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Soliloquy 5
Considering Suicide
My entire teenage years I was desirous of killing myself. I kept this to myself and could never figure out a way of self-killing that would not cause a real mess for my parents. I had no guilt where my father was concerned. When I let him know who I really was he laughed in my face—so fuck you, Ted. I could care less how he felt about finding my body.
But Mom, she didn’t laugh at me. She looked at me with horror when she got glimpses of who I was, when she realized that I was fighting 18-year-olds at 13 and that I was never going to fit in to normal life. I could not imagine her not falling into despair over my death, so I resolved to spare her that and hatched a plan to walk to South America in hopes of being murdered, so that she would not feel guilty.
Then I got roped by a woman who told me how great I was and cooked for me and did nice things. Once we got married, and I was trapped, that all ended and true misery was mine. Constant, daily invalidation, insult, rejection and disapproval was mine. The harder I worked the lazier I was.
Eventually, at about age 31, I was standing at a bus stop on Highland and Baltimore, dreading the return home, and the #23 pulled off and started rolling down the hill and I, waiting for the #22, decided to step in front of it and just get it over with.
A small hand grabbed the sleeve of by shirt and I stepped back up out of the path of the bus, with the ebon kang behind the wheel glaring at me in anger over having almost caused his break to be delayed. The lady, a couple years older than me, said, “What are you doing?”
I just shrugged my shoulders and she looked back at the bar and said, “Let’s have a drink.”
I got home a few days later to drop off the paycheck and head back out to this little wench’s apartment. This girl made me feel good, told me I was a hard worker when she found out about my jobs, told me I was almost as nice as cocaine, and how sweet it was not to be beaten by the man she slept with.
I was feeling like a man again, lying in bed next to this chick who had stopped me from stepping in front of that bus, and the phone rang, an old rotary phone. She mostly listened, said, “Okay,” hung up, and said, “Shit! You have to go.”
As she stood and started getting dressed and throwing my clothes at me I said, “Why?”
“My husband is getting released. Thought that fucker had six more weeks to go. Really, Mike’s getting released in an hour—him and his fucking friend will be here for dinner. Sorry.”
In retrospect, I’m glad Mike got released.
Now, almost 30 years later, every body part and every mental ability lessening in the winter of life, it seems like yesterday that I wanted to just get it over with. From this vantage, I would have just been doing the world that hates me a favor by feeding it while I was still tender and juicy. Now, I’m content that what they’ll get is this old carcass dry and tough—useless roadkill wasted under the wheels of the cattle car of souls.
In retrospect, all of the bad times have become good times and I’m glad for Sally snagging my shirt as I stepped down off that curb in the depths of despair. She taught me to enjoy stopping to crush some roses along the way.
I don’t believe I ever wrote about this.
If this helps a soul defy the machine for another year, then maybe that kind little slut Sally was right to reach out when she did.
Not long ago, I was on a train when a man sat his car on the tracks and waited for us to smell his death. I was simply irritated with him for halting my progress, like the bus driver who was miffed that I almost ruined his shift. I don’t know how bad the man had it. But I thought then, about that day at Highland and Baltimore, and how old I am now, feeling like that was yesterday and thought, “Why bother? Death is coming at me as fast as this train. Why hurry the hurry?”
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HankJan 27, 2021

There are a few guys out here who are much better off for your still being around, James. It may not be a monumental comfort, but it's true.

As Warren Zevon once said - "Enjoy every sandwich."
Glasgow NedJan 22, 2021

Glad you didn’t do it. Enjoy life, you’re a long time dead.
MannyJan 21, 2021

Hannibal’s way
Viking Age BarbarianJan 21, 2021

Reminds me of the time I saw a guy dive under a train to end it. Right in front of me.
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