Wednesday, halfway through the week, and it doesnít look good. Up since six this morning, growing to hate mornings more than I ever thought possible. Striving for a better future, and the present just seems to be getting more annoying each day. Is there a little irony there, you think?
Is there ever going to be a pay-off? Fighting through the day, bleary-eyed and tired, listening to people be angry, just wanting to make it through the work day so that I can get home and relax. And when I get home, the night is upon me, the late hours arrive so early, and now itís time to go to sleep so that I can be rested just enough to go through it all again tomorrow.
There has to be more to it than this, man. Am I just spinning my wheels, I wonder? Or am I laying the groundwork for a better life later? A better future? I donít know. We all die, man; do we ever get enough groundwork built? Is it better to have a sturdy foundation, or just build the house on whatever and get busy living there?
Itís a decision each of us has to make on our own, I suppose.
Iíve done my share of living recklessly, and Iím not saying it was the best times of my life, but I never really had to sit around and wonder if I was really living life, you know? True, itís because I was mostly wondering about STDís and jail time, but still.
I have a good life. But I donít want it to stagnate. I donít want to be that guy living in suburbia, my major source of interest being my neighborís un-kept lawn that drops property value. Iím too young for a mid-life crisis, and too old for a pre-life crisis. And too low-key and realistic to be having any sort of a crisis at all, if you want to know the truth.
I know people who thrive on drama, and I make fun of them. Not to their faces, of course, because that would traumatize them so much that they would probably have to be all melodramatic about things and cry out for help or something. I know lots of people who need drama because they donít have lives. Whatís frightening is that there are so many people like this.
Suicide, thatís a big thing to be overly-dramatic about. Attempted suicide, failed suicide, threatened suicide. Growing up, man, I donít know, it seemed like I had someone talking to me about killing themselves just about every damn day. I always encouraged it, because these kinds of people annoyed me, and I was a stupid kid who didnít fully understand the consequences of my words and actions.
I understand now the damage you can do with wordsóhell, itís practically my only hobby. Maybe next year Iíll take up jogging or something. I ended up at this party one night, this guyís all drunk, he starts crying.
I have no idea who this guy is, I only know that I work with himóthis was some time back, and I was working at Dennyís. He starts talking about how heís going to kill himself. Heís crying all over me, talking about how his life sucks, he should just end it now. ďSure, man, why not? Itís not going to get any better.Ē I told him something like that. Hector was his nameóI just remembered. He goes, ďFuck you, man, Iíll do it!Ē Kind of like a threat, like if he was talking about breaking all my CDís or something. But Hector wasnít as important to me as my CDís, you know? Just some drunk guy at a party, crying all over me, trying to hug me and shit, what the hell is that?
But now heís mad. ďWhat? You donít think Iíll do it?Ē
ďBeats me, man. I donít care either way.Ē You know those cynical teenagers that theyíre always making fun of on sitcoms? That was me. I didnít have a laugh track, though, and none of my problems got solved by the end of the show. I was dealing with some pretty serious stuff in my life at the time, things that made Hectorís issues seem quite trivial in comparison. And all my serious problems, they probably seemed really trivial to him. But I wasnít the one talking about suicide so that all the girls would come over and comfort me and hug me and tell me about how life is precious or whatever.
This one girl, I donít remember her name at all, she got all mad at me. Started calling me names and stuff. Sheís over there holding Hectorís head to her bosom, stroking his hair, heís crying and trying to look down her shirt at the same time. Sheís screaming at me about what a horrible bastard I am, and whispering to Hector about how everything is going to be okay, she understands, donít talk like that.
I let it dropóIím the only one there that isnít part of the gang, and Iíve already got everybody hating me. Then Hector runs off, talking about how heís going to rob someplace or something. Whatever. Everyone gets all ate up about this, talking about how we have to go stop him. And because Iím me, I mention something about how we should give him time: if he tries to rob the wrong place, at least he wonít have to worry about killing himself anymore. That doesnít earn me any laughter, Iíll tell ya that.
These people, they decide we have to track down Hector before he gets himself killed. I donít know why. But Iím the only person there thatís sober, so they make me drive. I tell them Iím not going to waste my gas looking for a pile of shit like Hector, so they give me the keys to his truck.
We cruise the streets of Amarillo, Iím having a pretty good time because at least he has air conditioning, and this girl, the one whoís name I canít remember, she starts crying. Not that soft, movie-style crying, either, like where it looks like youíre somehow finding the strength to go on only by searching deep inside your soul for what is right. She starts bawling, and sheís got the hiccups, too, and sheís drunk out of her gourd, and sheís all miserable because sheís been cheating on her boyfriend with Hector, and she might be pregnant, blah, blah, blah.
I turn up the stereo real loud.
We finally find Hector, heís about eight blocks away or something, vandalizing a house. In my head, it was always an old ladyís house, but thatís just my imagination getting away from me. Thereís a flowerbed made of railroad ties, three layers, like a little staircase, you know? Hectorís trying to lift the railroad ties and throw them, but heís not doing such a great job. Heís mostly just tearing up the lawn, and screaming and shit. I get out of the truck, I tell him itís time to go.
ďIím not going anywhere! Iím staying right here, and when the cops come to get me, Iím going to fight Ďem, Iím going to make Ďem kill me!Ē I tell him thatís a pretty good plan, and I get back into the truck.
There are three girls in there (all the other guyís stayed home with the beer, just in case Hector showed back up), and they all start screaming about what an asshole I am. Get back out there, we arenít going anywhere without Hector, we canít just leave him here, blah, blah, blah.
I roll down the window and tell Hector to get in the truck. Heís still tearing up the flowerbed, though, and wonít get it. And then one of the girls pulls the keys out of the ignition. ďYou get Ďem back when Hectorís in here,Ē she tells me.
I hadnít ever been to jail, at this point, and the idea freaks me right out. And you can hear the sirens getting closer. And Hector is still out there tearing up the lawn and screaming and crying and shit. ďGive me those keys back,Ē I say. But she wonít. And I canít hit a girl. Maybe itís because Iím sexist, I donít know.
I get out of the truck, I grab the nearest thing, I canít remember if it was a board or a rake or what (although it seems like it was a rake). I walk up to Hector, and I grab him, give him a shaking, just to get him to shut up. He stops screaming and stares at me like a dog thatís about to attack. Fuck him.
ďThe cops are coming, Hector.Ē
ďFuck the cops. Good. Iíll kill Ďem.Ē
ďThose girls took the keys away from me, man, and they wonít give them back until youíre in the truck.Ē
ďSo what?Ē Those sirens, man, theyíre so close.
ďIf the cops show up, theyíre taking us all to jail, man. You can talk about how you want to die, whatever. You arenít going to kill any cops. Youíll go to jail. And so will I, if Iím still here. And a sack of shit like you, I wonít go to jail for that. So get in the fuckiní truck, or Iím gonna to beat you to death and steal your truck.Ē To demonstrate, I pick up a railroad tie and throw it at him. It hits him right in the shins, and he falls down. I grab him by his ponytail and start dragging him to the truck.
ďIím getting up, Iím getting up.Ē
ďNot fast enough.Ē
Three blocks away, I just want the hell out of this truck, away from these people, the girl says, ďYou shouldnít have hurt him.Ē
I go, ďShut up. All of you people are fucking insane.Ē
Hector goes, ďYou wrecked my truck.Ē
ďShut up, Hector. Youíre lucky I donít throw you out on the street and run over your dumb ass.Ē
That was the first and last party I was invited to while I worked at Dennyís. None of those people talked to me ever again, which probably doesnít surprise you. I didnít go to jail, either. Hector did, though. Three weeks later, he got busted with all kinds of speed. Shithead.
Someday Iím going to have to tell all of you a story where Iím a complete wimp. All the ones I tell, it seems like Iím some character out of a pulp novel or something. Which isnít always the case.
But not tonight, because tonight weíre talking suicide, and how ridiculous it is.
One time, this was when I was in Junior High, this girl calls me, she tells me sheís going to kill herself. This was before I was the cynical sage that I eventually became, this was back when I thought that the crap that people told you actually meant something. She called me, crying, saying that she was going to kill herself.
I rushed right over, hoping that I wasnít too late. And there she was, some sort of string tied around her neck. The other end was connected to a broken piece of the ceiling fan. She had tried to hang herself using a thin piece of string tied to the blade of the ceiling fan. The fan broke, of course, and ended up dropping down on her forehead. If the fan hadnít broke, the string would have. I told her to quit acting like a moron.
I knew a girl who tried to suffocate herself three times. Each time, she would put a pillow over her face and hold it there until she had no breath, but she kept passing out. Three times, man. ďDonít worry about suicide,Ē I told her, ďNature will probably take care of you eventually, anyways.Ē She didnít understand what I meant.
I had an English teacher that did it with a shotgun. Nobody ever had to listen to his whiny bullshit, either. He decided to kill himself, he did it.
I knew a girl who tried to cut her wrists with a butter knife. She gave herself a nasty friction-burn, and earned herself a visit to some nuthouse or another.
So many stories. So many fools. Train of thought went wherever tonight, and at the end, I feel a need to tie it all together. So here it goes: No matter how early I have to wake up, no matter how uncertain I am about the future, I can at least give thanks that Iím not some dumb shit who throws in the towel before the fightís over.
Man, I wish I had a V-8.