Perusing my Netflix options the other night, I came across a cult classic, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. I’ve always loved this movie and all of Hunter S. Thompson’s works for that matter. In fact, it was stories like his that piqued my interest in the “glamorous” journalist’s lifestyle in the first place.
As a budding college journalist, I imagined my life at this point would involve exotic assignments, wild nights, and adventure. Now a new mom struggling with the reality of working from home and caring for an infant, I started getting a little bit sad that this life would probably never happen for me. I worried about making it all work, afraid that I would never be able to turn in assignments now that I’m hindered by so many distractions. Was my career over before it began?
The movie began to wind down as thoughts like these swirled around my head, leaving me a little disheartened about the future. Suddenly, the camera panned backwards. The screen showed Johnny Depp, lounging in his flooded hotel room surrounded by the aftermath of drug-induced ravings. Then, as if by some miracle, he got up, sat down in front of his typewriter, and began to write. It didn’t matter that he was ankle-deep in the flooded mess of a ransacked hotel room. He was not distracted by his thigh-high waders and rubber dinosaur tail. He ignored the human excrement and crusted like mustard on the wall. He simply lit his perpetual cigarette and began to compose those enduring words that would be read by millions.
“I can do this,” I thought.
Then a greater realization dawned on me, I AM Hunter S. Thompson in Fear and Loathing. There was no need for psychoactive drugs and seedy Vegas hotels; living with an infant was like a mainstream induction into the drug culture itself. I realized that my life is really not so different after all, and I was, in fact, living in some parallel reality. Let Johnny and Benicio show you what I mean (warning: videos NSFW):
1. My house on most mornings looks pretty similar to Thompson’s hotel room.
2. The experience of interacting at obligatory children’s parties isn’t completely unlike this.
3. It seems like puke and car rides always go hand and hand.
4. And finally, anyone who has attempted to wash a screaming two-month-old has no fear of a raving Benicio Del Toro in a bathtub.
This is the fourth in a series of posts offering a candid first-person depiction of motherhood in all its wonderful/horrible glory. Check out the introduction to the “Harder Than I Thought” series and browse the archives for previous posts.