Archive for June 10th, 2008

Death is a Cliché

Tuesday, June 10th, 2008

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My friend killed himself the other day.  Put a loaded pistol in his mouth and pulled the trigger.  Very decisive – no ‘cry for help’ there.  I can’t say he did it for attention – but I can’t say he didn’t do it for attention either.  He shot himself in his car – in a public parking lot – in the daytime,  I doubt if the “blame bullet” was aimed at any one person – or a lot of us –  or even at  himself.

When I heard the news, I had the same cliched, dumb reactions everyone always does.  “Why?  What if…? Could we have…?”  Dumb.  All dumb fantasy and make believe.  So I said to myself, ’fantasy and make believe’ is a world in which I am a citizen of good standing. So I went to that place to settle this thing in my mind.

I drifted to a dark bar where my friend was sitting, drink in hand, smiling at me.  My drink was already on the bar.  I sat down and picked it up.

“You’re an asshole, you know.” I said.

“Of course I’m an asshole!  You  knew that Franco – so did everyone.”  We both laughed and sipped our drinks.

“A lot of people are hurting tonight, Friend.  They think they could have…”

“Oh, shut up, Franco – this wasn’t about anyone but me!  You know that.  All my friends loved me.  They did everything they could for me!  But it was time to go.  It was just time  to go…”  Long pause.  “…while I still had some dignity left.”

“Yeh…I thought pride had a lot to do with it.”

“Of course, Franco.  Failing at jobs and relationships.  Health shit. Drinking and drowning.  Friends taking me in – doing everything they could for me – God bless ‘em – but sometimes you’ve just got to say, enough’s enough.  I was tired of people looking at me with pity – like I was a loser.”

“You are SUCH an asshole!” I said. “Your friends remember the good times – the crazy times!  They remember you as a friend who was always there.  They remember how easily you laughed! They remember how you took care of your Mom – how you opened up the AT on Thanksgiving to give a dinner to all the lonely people….”

My friend was beginning to fade away.  But he had a smile on his face – “Really, Franco?  That’s what they remember?” He started to fade faster….

“YUUUH!  We remember how you loved Heidi so much……”.  He was smiling and faded to darkness.  Too quickly.

I slowly started to walk away.  I was able to smile again – just a little for now.  I felt something in my hand and looked down.

The bastard left me with the damn check.

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