Monday, July 2, 2012

Black Friday

Friday morning, I was in the back yard fighting with the bougainvilleas, cutting them back before they totally enveloped the deck. It's a job that I don't like to do. Those bastards have inch and a half thorns that can stab right through the sole of your shoe. Anyway, I heard a loud roar over my head. I looked up into the blazing sky, and saw a helicopter hovering directly over me with a giant number ten on it's side. If you live in a city you know that when the television station helicopters are overhead, something is wrong. My first impulse when I see the helicopters, is to run inside because often it means a criminal is running through the neighborhood looking for someplace to hide. I didn't run inside, instead I walked through the house and out to the front. When I opened the front gate I was stunned to see three fire trucks, three ambulances, and police cars. Lots of police cars. How had I not heard any sirens? I walked out to the street where many of my neighbors were standing around, all looking in the same direction.
"What's going on?" I asked tall black Stan.
Before he could answer, some cops came strutting up the street like a gang of Mussolini impersonators.
"Get the hell out of here, get back NOW!" one of them bellowed.
Stan ignored them, and answered me.
"Guy shot himself. Quincy here was going to call the ambulance for him, and he just picked up a gun and shot himself."
I looked at Quincy.
"Why were you calling for an ambulance?"
"The guy had acid reflux that he never took care of. Wouldn't go see a doctor, had it about a year. It turned into something else and he quit eating. He was in bad shape, and every day I looked in on him he was weaker."
"Why didn't he go to a doctor?"
"He didn't have insurance, besides, he just didn't want to go to a doctor. When I stepped out of the house to call 911 he shot himself. Shot himself three times."

I didn't know the guy. I have lived on this block for eighteen years, and I never talked to him. Probably the only guy on the street that I never talked to. He was a bit odd, sure. I remember that he would sit in his brand new truck for hours out in front of his apartment, doing nothing. The truck is now an old truck with a faded paint job, and I hadn't seen him sitting in it lately. Even though I didn't really know him, it all kind of makes me sad. I don't understand suicide. I guess I've never been in a situation bad enough to contemplate it. I can't even imagine what it must be like to see death as a better alternative to living.

It's Monday morning. I'm going to go walk dogs now, and try to shake this sad feeling. The dogs are always happy to see me.


  1. Shot himself three times??? Good God. The poor guy must have REALLY wanted to die.

    I sort of understand suicide but it is really sad. The will to live is so instinctual that a person has to be in terrible shape to actually end his/her life.

  2. Heartless BastardJuly 2, 2012 at 2:21 PM

    @Kim, I know, such a bad shot.

    Too soon?

  3. I'm still looking for an apartment. Let me know if you here of anything cheap.