Suicide: I Sort of Understand- But- The Dirt Nap Awaits Us All

burgess-meredith

“And I usually drink my dinner!”

I really enjoyed Burgess Meredith’s performances in the “Grumpy Old Men” movies.  I especially enjoyed the death reference from the movie “Grumpier Old Men”:

Grandpa:   What the… what the hell is this?
John:   That’s lite beer.
Grandpa:   Gee, I weigh ninety goddamn pounds, and you bring me this sloppin’ foam?
John:   Ariel’s got me on a diet because the doc said my cholesterol’s a little too high.
Grandpa:   Well let me tell you something now, Johnny. Last Thursday, I turned 95 years old. And I never exercised a day in my life. Every morning, I wake up, and I smoke a cigarette. And then I eat five strips of bacon. And for lunch, I eat a bacon sandwich. And for a midday snack?
John:   Bacon.
Grandpa:   Bacon! A whole damn plate! And I usually drink my dinner. Now according to all of them flat-belly experts, I should’ve took a dirt nap like thirty years ago. But each year comes and goes, and I’m still here. Ha! And they keep dyin’. You know? Sometimes I wonder if God forgot about me. Just goes to show you, huh?

Suicide isn’t a joke, even though I sort of understand the mentality behind wanting to just plain blot out.  There have been times in my life when I’ve thought about it, and then the old Catholic teaching that suicide is a mortal sin sticks in my head.  In old school Catholic thought, killing yourself is more or less similar to drawing the “go to jail” card in Monopoly, but with a twist:

monopoly-go-to-HELL2-card

I don’t know why, but this was always my visual for “Mortal Sin.”

The older I get, the more I realize that what seems like the end of the world really isn’t the end of the world.  It might hurt like hell.  It might be physical pain, or even chronic pain that never really goes away.  It might be that nameless void in which there are no words or even tears, but only a sharp and consuming bolt of terror and sadness and longing that knocks your breath away. Even that is not the end of the world.

The older I get, the more tenaciously I cling to life- if only because experience has taught me that there is life (and good life to be had) even beyond the unspeakable, nameless void of grief, beyond the burning pain of rejection, beyond the uncertainty of worldly trappings, and even in the endurance of chronic physical pain.

limbour-hell

Hell?  Or is it just Detroit?

I know it’s hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel, especially when you’re a fifteen year old kid and all you’ve ever known is deprivation and loss and a sad sense of being unworthy of sucking up valuable oxygen.  I’ve been there.

I don’t know exactly what kind of despair was behind the recent teen suicides here in central Ohio.  I know I wouldn’t want to be a high school kid today, but things sucked back in my world too.  We faced an uncertain future.  There were people like me with thick glasses and bad clothes and geeky habits who were just about as popular as stepping in dog shit on a hot day, but we survived.  Some of us went on to thrive, although in my case I wouldn’t claim any kind of stellar, charmed life- but it’s life.  I’ll take what I can get and give what I can give and at the end of the day, that’s all.

control

I don’t have the answers.  I’m not God, which is a good thing, because if I controlled the world it would be pretty much unrecognizable.  There would be a lot of buff dudes in Spandex, and no such thing as rap music.  That much I could guarantee, but then again I am not the one in control.

There is a certain amount of peace in accepting that there are some questions that will never be answered and some concepts that I was never designed to understand.  I don’t have much comfort or solace for those who survive after a loved one commits suicide except to say that there is life beyond the breathless void, and that some day there will be good life beyond that void.  I will also say that God is big enough to take whatever anger and frustration and pain that you are willing to surrender to Him.

mortality-rates

Our time is short.  That doesn’t necessarily disturb me too much.  I’ve been close to death, and I’m not afraid to die.  I don’t like the prospect of suffering and pain and I understand that there are times when death would be a relief and a comfort.  As far as I can tell, as of right now, I’m not there yet.

Ask not for whom the bell tolls…

 

Picking On the Emotionally Impaired, and I Wanna Be Sedated

no-stupid-people11

But how do you keep them out?  They’re like zombies- and they’re multiplying.

Every once in awhile I like the Ramones, even though their songs are to music as junk food is to real food- trite, and full of empty calories, but oddly satisfying while they are being consumed.  I don’t think I could sit through hours and hours of “Blitzkrieg Bop” and “I Wanna Be Sedated,” but I like to just zone out and not have to think too much every now and then.  The Ramones are good for that.

My penchant for rock, metal and the occasional grunge or punk fix would make my voice teachers cringe, but the line between classical music and orchestral metal is a very fine one.  Even though I’ve not played bass or fronted a metal band in 20 years, I still find the musician in me analyzing what I’m listening to.  I still have an appreciation for what is technically good and what is more or less musical junk food, for whatever that’s worth.  I hate to say it, but that’s probably why most of my MP3 collection dates back to 1985 and earlier.

your music sucks

There is some good new music out there today, but it’s not mainstream.  You have to know where to look. The unholy crud that is currently polluting the airwaves and the TV screens generally does suck.  It sucks like sucking has never sucked before.  We have fantastic, amazing, digital technology but we’re recording and distributing total crap on it.  We traded Steve Perry for Katy Perry (really sucky trade there) and I don’t understand why.  I mean in 1981 we had Steve Perry as the greatest singer ever and Ronald Reagan as president.  Today we have Katy Perry and Obama.  Go figure.  The evidence for devolution is right before our eyes (and ears.) Blecch.

I’m just thankful that through the gift of technology I can bring the past up to date in some ways.  I can get good music on MP3s and save good songs to my SD card so I can spare myself from the pollution of the airwaves.

passenger car

When Jerry and I went on the train ride last week it was cold.  The train was delayed because they had oversold and had to add cars to the train.  A fat old lady took Jerry’s seat while he decided to go out and smoke because we had to wait, even when I told him that it was crowded, therefore, the “move your feet lose your seat” rule would come into play, so we had to find different seats to sit together.  Even so, it was a good time and very interesting.  The train car we rode in until the first stop was built in 1927, the second car we rode on for the rest of the trip was built in the mid 1950s and had two levels.  We sat up top in the second car for a better view.

AnimeGirl

On the first car we sat behind a Japanese family.  Mom and Dad were facing Jerry and I, while their teenage son and preteen daughter were sitting across from their parents. I could see over the boy’s shoulder that he was more interested in his i-phone and his animé cartoons that would be porn if they weren’t cartoons.  My question is, since animé is just cartoons, is it really porn or is it just a porn substitute?  His mother probably still would have been mortified if she had seen what I was getting an eyeful of, but either she didn’t know or didn’t care about what Junior was watching.

I remember Steve-o’s brief infatuation with animé “sort-of-porn” at the same age.  I knew full well what he was gawking at online, but I figured if I made a big scene over it like my mother did over anything even remotely risqué that it would become an obsession for him.  She was more wigged out about finding rubbers in his personal effects than about finding cigarettes, which struck me odd.   Sex can potentially kill you, but wearing a rubber can help prevent STDs, so he’s mitigating that risk.  Cigarettes are in no way safe.  I was more upset about the smokes.  But Mom’s Catholic, and as far as I know for Catholics, smoking is not considered a sin- you can be a priest and smoke- but sex (unless one is married and having sex for procreational reasons only) is a mortal sin.  Doesn’t that suck?

questionable morals

I’m no paragon of moral virtue, so I have absolutely no room to talk.