Saturday, October 10, 2009

Don't kill yourself

"I have discovered that all human evil comes from this, man's being unable to sit still in a room."

Blaise Pascal

There is a lot of deep-breathing involved in a life that includes chronic pain, lost friendship, addiction, hangover, disappointment and the search to get yourself cured by exercise, wrestling with self-doubt and taking advice from those that can see from outside of your wretched subjectivity. You find yourself in another universe at times. You find yourself anxious and longing for the comfort of your former rut. You find yourself yearning for another one and are afraid that you'll seek out the same old path, but with different faces, voices and stranger bartenders. You're tempted to rip away from the whole game. Drop all your crutches and crawl away from home to see what the universe will throw at you without all your shields and masks.
Skip town, quit the job, shave the head, sell the car and walk to somewhere else.

"Basically, I have one feeling...the desire to get out of here. And any other feelings I have come from trying to analyze, you know, why I want to go away...See, I always feel uncomfortable and I just want to...walk out of the room. It's not going to any other place or any other sensation, or anything like that, it's just to get out of "here."

Richard Hell (from a PUNK Magazine interview with Legs McNeil that was quoted from in the oral history by McNeil and Gillian McCain PLEASE KILL ME)

If you're lucky you know that all of it will pass and your vision will clear. If you're tortured, you don't know. You are certain that there are no options.
The flood of emotions is like an acid trip. If you haven't had the experience before, you panic. You start thinking "crazy thoughts" and if you don't have anyone to talk to that can tell you that the moment is indeed not all, you jump to extreme conclusions.
There is no light at the end of the tunnel; or if there is, it is the afterlife calling you to the other side.
I don't have any answers for those that have mental illness or behavior issues. Get help and be good to yourself. There is something: BE GOOD TO YOURSELF. You can be an asshole to others and treat them unfairly and you can also do the same to yourself. I think there should be a new and all-encompassing commandment to take the place of those ten that we've seen handed about and "down" to us: DON'T BE AN ASSHOLE!
I was in St. Patrick's Cathedral in Manhattan once. There was a mass going on one morning, but there were people milling around taking pictures and sight-seeing. Anyway, I was turning around from wherever I was pointed when a baglady grabs my sleeve. I look down at her and she asks me if I read the Bible and I told her that I had, indeed, read the Bible. She says, "That's good. Then you should know the only commandment!"
"Yeah? The golden rule, you mean?"
"No, Dummy! The only commandment is DON'T BE AN ASSHOLE!" and she kind of harumphed and walked away.

"In all probability committing suicide would be the proper course, yet I find myself reluctant to take the final step. Periodically all through my life I've contemplated doing away with myself---either by jumping from a tall building or preferably shooting myself through the temple. At moments such as the present I find my existence overwhelmingly futile and know it is pointless to continue on when there can be no change.
It is simply that I haven't the nerve. I lack the drive required to push myself over the brink. It is like all I do---at the crucial moment I fail. I am as negative as one can imagine and have always found it more difficult to finish even the simplest task if the opposition becomes even slightly evident. Certainly there can be no wrong in eliminating a nonentity.
What is particularly strange to me is that---although I feel little other than loathing of myself and fully recognize my insignificance---and am weary---miserable---discouraged---and wish for death---way down inside something remains stubbornly alive."

Suicide by Herbert Huncke from his journal and The Herbert Huncke Reader

So, people are in pain and misery and they freak out and think that they can't live inside their own bodies and decide to end their lives. It is heartbreaking stuff leaving friends behind to deal with the mess, even if it is only emotional.
I may end up having more to add to this, but I write it only as an introduction to this fascinating documentary. Enjoy and notice the mention of St. Louis and an unnamed bridge in one of the stories. Oh and Jay Farrar pops up on the soundtrack singing Son Volt's World Waits for You from their 2005 album Okemah and the Melody of Riot.

...and read this if you haven't. The posts are interesting and shed much light on the extreme emotions surrounding the act of suicide. It can even piss of the advertisers!

...and finally, here is a song that our friend Hunter S. Brumfield penned, recorded and that later became a fan favorite of the band Bad Folk (reprinted here from Tim Rakel's blog, Trashcanvas):

The Laughing Song (lyrics by Hunter Brumfield III)

He's sorry that things turned out as they did, it's a god-forsaken shame
small was the box in which that he hid to temper his poisonous brain
he reached for the stars, came back with stumps (maybe stubs?)
in a downpour, yearning for rain (though i was told "urine" was the lyric, i thought "yearning" more poetic and gave Hunter credit for the ambiguity)
happiness got him once he hit bottom
gonna laugh his way through all the pain

Believe him it's easy to drink and be sleazy
as your conscience just limps along
mistaking freedom for license, he screamed in the silence
and his echo said boy you're all wrong
well, life is absurd, haven't you heard?
keep laughing boy, that's your best bet

1 comment:

Julia said...

I heard about that Bridge film on NPR. Heartbreaking and important.

I think, as someone who was once in that place of complete despair, that depression is a sort of an addiction too. We go to that place of helplessness to escape feeling--which is a responsibility. We don't want that responsibility of getting real with the darkness, because it's too painful and frightening what might come up from within us. It's easier to numb it. But, like suicide, that's the coward's way out.

My theory is that depression and all addictions is rooted in not being loved, or not being loved well enough. There's an epidemic of this going on right now, and suicide, or at least suicidal thoughts, are the result.

Here's to Love.