Monday, June 11, 2018

Anthony Bourdain and Calling it Quits

I'm not much for celebrities and I don't follow gossip pages.  But I adored Anthony Bourdain's work and looked up to him.  He was a late bloomer who moved forward into some amazing levels of achievement.  He and I had things in common and he was my hero.

Waking up to the news he committed suicide gutted me.  It was like the guy who spoke for me and at the same time educated me abandoned me.  He was the leader of us fucked up, depressed, addicted, empathic, sympathetic people.  And losing him gutted me.

Saturday was a rough fucking day.  I'm done trying to sugarcoat it and be nice.  I'm so done with everything.

Tony's death opened a conversation online about suicide and depression.  Online, on places like Twitter and Reddit, people opened up about their experiences and for the first time, people talked about what it's like when you're ready to go.  People are finally talking about what it's like for them when The End comes and they know it's time to go.

I found it to be something special.  I'm not sure if I'd call it liberating or comforting, but it was special and it meant a lot ot me.

There were a lot of people trying to figure out why Tony did it.  Or why Kate Spade did it.  Both of them hung themselves.  Everybody said they had everything.  As with any suicide, there are rumors, and nobody knows for sure.  To an outsider those rumors about this and that might seem like a small reason but you never know what it will be that finally pushes you over that edge.

It's like standing on a bridge made of woven straw.  You hear snaps and pops as bit by bit it disintegrates under your weight.  And then something happens and that's it--you're done.

For me, it's different.

I have tethers that keep me here.  Connections.  People.  Potentials.  I don't have dreams and I don't have hope.  It's the odds of something happening.  It's the odds that something will be here for me once I pull out of this nose-dive.  Maybe I'll have a heart attack tonight.  Or maybe a stroke.  Maybe my heart will finally give up trying to keep blood moving in this morbidly obese body and just stop.  Every day that I'm here, there is that chance, and I can't say I care much.

But what are the odds that even if I do crawl out of this pit I'm in that I'll figure out what I'm needing and find it?  Low.  Very low.  We're talking Las Vegas odds and as we all know, the House always wins.

But I know the Powers That Be aren't going to let me out of here so easily.  I know they want me to fight and earn some kind of happiness.  Nothing will be given.  No more tools will be offered.  No more hands of support will be sent.  I have what I need to move forward and it's all up to me now.

What holds me back is knowing how many times I've been down this path and had everything and everybody taken from me and I feel like I'm a sucker just for thinking about doing it again.

In my first day of First Grade, I had a Hot Wheels car in my pocket at school.  During recess, a kid wanted to see it.  I was a trusting sort, so I handed it over, and he threw it against the ground as hard as he could.  I picked it up and he asked to see it again.  I was a trusting sort and never knew this kind of behavior.  I gave it to him again and once again he smashed it into the ground.  My little toy car was all fucked up.

I feel like life is like that.  There's no guarantee that what we want is on the top of this mountain we're supposed to climb and I've climbed enough of them to know how worthless that journey can be.  I'm tired of feeling like the sucker who took the fool's bet.  Friends tell me it's not the destination but the journey and frankly it pisses me off.  I have no interest in that journey. 

I don't know why I'm still here.  I don't know why I even wake up in the morning.  I don't even know what I want.  I can't think of a single dream.

I exist and that's all I do.

And sometimes, I leave fingernail gouges in the dirt while I drift away.

I guess it's different for all of us.  I don't think it would be easier for anybody if  did it.  I know I'd hurt people and that tears me up.  I've had it done to me and I know what it's like.  I can't say I could do it to somebody else.  So that's a big tether that keeps me here.  I just watched a video of Chef Masa in Japan break down while talking about the loss of Anthony Bourdain.  It was heartbreaking.  And there are tons more videos like that of people who knew him and didn't know him breaking down because they were so devastated by his loss.

It's not about him.  It's about how somebody who had so much going for him took that option when so many of us are barely surviving with little to show for it and not much hope for anything more.  We're still here.  We're still waking up in the morning and putting one step forward at a time.  And this world is so awful.

Death sings the sweetest songs when the world is dark.

But I'm still here.  I don't know what to do to get beyond this but I'm working on it.  I wake up, I work, and sometimes I get the courage up to leave my apartment.  I did that yesterday but today just wasn't in the cards.  Tomorrow is another day.  And that sums it up in the end.  Tomorrow is another day and I'm not going to beat myself up because this one didn't amount to much.  I woke up, I worked, and I got through the day.  Sometimes it's the best we can hope for and it's the best we can do.

Sometimes, those are the nails dug into the dirt to keep us from drifting away into the darkness forever when there just aren't anymore tethers holding us here.  It's the best we've got and it works for another day.



  1. (I don't know what to do to get beyond this but I'm working on it. I wake up, I work, and sometimes I get the courage up to leave my apartment).Same situation as mine.