Hazy Landscapes

The sky is the color of drywall. Or perhaps horchata. The sun is up there somewhere doing its thing so I don’t die. Wait. That would imply the sun operates purposefully on my behalf, which is nonsense. There will come a day when the sun doing its thing will be to supernova. That will likely be long after I have died from an unrelated cause, but you never know.

I have been told by people who know about such things that we are all made up of stardust. As such, we are part of this mind-bogglingly vast and wondrous universe we live in. If that gives you a sense of belonging, good for you. You are still going to die.

If it makes you feel any better, I’m going to die too. It is unlikely to be today or tomorrow, but it’s probable I have fewer days ahead than behind me. Death may come suddenly in the form of a road accident or a stray bullet, or I maybe told I have a terminal illness by some doctor who punctuates the bad news with a shrug.

To be honest, I would prefer a shrug over some perfunctory display of commiseration. Finding out I’m going to die soon would be hard enough. Do I also have to feel bad for ruining the day of the bringer of bad news? There has to be a clip on YouTube of Charles Bronson smiling and saying “tough shit.” I just need to find it and send the link to my doctor with the note “If I’m stricken with pancreatic cancer, do that.”

For the foreseeable future, I’m better off assuming that The Life of Dave is not yet in its final act. I have decades of at least intermittent happiness to look forward to, even though suicide ideation is my go-to when I’m feeling pissy.

SI has been longtime companion of mine, but not always the best of friends. Whenever it feels even the slightest bit real, it hurts like a bitch. Even writing about it right now makes me feel a little uneasy, but that could just be the coffee jitters. I’m not terribly in tune with my body. I know I should treat it like a temple, and I do, but like a temple of someone else’s religion where I’m itching for some hate-crime desecration.

At least that was the old me. I’m better behaved now, but the temple walls still carry the stains of bygone stupidity.

Enough with the belabored temple imagery. Now where was I? Ah yes, offing myself. More to the point, thinking about offing myself even though I’m never going to do it.

The thing I’ve learned about my SI is that it is a total drama queen. It needs no serious commitment on my part, but it does like to be romanced. Fortunately for all concerned, its tastes have become subdued with age. I no longer feel the urge to go at my wrist with a razor blade, coyly dancing around major arteries so I could achieve some excellent Ordinary People scars with no real risk of doing myself in.

Now I just have my dying places, secluded spots I have walked by and committed to memory. I never need to go visit them. It is enough to know they’re there. I like to think of them as my Winterwood after the Patrick McCabe novel, but with two major differences. One is that I never even think about killing anyone else. The other is that I never will actually kill myself either.

None of this is healthy, but it is familiar. Over the years, I’ve learned to romanticize the hell out of the darker recesses of my noggin. Now I’m not sure how much I’m coping with extant darkness or how much I’m just going through the motions because I’m a creature of habit. Internally, there’s a certain twisted beauty to it all. But if I dared to step outside myself and watched with an objective eye, I’d see a creature akin to Milton from Office Space mumble-plotting revenge for the loss of his stapler.

It’s a good thing I can tart up my embracing of life as well. I am still putting on a show for myself, but it’s a far happier one than my occasional strolls through Grimville. It’s also a lot more fun for others to be around, provided they’re OK with puns and toilet humor masquerading as genuine wit.

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