You know what? I don't care that he's dead. That's what I wrote in a letter to his sister-in-law after finishing the above, and then I went out and mailed it to her, but walking down Sixth Avenue something in the sunlight struck me, a glint in the leaves made me dizzy, the sounds and the feel of breath and being lifted me above myself right into the middle of the street, and I don't know if Peter was looking down on me then but the sky was crying warm blood, and it may have been only that pounding in my veins at the ecstasy of being alive. See, because when all is said and done I don't care that he is dead, though I feel a certain complicity, because other than that there would only be anger left, anger at life and anger at our blood that spills out of our weakness into troughs of uncaring. If I let myself get started I will only begin to rant and threaten those who glamorize death, but there is a death in the balance and you better look long and hard at it you stupid fuckheads, you who treat life as a camp joke, you who have lost your sense of wonder about the state of being alive itself, I AM OUT FOR YOU, I know who you are and I'll shoot you down with the weapons at my command and I don't mean guns.
And ultimately this lance of blame must turn back upon myself, whom I have nothing to say in defense of, any more than I can honestly say I will never take drugs again because of Peter Laughner, which would only be a terrible insult to his memory. Realizing life is precious the natural tendency is to trample on it, like laughing at a funeral. But there are voluntary reactions. I volunteer not to feel anything about him from this day out, but I will not forget that this kid killed himself for something torn T-shirts represented in the battle fires of his ripped emotions, and that does not make your T-shirts profound, on the contrary, it makes you a bunch of asshole if you espouse what he latched onto in supports of his long death agony, and if I have run out of feeling for the dead I can also truly say that from here on out I am only interested in true feeling, and the pursuit of some ultimate escape from that was what killed Peter, which is all I truly know of his life, except that the hardest thing in this living world is to confront your own pain and go through it, but somehow life is not a paltry thing after all next to this child's inheritance of eternal black. So don't anybody try to wave good-bye.
—Lester Bangs, "Peter Laughner," New York Rocker, September-October 1977, reprinted in Psychotic Reactions and Carburetor Dung, edited by Greil Marcus