Sunday, November 23, 2008

Wondering About Suicide

Reading recently about a young man who committed suicide online and who was variously encouraged and discouraged to complete his mission by gawkers, I took a few minutes to look up suicide sites or at least sites that mention suicide on the Internet. Some teenagers make "pacts" to commit suicide, just as they agree with one another to do other weird things. What should they do, they're teenagers. I remember some "odd" things I did when I was a teenager, none of them seriously murderous or self-destructive or even self-abnegating. I was just crazy, and full of piss and vinegar. Me and some other guys were going to have windbreakers printed up with a bit of Dylan lyrics imprinted on the backs, but we never did it. Finally I took a Magic Marker to the windbreaker I already owned and wrote on it:

"In ceremonies of the horsemen,
Even the pawn must hold a grudge..."

I was a club of one, I guess. I don't recall how long I wore it, but not more than the season for it that particular year.

The same group was going to be very cool and wear one cowboy spur (instead of one ear-ring, you know?) and two of us did finally manage that one. We probably never found more than the one old pair of free spurs (I think it was from some sort of life-debris from the other guy's wastrel uncle).

All the rest of our misbehaviors were related to things like driving our cars too fast, or wearing our hair longer than we should have or putting some pills in our coffee that made you fall asleep (what was the logic in that one?) or maybe letting some guy drive you around your home town when you knew he was probably too fucked up to identify the planet he was on. And what about that strange guy in Houston one night who pulled a gun on everyone and you had to plead with him for five or ten minutes to calm down, just calm down--there "wasn't nothing happening!" The incident was soon over, though it stuck in my memory like some bad movie I wish I'd never seen. I wonder if he ever blew his brains out later? We were never really certain who it was that he wanted to shoot. There would have been a certain logic, and even poetic justice, in his suicide. Whether he did or didn't, it's taken me forty years after that night to even wonder about it.


  1. We saw Geoge Carlin perform in OKC a couple of years ago - after reading your post I remembered part of his act, when he talked about suicide. I found a Youtube of him on the subject, wonder if you've seen it? Link -

  2. Now that deserves a comment...good job. I appreciate true details of ones life, whether they seem worthy to the writer or not.

    Contemplated sideways once myself...wrote about too, but I didn't want to share it with anyone. It seemed to me that feeling sorry for myself was all that was required, 'course we didn't have Internet then, but I could have held the ol' "chicken choker" down and broadcast it over the CB I suppose!

  3. I can dig it. (Hey, why'd I say THAT?!)

  4. What'd I say?! Oh, yeah, that...


Abandon hope, all ye who enter here! (At least put on your socks and pants.)