My mum seemed overly eager to get the news to me. I am not sure why. I found myself wondering if she is taking medication over there in the city of Lost Angels. I hoped not. She had thus far avoided making herself into a duck faced plastic caricature, as is the way in Hell A, so maybe there was hope.
Honey, F has had a death in the family, S's older sister committed suicide, thought I should let you know
It stopped my morning rush. I was bound for work, the one day a week I work in the city , a 2.5 hour train ride, mad dash for 5 hours without stopping, followed by the same train ride in reverse. Its worth it for the free time I get most of the rest of the week. I don't quite know how the hell I got my life into this great position, but long may it last. So I stared at the message. It had positively ruined my breakfast. I didn't care much for suicides. There had been too many, in fact it was the most common form of death in my life by far. It irked me. When so many things were out to get us, that we should get ourselves.
S was the guy who ended up with the girl I should have ended up with, but blew it. I blew it consciously and decidedly, but was always quite baffled by the speed with which she picked up someone new, the fact that it was the bass player in my recently defunct band, and a work colleague of hers, just added to the sensation that maybe it hadn't been totally my doing. This was a common one, I noticed, where ending of relationships had been concerned. I had pretty much always ended them, or rather, I thought I had. But women clearly have ways.
The discovery to me was also one that was a little disconcerting more because it didnt seem to bother me all that much. After 7 years of what was, in the main part, a pretty good relationship. I left her. Less than 2 weeks later, while letting myself into the house we owned still, to collect the last of my things, I discovered a used condom draped over the bin in the bedroom. This was the woman who had had sex with less people than you could count on one hand.
It was an echo of a similar feeling I felt this morning, staring out of the window as I was now, feeling a gnawing discomfort in the belly thanks to death, to change, to the end of something, and yet recognizing that really I should be thankful for the things I do have right here, right now. And I was, I truly was, but death sucked, most especially suicide. I clicked on Facebook and saw a ton of messages and condolences, I wasn't sure quite how my mum thought I would miss such an event. She wasnt turning into one of those feeders on dark news, was she? I shuddered and let the thought go. I wrote a short, plain, not very interesting message privately to F, and then left the house for the train.
F had spent the larger part of last year harassing me for the failed relationship that ended over 6 years ago now, as well as any other shortcomings she could think of at the time. I had 'wasted the best years of her life'. Etc..etc.. I felt like the subject of a Pogues Christmas song. I also, at first, felt a hint of guilt but it was for a short period of time and then I just started to feel pissed off with the harassment. So I ignored further emails. She had a point, sure, but it was 6 fucking years ago. In fairness to her, when her next baby popped out she seemed to calm down. Hormones. Who'd a thought it. It was born the day before my birthday, the 3rd in my family, or close to family, to do so. Was life trying to make a memorial of me, or was I being slowly pushed out? Either way, she calmed down a bit and the emails trailed off as motherhood took hold for the second time. And then this.
So they changed the new-borns name to N in memory of S's older sister and I had a quick peek on the facebook site under her name because I just couldnt help it. I was a rubbernecker like the rest of them, but I wanted to know. Suicide mystified me. The whys and wherefores. And A's terminal exit last year had been messy, flopping around on the ledge of a balcony for a good couple of minutes before passing as I got to hear all about at the funeral, from the landlady who had found him 'Like a fish gasping' were the words that really stuck in my mind. He had taken a running dive at a landing window on a Friday evening hours after spending quality time at his young niece's birthday party. It must have turned him inwards far enough to explode outwards in a random moment as he climbed the stairs, no doubt drunk and/or having a severe polar moment. Enough to make you run at a closed window? Why not just run at the closed window of life, it seems easier somehow.
N had a picture of herself smiling, possibly a little on the zany side, with a large black teddy bear. It didnt seem particularly odd except that this woman had just committed suicide. Her facebook was private, so there was nothing more to see here. But on her wall was a status message saying she had just befriended three people recently and was married. Shit. That sucked. Mr N was going to be having a breakdown for sure. I wondered if the word 'married' was something to do with the whole saga. I also noted she lived in Sydney. S was from Oz. He had a few issues himself lurking in there, you don't play bass in my band without me figuring out your dark side at least a little bit. The boy was...haunted, might be a word. I guess it was in part why I felt more happy for him than angry the day I found his man spit in my waste bin. He seemed like he needed a good woman. And I realized, that weird morning, that rather than annoyed, I actually felt like I was off the hook. It was a sense of relief, like I had permission to get on with my life and stop beating myself up over it. As a result, of course, she seemed to think I was a cold-hearted bastard who couldn't care less about anyone or anything. She had no idea that it had taken me years to achieve such a state of grace. And a lot of pain it had taken too. But not enough to make me jump out an 8th floor window, get married, or hang myself, nor find God. Not yet anyway.
Though Remember, Jesus is the reason for the season.
See you in hell, then.
happy fucking christmas
Over and out