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Writer's Block and Suicidal Perceptions
Drowning in a Sea of Lifeboats
I have this friend, let’s call him Bill. Bill is big in the comic book/heavy metal scene in Manhattan. He had, note the tense, a good friend I’ll call Will who killed himself recently. Will was the kind of guy whose main interest in life was making people happy. Appropriately, he was a comedian. All I know is that Will lost his home and felt he had nowhere to go. I didn’t know him but, as any modern writer would do, I googled him and, as it turns out, he was a real cute guy who smiled a lot. He was 43. The accounts I read didn’t mention how he chose to end his life.
I was at a story development meeting about a week ago and had decided that I’m going to write a short screenplay about a teenager. He has parents who aren’t together but get together to argue, along with a smart-ass younger sister. However, what I keep seeing in my head is this teenage boy watching a man near some train tracks, their eyes meet, the train is coming, the man steps on the tracks and the boy witnesses the outcome.
It’s not that I don’t understand why someone would kill himself, I get that. I don’t like it but I get it. I just can’t wrap my head around the fact that there’s this hole in the universe since Will’s been gone. I didn’t even know him but I am very much aware of that hole. Someone who belongs here isn’t and it’s so fucking not right. It’s as if the air has changed. You know when you have that feeling that someone is standing right behind you, like a disturbance in one’s personal space, but then you turn around and no one is there? It’s like that but all the time.
Once, several years ago, when I was ODing on Photoshop, I went to bed one night and tried to read but I couldn’t because some of the pixels were scrambled. I was reading an actual physical book. Then I looked at the room and still the pixels were screwy. There’s a deep “oh shit” feeling that accompanies that sort of situation. That’s how I feel. Something fundamental is wrong with the universe.
I used to believe that the universe is like a river. It flows. And if you toss a pebble into it the resulting concentric rings would influence the rest of the river. I think I was just being fanciful.
Strange how the other side of sorrow is ennui. There exists this “what is the point” atmosphere inside of my head, this prevailing sense of senselessness that underscores a disinterest in ideas and occupations I once considered vital.
Still, life goes on. What choice do we have? But the absence of this man, this important character, diminishes the world and everyone in it.