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Friday, November 14, 2008

In a real dark night of the soul, it is always three o'clock in the morning, day after day.- F. Scott Fitzgerald

In the theater of assisted suicide, the show is usually private. But not always.

I had flirted with the concept of taking my own life in my more morose moments, but extreme cowardice and a glimmer of hope always saved me from myself.

One botched attempt many years before (which amounted to chugging a bottle of NyQuil, case of warm Budweiser, two packets of Unisom sleep aides and a small bottle of Chaps cologne,) resulted in the grandmother of all headaches, shit filled trousers (my own) and very interesting smelling breath.

It also left the act very far to the back of the drawer in which we keep our most selfish possessions.

Most days I would forget it was even there.

One day the very real, very ugly reality reminded me what it could be.

I was at work, meandering about the building, floor to floor, keeping all within the building secure. I had a partner at the front desk manning the phones and I kept in touch with him by radio. This was an extremely boring exercise in that nothing ever happened and I never had anything to report. No terrorists storming the building; so I could hide in the stairwell and somehow save the day; no fires to run through thereby saving an extremely grateful heiress-just empty hallways and the occasional smell of onions in one of the elevators.


My radio crackled to life and my partner (sounding like he had been smoking weed by the dumpster instead of filling out the activity log) told me to report to a unit on the 9th floor for a possible water leak. Oh boy, wet socks for the rest of the night and a bullshit report, but it broke up the boredom.

I could hear running water as I approached the front door and saw the carpeted hallway in front of the door a darker, squishier shade of green than it should have been.

I knocked loudly, announcing myself in the largest, most authoritative voice I could muster.

No answer.

I used the master key and opened the door. The sound was coming from the bathroom to the right of the door. The door to the bathroom was closed, but brownish, brackish, foam poured from underneath the door and past my shoes into the main hallway.

I opened the door.

Big mistake, but what was I to do?

The male tenant was in the tub, clear plastic bag tightly over his head, the tub water brown with his own shit, flowing over the sides. His head was half submerged. What I could determine of his face was infested with open sores and lesions.

Oh, fuck me Tilly...this was bad.

Two attempts on the radio alerted my partner to call 911, my voice within an octave of a Bobcat Goldthwaite imitation and the guy in the tub began to twitch like Stephen Hawking at a limbo party.

Without thinking I grabbed him under the arms and tugged upward, losing my balance and falling into the putrid water on the floor, ass first, which caused him to actually submerge momentarily. The water was hot. The air fetid and foul. This was NOT worth seven bucks an hour.

"Oh no you don't fuckhead!" I screamed and grabbed him by the head while he slapped at me weakly.

We wrestled while I gouged a hole in the plastic around his face, causing him to gasp and wheeze and blow nasty bubbles and tried without a lot of success to roll him from the tub onto the floor.

I heard someone scream shrilly from behind me. My partner. This was not something he should be seeing stoned.

"Turn off the water, jackass!" I yelled, trying to keep our victims head out of the poop smoothie he was laying in.

He did and I heard voices in the hall. Police and Paramedics. I let them in to do their thing and stood in the hallway, soaked in shit (someone else's) and shook for a while.

The Police took my statement and someone from down the hall gave me a jogging suit to change into after I showered in the exercise locker room in the basement.

The victims sister arrived, filling in the blanks. He had been diagnosed with AIDS and was next to through anyway. Depressed and despondent.

I guess he wanted to call it on his own terms. I don't know.

Did I save him?

No. He died in the ambulance.

I thought about curling up with a bottle of Bushmills but curled up with my pregnant wife instead.

We didn't talk much about it. What was there to say?

It took me a long time to fall asleep.

No comments:

My new disclaimer...yeah I know.

Okay, the old disclaimer was tired. The ideas were outdated and keeping me stuck in a place I don't want to be now for something more refreshing.

I have recently changed my views regarding women. Seems I had some issues with the fairer sex due to past pain and self- centered fear. (Yes...duh applies.)

I'm done with that.

Being in recovery has helped me change my entire life, perceptions and attitudes. I cannot change my history but I can change my today and my future.

I recently realized that the women I know in recovery are some of the strongest, bravest, most gentle and kind teachers I have ever had. You exemplify integrity and spiritual growth, and I hope you know who you are.

Some may know of my past marital and relationship history and been a participant in them as well. It's past and that's where it the past.

I own my part in those failures but claim no more responsibility in any misery you may be experiencing. I am sorry, but it's time to get off the cross. We need the wood.

Thank you all...