I was wandering down the twisted stairwell with all the elegance of a poor fool high on hallucinogens.
I thought I was losing grip when I saw him. A skinny scoundrel, loitering on the bridge of campus… suckling on a bottle of orange juice. And when he spoke, I was taken aback, “Crazy night, huh?”
Taken aback because I finally understood the connection between next day drunkards scavenging for hydration and an exasperated mind that is thirsty for knowledge.
He looked through me over the lenses of his huge smudge stained sunglasses, “What’s your name?” I looked into the half eye I could see behind the smudge “Now let’s keep that a secret shall we?” Puzzled, he lowered his spectacles, “But I don’t even know your name.” With a crooked smile I replied, “Then you’ll keep it secret even better.”
I looked at his glazed eyes and asked, “Do you smell it? It’s the smell of losers. It’s also the smell of truth.” Puzzled, once again the drunkard scoundrel stared my way. Lowering my own unsmudged aviators “It’s like the most powerful drug in the history of narcotics. And the only mind altering narcotic I care to take is knowledge.”
And I realized, in a nation run by hypocrites and swine we are all screwed until we can get our acts together: even then perhaps we will never win, but maybe we won’t lose completely.
I thought of them all. Beasts of selfishness. The world belonging to the conceded. The great hypocrites. Undoubtedly the most dangerous creatures on earth. And I had been confused as one.
The time was Sunday morning. I was traveling to the library. He on one of his ceremonial post-Saturday night walks of shame. I felt filthy from the conversation. I thought of him, the poor fool, he would one day fade away from his drunkardness.
Then I finally thought about myself “One of God’s own prototypes. A high-powered mutant of some kind never even considered for mass production. Too weird to live, and too rare to die” (Gonzo, 1971).
Oscar Wilde once said, “Nowadays, people know the price of everything, and the value of nothing.”
Who will ride the crazy roller coaster all the way till the end: the drunkard or the educated?
**Click the “Menu” bar and select “Library Diaries: Going Gonzo” to see my Library Diaries page.