even though the two are about very different places and times, they are both solidly placed. They are both narrated by a character who stays on the edge of things, involved yet convincing himself that he is objective and outside it all.
In both cases, I could easily relate to the main character/narrator – despite differences, they seem to have some fundamental core that I can latch on to, that I can see in myself. So in a way, by relating to Paul Kemp, I’m allowing him to speak for me, and in this case, the sentiment he’s expressing is that of feeling very old, worn ragged by the scrapes of everyday existance.
Heh, I could use a drink.