Literary Suicide

by William M. Razavi

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Of late I have considered suicide…because the rainbow is clearly not enough.

 

I have considered it, contemplated it, run through it in my head, but don’t get too worried because I certainly haven’t attempted it and I have dismissed it as an option for the usual reasons a person with friends and family might abandon the notion of suicide.  Nonetheless, I have considered making an end of this life.  It’s not that I feel abandoned or unloved or truly alone or desolate.  I have considered the wreckage of love and friendship I have left in my wake and—well, that’s the problem isn’t it?  There is nothing so dramatic as wreckage in my wake to speak of, just some regrets, mild and not so mild, but nothing that really comes close to what can be justly called tragic.  It just doesn’t seem enough to add up to suicide.  I have mostly considered suicide as a means of breaking up the flat horizon of my psychic scenery.

 

 The thing which has given me the most pause has been the thought that my literary friends will react critically to a suicide because of the insufficient motivations in my narrative.  I can imagine the steam rising from the perfectly brewed cups of coffee as they sit around and criticize my death because it wasn’t properly foreshadowed earlier in my life.  People don’t just kill themselves without signs and signifiers, that’s just bad storytelling.

 

 One time last spring I was in a dark pit of loneliness and despair.  No, it actually wasn’t a dark pit of anything.  It was a week like every other week.  My psyche was on the same even keel it always seems to be on.  I was not tormented like a Romantic poet or a brilliant Dutch painter.  I was not haunted by some beautifully passionate madness, but there was an empty space in my soul.  That much I can attest to.  And I filled this space with a film called Hot Tub Time Machine.  That’s right, I spent a week watching Hot Tub Time Machine over and over again, at least once a night and sometimes twice a night.  That’s all it took.  It must be some really easy sort of despair that can be solved with a week of Hot Tub Time Machine.  It can’t be genuine depression if it can be alleviated without drugs or professional help or professional drugs.  It’s a lucky break if a simple motion picture can fix your emotional pain.  But I will repeat to you that I watched Hot Tub Time Machine at least once a night for at least a week.  That’s not normal.  It is self-medication, even if it is of a quaintly innocent type.  And if I hadn’t done that?  Would I have somehow snapped and done…what?  I don’t know.  I’ll never know because I found my own prescription pad and scribbled Hot Tub Time Machine all over it until I got past the worst of whatever insufficiently dark feelings I was having.  No need for doctors or counselors or friends or family or the friends of the family.   All my problems taken care of courtesy of motion pictures.

 

 When I needed some form of human emotion I didn’t seek out an actual person, I didn’t reach for love or friendship or even the compassion of a stranger.  No, I turned to Hot Tub Time Machine.  And that’s the real suicide, isn’t it?  Abandoning human connections of any form in favor of a replica of humanity made of sound and light and conveniently recorded on a portable disc is a quiet kind of death.  You don’t even have to be physically dead for the suicide to work until there is no more you there to speak of, just an empty place where your soul used to be that is filled with images and words simulating a real life that ended long ago.   And all of us shutting the doors on each other while we give ourselves completely to the machines because it’s easier to seek relief from something that asks nothing back rather than to talk to a living person.  Or maybe it’s just me.  Maybe I should have tried harder to break up that flat horizon and shake things up a little before it came down to this.  I’m not sure of anything anymore.  I’m only sure of what I see in Hot Tub Time Machine and I’m not sure how much longer that will hold true before I have to find something to replace it because I can’t even seem to hold onto a relationship with a movie.

 

 Of late I have considered suicide and I have decided to keep going, but I think I may already be dead.

 

 

Copyright © 2017 William M. Razavi.  All rights reserved.

Copyright © 2017 William M. Razavi.  All rights reserved.