Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Suicide is Painless

That is an actual title to the "MASH" theme. If you watch the movie, and I highly recommend that you do, one of the enlisted men is singing the words:

"Through early morning fog I see
visions of the things to be
the pains that are withheld for me
I realize and I can see...


[REFRAIN]:

that suicide is painless
It brings on many changes
and I can take or leave it if I please.
I try to find a way to make
all our little joys relate
without that ever-present hate
but now I know that it's too late, and...


[REFRAIN]

The game of life is hard to play
I'm gonna lose it anyway
The losing card I'll someday lay
so this is all I have to say.


[REFRAIN]

The only way to win is cheat
And lay it down before I'm beat
and to another give my seat
for that's the only painless feat.


[REFRAIN]

The sword of time will pierce our skins
It doesn't hurt when it begins
But as it works its way on in
The pain grows stronger...watch it grin, but...


[REFRAIN]

A brave man once requested me
to answer questions that are key
is it to be or not to be
and I replied 'oh why ask me?'


[REFRAIN]

'Cause suicide is painless
it brings on many changes
and I can take or leave it if I please.
...and you can do the same thing if you please."


I never truly understood the words, until I started dialysis.

Tonight started out leisurely enough. I brought my duffel bag filled with the comforts of home. I urinated beforehand, because once you start, they really frown upon unhooking you just so you can piss. I weighed and then shuffled my way to the chair.

Remember the chair from "The Matrix", metallic and rusted, forboding even. The ones that allowed our heroes to be whisked away to the matrix?

Even though the chair is padded, can recline and has the pleasant color of green, that's what I think about every time before I sit down.

But once the needles were in, and the lidocaine weakened to their grip, I knew that tonight was going to be worse than usual.

I struggled in my chair like a man condemned. I squeezed my eyes shut, because I felt a wave of tears coming on. The dialysis tech's were whispering, and I know they were talking about me.

"Why is he such a baby?"

"You don't see the other patients getting upset."

"Why doesn't he try PD again?"

My answer to every one of them is, "Fuck you."

Lately, when the pain becomes too overwhelming, and they won't lower the pressure anymore, the Golden Gate Bridge beckons me.

For a while, I was obsessing about Golden Gate Bridge suicides. I wanted to learn everything I could. I had so many questions...

"How did they get on to the railing?"

"How did the bridge authority react?"

"What kind of people were the ones who were jumping?"

My reasoning probably gels with all the other's who've made their way, with enough courage and balls to make the leap.

Then I stopped on a story about the proposed "suicide barrier." It would impede the view from the bridge, but most likely prevent people from jumping.

What a big steaming pile of bureaucratic crap this is.

If people want to jump, I say let them. Your life is your own, and if you wish your final image to be the sun setting to the west of the bridge with the tapioca blues and heart warming oranges, I say, have at it.

Who am I to judge your level of pain?

Who am I to say I know "exactly what you're feeling"?

Who am I to say, "don't jump, you have a lot to live for"?

I'm nobody, plain and simple.

But I would never join them, for one important reason.

It would kill my family.

My family has been wounded enough because of my failing health. They don't deserve to be mortified by my corpse on a slab.

And now I'm crying, because I have no way to make the voices stop.

These are not mine, but those of my family. My parents carry the burden of thinking they did something wrong when I was in the womb, when I was under their care, to make this happen.

I wish I could make them believe that creation is a roulette wheel, spinning out of control, only landing where it deems fit.

But still they blame themselves, and there's nothing I can do.

Except continue to live.

And that's the one thing, I truly don't know how much longer I can do.

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