You need a vacation.
I need a vacation. One which requires a plane and more than a weekend. Give me palm trees, a bathwater-clear ocean, and eighty degrees or better and I'll finish this project in no time.
But until I can take my four days off in April, I'll have to do the next best thing which would be to watch a movie set in Puerto Rico, a paradise I know well. Oh and by the way, I happened to be born there, courtesy of the United States Air Force and the Vietnam War. My parents told me I loved the first year and a half of my life there. In fact, I never caught a cold until I moved back to my family home of Memphis. It could be safe to assume, islands are good for my constitution.
If you haven't read THE RUM DIARY by the late gonzo genius Hunter S. Thompson, you should. Normally it's the type of novel far out of my comfort zone, but I read it last year and loved it. Granted it was fueled with testosterone and about 150 proof, but I actually grew to like the book and it's characters. Incidentally I also watched half of the movie last night and the other half this morning and loved it. To sum it up in a few sentences, it's the story of a novelist turned reporter who runs away to Puerto Rico to drink rum and do a little writing. He accidentally falls in love with a Big Wig's girlfriend there and after becoming indebted to Big Wig (he bailed him out of jail), this causes some serious issues.
Chock-full of stunning scenery, costumes, and visuals set in the early 1960's "Mad Men" era, the film was as fun to watch as the book was to read. Why the heck more people didn't either read the book or see the movie just amazes me. People have criticized this book sometimes because it was Thompson's debut novel, but you know something? If you're a writer, you're always going to have to write book one. Somehow I truly detest the stigma which comes with "book one". I'm in revisions right now because of the damn naysayers out there who love to rip them apart. I'll show you "book one".
Below are some sinfully salacious quotes from the book. I hope you'll enjoy them. As for me, I'm ready to book a ticket now, go hiking in El Yunque rainforest again, then go sprawl out on Palomino Island, lying half-in and half-out of the water on the sugar-sand beach. The first quote is for all the naysayers who I plan to eloquently put in their place.
Paul Kemp: "I want to make a promise to you, the reader. And I don't know if I can fulfill it tomorrow, or even the day after that. But I put the bastards of this world on notice that I do not have their best interests at heart. I will try and speak for my reader. That is my promise. And it will be a voice made of ink and rage."
Lotterman: "How much do you drink?"
Paul Kemp: "The upper end of social."
Paul Kemp: "By the time we got to the street, I could see the first rays of the sun, a cool pink glow in the eastern sky. The fact that I’d spent all night in a cell and a courtroom made that morning one of the most beautiful I’ve ever seen. There was a peace and brightness about it, a chilly Caribbean dawn after a night in a filthy jail. I looked out at the ships and the sea beyond them, and I felt crazy to be free with a whole day ahead of me.
Then I realized I would sleep most of the day, and my excitement disappeared.
And finally, a quote which gives any thriller writer a tingly thrill up their leg. No, I'm not talking about a "Chris Matthews" type of tingly thrill,
but one which comes with a beautiful description of a possible hit. Ah, the magic that was Hunter S. Thompson.
Paul Kemp: "If I had a Luger, I thought, I could drill the bastards. I leaned on one elbow and pointed a finger at the window, seeing what kind of shot I would get. Perfect. There was just enough light in the street for a good silhouette. I knew it would happen quickly, I’d have no choice: just pull the trigger and go deaf from the terrible noise, a frenzy of screaming and scratching followed by a ghastly thump of a body knocked back and down to the sidewalk."