By Howard Lee Lyon
Some acquaintance (friend) was at the bar the other night pontificating freely, wrickedly raging upset and morbosed-out about some era-bygone classmate’s commit to suicide. They found him that morning, bored a hole in his face with a piece of metal on metal quick-action, probably something semi-automatic.
(One’s gotta question that phrase, “semi-automatic.” For us literate-brained querists, how is something “somewhat automatic”? Automatic sounds like a term dealing with absolutes and when you start adding prefixes to it, that means we got variants and degrees hidden in “automatics.” Thus, absolutes are just another aspect of tragi-comic modern life as warfare, nothing is intrinsic and nothing has meaning, parody we slowly see setting in, which of course is microcosmic of suicide in itself, and the questions raised around suicide. Is it a semi-automatic reaction, I would guess not, I would say a thorough assessment and assertion of the facts at hand. I’ve gone too far.)
As this dear friend continued his lament of the one-finite-decision made individual, he became visually irked with this idea, which I have propagated mindfully in past times, that suicide is selfish, a rash quick-fix decision that doesn’t account for the kind and loving social net of family, friends, employers, waitstaff, passersby, barkeeps and auto mechanics, which will ultimately be effected by clicking the delete button beget one’s Ka. Those left by the wayside to pick up the pieces are thus forced to approach the void, accept thine finite plurality and typically come out exasperated and dulled, exhausted by cause-and-effect scenarios, and arriving at the coping mechanism of anger. How could they be so selfish and leave me here to deal with a sometimes unforgiving reality, a cold, caustic universe? You fucking prick. I must imagine, dear survivor, that you too have felt this — seen it propagated in the dramatic film speech DON’T YOU DIE ON ME — pure violence with a shot of sorrow. It seems like an emotional reaction so stereotypical, it must be real. But deeper, besides that, the little voice is saying, You know – Who is the selfish one? The one that leaves or the one that wants you to stay?
At the next table, some attractive girl with a scarf has put on “Love is a Battlefield” and is knocking back red wine like the dawn on the August coastline. Paco says she’s got a boyfriend, but I’m just toasted enough not to believe anything. Heartache to heartache we stand. Instead, I go home and go to bed.
The Campaign in Virginia–“On to Richmond!” by Harper’s Weekly