Happy New Year!
Such things occur, as they are wont to do. No?
And the wind does change and a northerly blows past your window!
Succour for the masses gathered in their classes. Huh?
Not tonight my friend!
Tonight is Your Life!
BANG! You are dropped on your head and given a bed and swaddling clothes. These are yours to shit and puke on! You are a baby my friend and your drive everybody around the bend, right around the bend!
BANG! You have a toddling pen and toys. You make a VERY LOUD NOISE! Congratulations You are a toddler! The terrible twos make way for the Really threes and the Fairly fours and now Five is knocking at your door and girls are paying attention to you. What to do. THROW A TANTRUM!
BANG! You are ten and life is academic. The apes descended from the trees and colonised the earth, reproduced and became men with briefcases and laptops and mobile phone. One day soon You pray for good results and at grammar school a PLAAACE!
BANG! An automobile accident and you lose your sister and a limb. life will never be the same again. Twelve is a difficult age enough without this LIMB THING!
BANG! You’re sixteen and its time to leave home. To boarding school, you will go along with your books and strange PECCADILLOS for frogs and other limb reproducing things. Along with your books goes an APPRECIATION for GOD and the OTHER which you discovered quite by accident while looking for a spanner to fix your WHEELCHAIR.
BANG! You’re seventeen and have long hair and you and a million others share the same taste in music. And in Girls, you meet your soulmate. You find a dinner date. You stamp your foot and she gives you that LOOK. You propose and get ENGAGED. Cummerbands are all the rage at WHITE WEDDINGS for you and your bride.
BANG! You’re eighteen and you lose a baby to a miscarriage of justice. The FIRST of MANY. You get a beard to go with your ponytail. Your missus starts wearing black. Your nickname is JACK of all trades. You get a job parking trolleys.
BANG! You are 21! You get a mortgage to go with your suicidal wife who blames herself. You get a promotion to SECURITY and spend your days deciding which SHOPLIFTERS to let go or PROSECUTE to the full extent of the LAW.
BANG! You have a kid aged 31 who plays the wilds in you like a devil and brings your wife down to earth and HEAVEN. At last, you can play at happy families at DO IT YOUR OWN WAY!
BANG! Your forty and divorced! You live in a bedsit in a shitty part of town. Your kind are not WANTED. Disabled and divorced… Your kid doesn’t want to know you…
You buy the rope and measure the drop. Two foot should be enough.
There are some things that are harder to write about than others. Emotions are complicated and transparent and reflect light drawing you off down alleyways that although they may be full of words do not result in the subject what you had intended to write about. Suicide is one of those things that conjures up all sorts of stuff and while it may be true that it is the number one killer of men under a certain age and that facts like this can make interesting or at least, readable copy I feel it does not do justice to a problem of society that is literally killing people off.
I tried to tackle this subject in my head prior to beginning writing but found a feeling akin to being hit by a two by four instead of the empathetic considerations I usually reserve for the subject. Why is there this block?
Am I alone or is it just me?
Why does suicide elicit the response that all roads lead elsewhere?
Unless you are famous a suicide is not treated as a news event. Why?
Is it because suicide point the finger at society and ask difficult questions about the way in which we live our lives?
Is suicide sanitised by the media and explained too perfunctorily as something to do with poor mental health rather than the result of preventable social causes?
Why does society allow people to get rich from death, cool from depravity yet ignored for giving up the chance of success on the ladder of riches promised to us as children by voluntarily taking their own lives?
Is society twisted enough to kill our most talented artists who at the peak of their powers decided that to end it was the only viable option? Think of Kurt Cobain.
Could the media do more?
Is suicide ever the answer?
*******Warning: Adult Themes*******
Scene: Aboard a Steam riverboat cruiser ‘Miss Dolly’ USA, 1910.
‘Not as I am accustomed to public speakaling I will do my uppity to continue in the style I have become accustomed’ said the compare, putting on what he hoped was his cheeriest sounding voice.
‘It is with a great sense of pride that I announce the speakaling for today. Rowbottom muck spreader filthy tart… who has crawled up from the depths of the muddy brown stagnant pool he inhabits for a holiday aboard the steamer ‘Miss Dolly’. Unbeknownst until now.’
Honk, Honk went the onboard tannoy. The guest takes center stage.
‘Ahem, Good evening ladies and jelly babies. Tonight I expose a coverup. ‘
‘Ahem, Ladies and Jellybeans. Tonight I announce a big jelly cup.’
‘Ahem Ladies and jelly wotsits. Tonight I assume the role of Whistleblower!’
‘For tonight, I will expose…’
Tutting and heavy breathing…
‘Tonight ladies and gentleman For your tantalization. A wonder. Nay An extreme event. Nay A miracle! Speakaling David Didion!’ said the compare.
Applause and whooping.
‘Ladies and Jellybeans. David Didion!’ David Didion claps himself
‘Good evening, good evening all. Now take a look at my hands. See they are holding a pack of cards. now I will perform for you a trick..’
‘If I can have a volunteer please’
Volunteer shoved forwards.
‘Hello. What is your name?’ ‘Lisa. Welcome, Lisa. I want you to pick out a card from the pack, any card will do. OK?’
‘Now don’t tell which card it keeps it to yourself OK’
Lisa nods and takes a card from the pack.
‘What is the card, Lisa.
‘Seven of Spades’ says Lisa.
‘Fail.Fail.Fail.Fail.Fail.Fail. Womanhood has failed to keep a secret! Fail’
Laughing and cheers from the audience.
Lisa walks away.
‘Go away and walk you unredeemed whore’ says David Didion.
The audience cheers.
Compare looks upset and interrupts the speaker cutting off his mike.
‘Ladies and gentlemen we interrupt this broadcast to bring you a live broadcast..’
Sound over the tannoy system aboard the boat.
‘Well, I really love her…actually’
The compare smiles a beaming smile.
Then a different voice comes over the tannoy.
‘What did she say?’
‘She said she’d think about it,’
‘I know I can’t bear to think of her all …undecided,’
‘And at KWZT we have a news report…A Man overcomes his emotions and accepts leap year proposal!’
‘Oh she’ll never agree,’
‘Be patient. Wait. Until Friday. Then you can ask her again’
The crowd is silent. The Compare adjusts the mike sending feedback through the speakers.
‘Sorry ladies and gentlemen we seem to have a slight technical problem.’ More feedback
‘One of the speakers explodes showering white dust over the audience. The audience laughs.
‘Sorry ladies and gentlemen’ says the compare wearily
‘Tonight for you delectation…all the way from Russia…Wanderlust’ says the compare with a groan.
‘Good evening ladies and Gentlemen. I am Wanderlust (bows to audience)’
‘I come from Russia from the steppes of cold Siberia. From the plateaus of Vladivostok to St Petersberg there is not a whorehouse, hen party or town and village church I have not desecrated, No?’,’Where is my wenches, Yes?’
Cheers from the audience.
‘Bring out the wenches’ shouts Wanderlust
A few cheers from the audience.
‘Bring out the wenches!’ he shouts again. The crowd cheer louder.
The compare takes the stage again shoving off Wanderlust.
‘And now for Wholesome George…’ he says with a desperate smile.’Wholesome George!’
Wholesome George takes the spotlight. He is wearing a beige suit and is wearing a Panama and navy deck shoes ‘ The compare looks pleased with him.
‘Good evening ladies and guests and gentlemen. Tonight I will tell you all of how I fucked women on five different continents whilst writing my book. Fuck story From Gibraltar to the Bahamas on five different continents’.
Applause and whooping from the audience…
Compare shoves wanderlust to the ground then takes a revolver and levels it at his forehead.
‘Enough’ Interrupts the compare,’Enough’
The boat goes silent.
‘Haven’t you had enough of sex, misogyny, and more fucking sex? Isn’t it about time we had something nice to write home about? Wouldn’t you like to tell your kids a true story of how you enjoyed your riverboat cruise entertainment without the tawdry smut and sex without lying?’
Silence greets him like a newfound friend. All eager to please.
‘Shut Up. Bring back wholesome George’ shouted a member of the audience.
Soon the whole audience is chanting in unison.
‘Wholesome George.Wholesome George.Wholesome George’
‘That’s enough,’ shouts Wholesome George getting to his feet.’ Let the man thing speak’
Laughs from the audience.
‘ I do this for the good of humanity’ Shouts the compare and pulls the trigger.
There is a spray of blood and a loud bang and the compare falls off the stage onto the deck of the boat the gun tumbling from his fingers.
A loud sigh from the audience. Someone shouts ‘Sick bastard’
Then the crowd begins muttering again.
‘Oh God’ says Wholesome George falling to his knees. ‘Oh God’
In this fictional short story, we saw how someone was pushed to suicide. What pushed him this far? Was it the debased nature of the acts he introduced? Or were it financial troubles? Was his love for himself outweighed by his love for humanity so much that he made the ultimate sacrifice to prove his love for humanity, above all else? Unfortunately, He can never tell.
Suicide support. Can suicide be prevented? Perhaps if Samaritans had been around he wouldn’t have pulled the trigger. Their numbers are below. There is also a website www.samaritans.org
Telephone Samaritans (UK) 116 123
Samaritans (US) 1 (800) 273-TALK
I take to the keyboard again, this time to write about something I failed at – suicide. It breaks just about all the social norms to bring up suicide down the pub or in polite conversation probably and even if I wanted to go there I don’t know what would come out if I did begin to flow about the circumstances surrounding my premature planned departure from this life.
Guess what, Guys!
But If I had to I’d probably bluff my way through and use imagery.
The pit of hell-fire that was my life. Flames licking at the bottom of my bed upon sleeping that would be there, upon waking they would be there. And drastic changes in my circumstances, bankruptcy, zero progress in my studies and planned career change and a tree falling in the forest making no sound like the distinct lack of support I had made me desperate for any sort of success.
So I joined in the pot smoking club where success was measured in a skillful blend and rolling technique and the ability to remain still whilst hallucinating and not to scream (or not to care) . I did not care enough to refrain from partaking daily.
Then there were the media of ultra-violent DVD’s designed to bring out the savage in you. Then there was the sexual politics and homophobia. Then there was depression. Then there was violence and poverty and far right politics going on right under my nose permeating every thought and my daily conscience for about twelve months. Not my view at all.
I forgot to mention declining or nonexistent positive relationships outside of the circle of festerment that was my life. Bitter? More like 99 percent proof.
So, I decided that to end it was the best choice. I tried to overdose on pills, but I failed. And I came back to the same old shit. So I ran away. To Paris which in hindsight was the best thing, I could have done in the circumstances. Then followed a psychotic breakdown and two months stay in Hospital in Paris after which I returned home to Blighty much refreshed and relieved to be back with my family and out of the situation I was in.
I feel about it like I failed and had no options in life. That sort of thing should not happen in the 21st century. Also, I lack the inclination to paint myself as a dark brooding in the netherworld sort of guy which is a good thing because that is not what aI am – at all.
But I thought I would write about it because perhaps it will do me some good to write about it and possibly someone some good to read it. I am a firm believer in learning and if this helps you learn anything then it was not a waste of time me writing this.
BTW I’m not bitter.