Snuff It #3
My Suicide Watch
by Bob Baden
I guess that it was around the fifth grade that I began to speculate about
my death. That is not to say that I was a morbid child, though I was, but
it was the reigning dawn of disco and Charlie's Angels was the social moniker
by which we all judged ourselves, so it can be said that my thoughts of death
were warranted, if not common.
I became obsessed with my death. When would I die? How? Would it be
messy, or even better, painful? And what would I wear? Even at that
premature time in my life I realized one thing about my death; I wanted to
have control over it. So as I became increasingly bored with the rigors of
the fifth grade (passing notes, laughing at farts, and asking friends to ask
the boy that I liked if he liked me), I began to spend more and more time
planning and preparing for my death.
I chose suicide as a means of absolute control.
Suicide. How would I achieve this goal? I had read countless stories of
those before me who had taken the plunge, some successfully, others not.
I weighed my options. I could jump from a bridge, except that most people
survive, spending the rest of their lives as paraplegics. I wanted death,
not inconvenience. I could take a handful of pills and wash it all down
with the grandeur of Garland, but Studio 54 was still popular, hence I
assessed that there might be a shortage of resources. I considered putting
my head in the oven, but ultimately I would just get nauseous and be forced
to interrupt my goal in order to obtain a tummy elixir. And of course the
whole shotgun-to-the-head thing really hadn't become popular yet, so I figured
it best not to venture into unchartered waters. Death may only be death, but
it must have style; preferably a trendy and attractive style.
Then the priest from my church suggested that I take up smoking cigarettes.
It had many rewards, both short term and long. Initially I could anticipate
lung cookies, rapidly wrinkling skin, and a nagging, early morning hack.
Not to mention the stink! The added benefit was, of course, the ostracizing
and alienation. I could become a legal junkie and flaunt it proudly in the
faces of all my peers, family, and associates--none of which would ever dine
with me again. Cool. I reconciled the length of time that it would take
to actually die by admitting to myself that, after all, I was a procrastinate
at heart. (There should always be confessions towards the end).
The following Monday I consulted with my friends and decided that
unfiltered Camels would be the most effective method with which to do my dirty
work. I literally couldn't wait until some teacher or such asked me what I
wanted to be when I grew up, so that I could simply respond "Dead".
And with that I lifted $1.70 from my mother's purse and procured my tool.
It was around the seventh grade, and still not dead yet, that I took up
drinking beer to accelerate the process. The rewards were a surprise. Not
only was I smoking an allegedly lethal substance, but now I was also
belligerent about the fact. What could have been better?
About the time that I started college, and still not dead yet, I started
smoking pot and taking drugs by the handful. This truly moved things along.
I rarely ate, and subsequently lost weight, got sickly often, and developed
a sincere admiration for paranoia. Finally, some concrete payback. That
A.M. hack was one thing but bronchitis was the icing. Literally.
Well I'm 32 now, and still not dead, but that's OK (for now). In the last
lap of my race to deterioration, I'm dabbling with blatant avoidance of
financial responsibility coupled with sleep deprivation. My own little
personal buffet spread of pain. Nifty. But it's working!
Happy Death, my fellow parishioners.
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