“I’m telling you,” Peter told John, “it’s not that the good die young. It’s that the truly miserable outlive them.”
Peter continued, “Look at Jack Kerouac. There was a guy who was generous and giving, just opened himself and let the words spill out on the page. He had a priest once describe him as ‘saintly.’ He was so sensitive he couldn’t serve in the Navy Reserves. That guy – dies at 47.”
“He was an alcoholic who died from liver hemorrhaging,” John countered.
“So? Hunter S. Thompson has drunk like a fish since he was in his late teens. But he’s alive. You know why? He thrives on hate. To the extent he can hang with the Hell’s Angels, scares friends, coworkers, and enemies alike, shoots at his neighbors, is so frightened of what he might say he can’t write unless he’s bombed out of his mind. That guy? Still sitting in Aspen Colorado.”
John looked at his friend. “Thompson killed himself yesterday.”