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We've let Hunter down

By Owen Paine on Friday April 13, 2007 01:29 PM

Hunter came at me last night again. It's been a while. I guess the last time was when he told me St Hill was "a stomped hen."

He appeared out of a pile of dry cleaning I'd thrown at the foot of my bed, and he was raging in that galooty BB-eyed way he has of late:

"Paine you filthy scut..." (Dublin stage accents filter thru his riffs these days -- I suspect just for show).

I wait till he stops kicking away my dirty business clothes from around him and resteadies himself -- his part of heaven has a 24/7 open bar policy, it seems.

"Paine --" there's a bold but flaccid hand extended into my face here "-- Paine, you must do something about this!"

"About what, HT?"

He looks hurt. "Why... why... isn't it obvious? What else but your, your... lack of readership!"

Indeed, very good point he has there. My posts are as stillborn these days as Mussolini's air corps.

"Here I have chosen you... you... a fat doughy obscure lazy parlor cushion -- I've chosen you, Paine, me, Hunter of Cold Stream Junction, the Jehovah of Gonzo, to be my medium... my carry-on guy... in a time when my memes are like the serum Seppla brought to Nome. And no one -- no one at all -- reads you! Paine, where are your oft fabled fastballs?"

He's looking very grievous, and there's all of a sudden this near killed bottle of what look like vintage port in his left mitt. He raises it before his eye like Yorick's skull. Perhaps I'm to think he's Hamlet talking to me -- his remember me, Horatio! Who the fuck knows. But anyway he falls silent as if entranced by the glint of the glass dagger -- or no, that's another play -- he's waving in front of him. Is he waiting on me? Must I answer him somehow?

I do, like I'm pissed off: "Hey, what can I tell ya, pal? I'm throwin' as hard as I ever did. The ball's just taking too much time getting to the plate. Besides... you picked me, asshole. I didn't pick you so iffeee you no likeeee the results... then get somebody else, for fuck's sake."

I might as well have shoved a spear in his side. "No no, pal, no, you get me wrong. I'm backin' you, backin' ya all the way to funkytown, baby. Sheeiiit ... I chose you because... because...."

All of a sudden under the impossibly intense strain of trying to justify his choice of moi, he starts stumbling on all fronts -- his body stumbles, his mind stumbles, my guess, even his soul is quaking, and don't he get himself completely twisting and turning sideways, and throwing his arms in the air like my carpet is quicksand. Finally he's down on the floor in a heap.

It's sad, of course, but I'm relieved. He's become just a silly ass after all -- and with the resources of the celestial hosts yet. Why should I care if I've let him down so horribly?

"Listen here, my good man. Surely you can hardly expect that spooking me like this is helping me can you, Hunter? How's this boozer's boogaloo getting me a larger viewership? Hows clowning about in my bedroom at 2:30 in the morning, waving a dead flagon of pirate pitch, helping? Just exactly what about this type of shameless self-indulgent sentimental exhibitionism of yours is going to get the hit meter at Father Smiff's to tick faster?"

He rises slowly and awkwardly back to his full height, and I must say he does it somehow with the silent undauntable dignity of a fallen giraffe. Then he glares at the port in his hand. "That prick claimed I'd like this particular bottle of crap," he belches in disgust. "I don't. It's loud, it's too thick, and it's overly pushy, and I shan't have it ever ever again!" With that he raises his right arm straight up as if pledging to Bacchus or whoever is in charge of that stuff, and with his other hand throws the dirty bottle at my window, where it flashes red and is gone without a single fracture of anything real. And then, just as quickly, he himself is dissolving back down into my blue pinstriped suit he'd just a moment before been wiggling his huge hillbilly bare feet upon, and then he's as gone as any gone geist can be gone -- leaving me alone with my own large and self-pitying thoughts of futility.

Comments (4)

Whoooaaa, shit. Man, that must've been really something.

I sure wish to hell I could get the friggin' ghost of Bill Mauldin to come and visit me like that.

(of course, I don't recall offhand how hard a partier Bill Mauldin was, way back in Europe with the 45th Infantry)

I know how you feel OP. I'm regularly haunted by the ghost of Arch Hall Jr. (Which is quite a feat since he isn't dead.) (Yet.)

Ghosts must be allergic to cats. I'm never visited by anybody. You guys are cool.


I just get Nixon, night after night.

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