Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Suicidal Tendencies

The ill-conceived notion of committing suicide has pushed its way to the forefront of my imagination because of one despicable creature known simply as Dialysis.

For a time He was weakened, frail and in need of new victims for Him to survive. As my four year anniversary of painful and humiliating treatments passed, He found that I was not only surviving, but thriving.

This infuriated Him to no end.

My muscles were alive and making their presence known throughout my body as my workout sessions became more prevalent. My flirting skills were working their magic on an adorable older woman. Their was a chance a writing opportunity would become available soon.

Then Dialysis peeked His head out from behind one of the unused Dialysis chairs. I was minding my own business enjoying the third season of "The Office."

His stringy yellow hair dangled in a small puddle of blood that was dripping from one of the machines. Bloodshot eyes gave way to an uncontrollable bubble of glee that He was making no attempt to hide.

"How we doin' there Stay See?" He hung on each syllable of my name, concurrently mocking it while enjoying the way it rolled off His forked tongue. As He bounded from one side of my chair to the other, He reminded me of one of those furry little letters from "Sesame Street." His spine was in the permanent shape of the letter "C" but it was the perfect shape in which to roll His spindly little wretch of a body around the clinic.

I attempted to ignore His dancing, which was a strange amalgam of a seizure and Disco.

"Whutz the point there fella?" He pointed directly at me with both hands, rotting fingers giving way to skeletal hands that appeared to be infected.

"Leave me the fuck alone will you please. I don't want to talk to you."

He flipped over my chair to the other side and for a moment was rather athletic. But when He landed his right leg gave way and He slid into an unused machine. It looked rather painful, but instead He worked his way upright and gave way to a high pitched cackle. It was rather annoying and reminiscent of unbearable nails on a chalkboard.

"I'll ask you again...whutz...the...POINT?!"

It's bad enough I have sixteen gauge needles in my arm, but Dialysis had just interrupted the funniest show on television. And my favorite diversion for this awful, awful place.

"I don't know what the fuck you're talking about and I don't care. Why don't you bother Moley Wrinkly Guy? He'd probably like the company."

Dialysis shook His head wildly and grinned like a madman.

"I meant dear boy, what is the point of your LIFE?"

I tried to respond but he rudely interrupted.

"You go to work and do your little mediocre radio show. Then you come here and I torture your for a couple hours which, you know, is fun for me. Sometimes you lift weights, sometimes you eat a BLT. What in the fuckerino is...the...POINT?"

He was panting ferociously when He talked and it didn't cease when he stopped speaking. He just sat there, wild eyed slightly hopping up and down to the beat of His exhales.

My mouth opened and paused once, twice and then again. A sudden realization came over me. It was like someone had crapped on my soul. My inner monologue began furiously trying to find an answer as Dialysis pulled off one of His decaying toenails and nibbled on it like a Ritz cracker.

"My God, you're right. You son-of-a-bitch, you're right."

His face lit up and the remnants of the toenail shot across the room and hit the back of the head of Wacky Accent Tech. His bewilderment would have amused me if I wasn't having an internal crisis.

"Listen schlub, it's ok. I'm here to help."

He waddled over to my oversized chair while the lights in the clinic dimmed. On the back wall I saw a flickering image of myself at the top of the TransAmerica Pyramid holding on to the railing. My face spoke volumes as to the pain I was holding inside. Before I reached the ground the images suddenly slowed to allow me to glimpse my body taking out a yuppie couple and their two adorable children.

"That's pretty good, but this one's more my style."

His bony fingers snapped in the air and the image flashed to me alone in my bedroom naked, kneeling on the floor, shaking uncontrollably. As my right arm came up my head you could see my hand holding a revolver. As tears rolled down my cheeks, I winced as the trigger fired. I slumped down to the floor while blood gushed from my skull. A huge scream and scuffling could be heard before the image faded out.

"Not gruesome enough for ya? My personal fave yo."

Another snap of His wrist and I was standing on the shoulder on 101. Speeding cars of all shapes and gas-guzzling sizes whizzed by. I glanced quickly through the lanes until a huge semi-tractor trailer was approaching. You could see the calculations multiplying through my mind as I stepped forward at just the right moment. My body must have flown fifty yards, slamming into the Steele Lane overpass sign. I bounced backward and landed squarely on the windshield of a clinically obese woman shoving French Fries down her gullet. Her airbag deployed causing her to choke on her ninety nine cent meal before she hugged the railing.

"You know what's great about that shot...the truck was hauling painkillers!"

His body fell to the floor as he was overcome by laughter, using his curvy spine to see-saw back and forth. His laughter echoed through the depths of my conscience and made me wonder if He wasn't right.

Many times I've spoken out loud that it's too expensive to keep me alive, that the government isn't getting their money's worth. How am I contributing to society? How am I making the world a better place? How is my existence so valuable that machines are used to keep it running?

Dialysis could see the questions mounting in my conscience. He lifted a frail finger in the air to make a point.

"You know, there is one other more appropriate way to take yourself out." Dialysis shuffled his way to the unused machine next to mine, rubbed his hands together gently and then simply yanked the plug.

It was as though a thick blanket of realization had been gently placed on my tired form.

"I'd miss ya, but fuck it. I'll find others. I do every stinkin' day."

In the back of my mind I was using as little effort as possible to find something, anything to persuade me that there was a reason to continue.

And then there they were.

Where before there were images of death and demise, my parents suddenly appeared. They were smiling and waving, my Mom cradling her silly little dog in her arms.

I glanced back at Dialysis and His entire body dropped. He knew He was finished for the day.

"You know that I could never do anything to myself while my parents are still alive. It would crush them. They'd never recover. And I love them too damn much to let you win."

Dialysis didn't say another word, just sulked back behind the storage counter.

I haven't seen Him since.