Wednesday, April 14, 2010

I Write To Understand - The Final

It has been four months now. The pain is lessening, though the mystery remains.

What interests me most is the way he seems to have been thrown away, discarded, ignored, by everyone, the whole world. He was swept up and shuffled under the carpet. He ceased to exist.

Christmas came, and not a soul lamented his passing, my loss, or the difficulties of modern life.

T drew a line under his life the week before Christmas, and even my closest relative, the person I thought to be my dearest friend, did not remember me, or him, or my loss of him that Noel. I too was left alone. Alone.

T’s decision to end his life has changed my world in the most subtle way. No longer will I maintain relationships that are deleterious to my self-esteem. If those I love do not love me then they must leave me to my work, my art and my own ways.

I suppose I will never understand why people refuse to acknowledge a suicide. And I hope never again to need the support of people who will not give it. But, these people - do they not realize that those who are left, those who have been violently, physically rejected, by death, need to understand, need to talk, need to mourn. They cannot discard those they loved as easily as may be wished.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

I Write To Understand - Part 3

The others chat amongst themselves. People whom I have never met, but know so much about. I know their foibles, their attitudes, the good and the bad. When had confessor become part of my job description? And for a priest. Why is theology such a strict, and forbidding mistress? Why couldn’t he break free from those early days of shame and punishment?

My eyes are drawn to his face, his cheeks. I search for scratches. Search to find evidence of a last minute change of heart. Other than that I can’t bring myself to form the vision of his final tremors.

But his preparation, that I wonder about. How did he arrange his final morning? Did he play that African song he loved? Did he have a cup of the tea that hung like an albatross around his now marked neck?

And ritual.

In what self-anointing ritual did he steep himself that dawn? Ritual was a great love and comfort to him. I laughed on more than one occasion, telling him his love of ritual could easily qualify him as an honourary Roman Catholic. But this lost Calvinist minister would only become more intense in his observation of the rite, be it tea brewing or discussion.

And then gone, as though he'd quit the inner sanctum before the offering had been accepted.

Or had he simply realized that he was to be the sacrificial lamb?

Saturday, March 20, 2010

I Write To Understand - Part 2

The reluctant terror that forced my feet to follow their regimented norm drew me into the pulsating world of the ICU.

In a glass box, reminiscent of a 60’s Francis Bacon, he lay with pale-green mechanical units surrounding him as once, perhaps, his followers had. The cult leader come to rest.

An enormous torso dwarfed the tiny, utilitarian hospital palette, making one wonder what extreme physics equation held his now living, now dying body in place.

“You are such a Taurus.” I thought sadly. “Toro in mind toro in body. You great bloody bullheaded man.”

His pale accordion respirator whispered a hushed response.

His face was turned away from the others. Over his jaw ran a deep red striation. Where the cord had lodged ? His hand, despite the scars, seemed so soft for someone who had enjoyed hard work. His brain, well his brain had never been soft, had it?

Is it true then that you can be too smart for your own good ?

Sunday, February 14, 2010


“So I went on alone and even farther
Along the seventh circle’s outer margin,
To where the melancholy people sat.”

I suppose it’s futile, even foolhardy, to try to understand why someone would take his own life.

But I do.

I wonder almost every day now. And when I look around at what I now realize are the facts, I even wonder if he hadn't suddenly found himself so enmeshed in his silky web of lies that he had nowhere to go.

Nowhere to go.

What a thought. He had me, of course. But he had rejected me. Told me, in response to my declaration, that I was attacking him. He could get all the love he needed from his male friends, he said. They were the ones that mattered.

But he wasn’t gay, and no, there was no reason why we should stop seeing each other. He wouldn’t say he loved me, he wouldn’t say he didn’t, he simply wouldn’t say. And I was to blame for his lack of verbiage. I made him feel trapped-but I wasn’t to see anyone else. And nine months without any physical contact was not abnormal. He said. He said. He said.

To be continued......