Doc’s dead and I have no words

He ate his gun sometime in the dark Sunday hours

He ate his gun sometime in the dark Sunday hours. He had a lot of guns, and on that cold night in Colorado one of them looked more appealing than Monday morning.

Doc’s dead, and I have no words.

He used them all up. Between D.C. and Vegas, Colorado and California, from the driver’s seat of a cherry-red Detroit whale he tossed them out with the cigarette butts and chewed up blotter tabs and the detritus of a long, wild ride. And maybe if I walked those roads, followed his trail — the exhaust fumes and the oil stains and the blood and ink — I could find them. The words, I mean.

And maybe if I followed them long enough I could find that dark heart he talked about — that black, rotten core of America. He saw it. He wrote about it. And it saw him. And if his soul was as raw as his writing, can I really be surprised that it infected him.

I want to write more, but I can’t.

I’ll just say this: He was a species of one. A predator armed with a typewriter and a vocabulary that could shred the armor of men and monsters like tinfoil. And we will not see his like again in our lifetime.

And the bastard took all the words with him.

I want to say it fills me with fear and with loathing, but I can’t. I’m just sad. Doc’s dead, and I have no words.

Article © 2005 by Steve Spotswood