Thursday, January 17, 2013

A Meditation on Suicide


    This is a very serious subject in my mind so I simply want to explain that I do not at all take the subject of suicide lightly, though I do in certain sections of this piece write with gallows humor. The first part of this piece is stream of conscience, which is a tradition by now with literally everything a write. I have to spew all this stuff out before I can become more lucid. I would leave it out completely, but holds within its jagged lines some important information to the rest of the writing. Thank you for reading.


    Kurt Cobain should not have killed himself. It is 2013. Cobain put a shotgun in his mouth 19 years ago and ended his life. He committed suicide 25 years after Woodstock. He committed suicide 26 years after Altamount. He committed suicide 9 years after I was born. It is 2013 and I am 27 years old until July. There is no forever 27, I think. You are your age or you are dead
    19 years ago, Kurt Cobain propped a shotgun in his drooling smack gaped mouth and committed suicide in his garage apartment that resided within the brisk and moist Pacific Northwest. I believe it was his right not to live those additional 19 years if he truly believed that he could not handle that time. I really wish he had not  done it, though.

One Man's Opinion.

    Personifications of Jesus keep coming around at younger and younger ages. I don't want to dispute this because it would require me to write a lot of things that would no doubt become tedious and tiresome.
    John Lennon: dead at 44. That is at least an 11 year addition instead of a 6 year subtraction.
33. Jesus, in the garden accepted his gloomy fate.
44. If you take the time to study his work and are a bit unhinged, you might come to the conclusion  that John was actually asking for his fate.
27. Kurt, you died at age 27, just past the peak of your fame.
25. Bowie. No time to explain because it was simply a play or a musical and not real life. Smart move, Davey.
24. Joy Division. Ian Curtis could be his own meditation on the same subject. I am simply less familiar.
18. Go for it capitalists, warlords, tricksters, Alice Cooper.
17. L. Teenage Suicide.

A Short Confession to L.

    I hated you when I knew you, L, and I am now sorry for that.
    When you hanged yourself from a basketball goal in the predawn darkness, I understood where you must have been coming from when you did what you did. Art/Narcissus/Sociopath. I am not angry that you chose as you did. I am sad that there was nothing you could find that you would keep you from doing what you did.
    You had everything, L, but you still, somehow, really had nothing.

A Fan Letter.

Dear Kurt Cobain,
    You had everything, yet even everything -more than everything you had once imagined I would guess considering at one point you would have been happy just to be a member of the Melvins- was still nothing in your mind.
    I was 9 years old and listened to Garth Brooks and Harry Chapin when a shotgun shell tore through your skull and brain. Your death meant nothing to me at the time. The ripples it caused in the years since and the allusions it hinted at from years prior have now made your death mean something to me. I wish this were not true, 19 years later, in the final stretch of my 27th year of life.
    Yes, I am a fan. I like all of your music and I didn't even get a chance to enjoy it when it was the "it" thing. Whether it's cool or not is not the point. Those sounds and those words brought me comfort when I needed it so I am eternally a fan. So be it. That being said, I do not believe your music would have all been good if you had decided not to spray your viscera across the floor and walls of your guest apartment and instead decided to continue making music. I think some of it would have been good, but not all of it. My guess is that the recognition of its genius would have been slower to register with the masses. I really hope that this wasn't the sole reasoning for your 1994 reality. I really doubt that it was.
     In this solemn mood, writing these solemn words, I still believe you had every right to do what you have done, but I wish you had not.

Aaron C. Molden

Side Note.

    I'm dropping the Jesus theory from here on out. Fare thee well, Mr. Lennon and thank everything for side two of Abbey Road. Oh, and Yoko, your wife, I believe she is a difficult but brilliant artist. Your personal lives were your own and I will leave it at that.


    I have to return to L. I remember L. I sincerely hated him when I was required to be in close proximity with him. I was in close proximity with him as well as every other student in my grade from kindergarten to 8th grade. Thinking about it now, I believe he was a bully. I don't think that he was just my bully, but I may have been so oblivious at the time that I simply assumed he treated everyone the same way he treated me. He had friends and maybe he treated them differently. I always wondered why someone would want to hang out with him. Not that he and his friends would have wanted to hang out with me. Let me put it another way because I might have been completely naive at the time. Every moment with L absent was a better moment for me. In elementary and middle school, these sans-L moments were rare.
 High school changed all of that. I found my niche and only had to see L while drifting through the river of students flowing towards their next classroom during each passing period. He very quickly faded from my mind.
    Junior year. Mr. T's history class. There was a lot of "work amongst yourselves" days in Mr. T's class. L and I were in the same class that semester. Some students worked independently and diligently on their history work packets during class. Many students socialized and played Euchre. I was half and half most of the time. I worked on the work packets when they were due the next day. I always put them off until the last minute.
    L still seemed like a bully, but he was definitely not my bully. He was everybody's bully. He still had friends in class, but it was not because he treated them differently than others. He was an asshole through and through to anyone who crossed his path. I wasn't mad about this truth when in class with him. I simply ignored him as most people did.

    On the first day of senior year, it was announced that L had died the night prior. I was in the administrators office waiting for my schedule. Due to procrastination in setting up my schedule I had managed to not have a first period at all. Through the open windows in the office door I saw students and teachers exit their classrooms. In the halls they began hugging, crying and consoling each other. I felt nothing. I did not care. My first thought about the situation could have been any of these: no big deal, whatever, oh well, or no use crying over spilled milk.
    Through out the day I learned that his death was self inflicted. A girl who would have never spoken to me on a voluntary basis at any other time told me that she was with him and his friends the night before. She told me that he said he was going to do it, but none of them believed him. She told me all this while bawling on my shirt sleeve. I wonder now if some of his friends really did believe him and simply did nothing about it. I have no way of knowing.
    At lunch, through snickers and haphazardly constructed jokes, I learned that he hanged himself from the basketball goal in his parents front yard early in the morning. At the time my first thought was "what an asshole." Now I think that he simply wanted to be found. There is nothing wrong with wanting to be found.

    There was another student that had killed himself earlier that summer. I knew him because he was good friends with the girl I was helplessly in love with at the time. I knew him by name at the time and he always went in for the hug whenever he saw me and really anyone he knew. He was gay. His parents did not know that he was gay and he was terrified to tell them. He was dating a man that was old enough to be his dad that only a couple of his friends from high school knew about. The girl I was hopelessly in love with was one of these friends. She told me all of these things when we learned that he had hanged himself in his closet. She told me as she bawled on my shirt sleeve.
    I remember bringing up his name when students spoke of the tragedy of L. I remember implying that this other teenage suicide was the real tragedy. For the life of me, I cannot remember that other tragic souls name. Why have I lost this name? Why have I not lost L?

An Idea.

    I do not think that I ever saw L as a human being. I do not blame myself for that at all. He was nothing but malicious to me as far as I can remember. He was a human being. I do not actually know it, but he must have felt the same feelings I have felt at certain times and situations. I have to believe this because I have felt all these different ways throughout my life. L simply reacted differently. He hanged himself from a basketball goal. It took me a long time for this truth to finally click in my brain. Procrastination.

A Poem and an Explanation.

    I know I believed that L's suicide was cowardly for a long time because I have personal written proof. I wrote a very mean poem about his death that I have kept to this day:

Everyone you hated for being better off than you is still better off than you,
and you're dead.
A piss drunk mob hovers around your funeral, they hated you enough to show up,
and you're dead.
Everything you hoped to accomplished are left for those more ambitious to you,
and you're dead.
They hate you now, but look on the bright side, in a week or so, no one will care anymore,
and you will still be dead.

    I held onto this as a reminder. I had not hanged myself from a basketball goal. I see tragedy in L's death now, where I did not before. Maybe L felt that everyone he knew thought about him the same way I did at the time. Maybe he thought that no one actually believed that he was a human being. I see tragedy now because if these were possibly L's thoughts, maybe he was right. Not right that he wasn't a human being, he was a human being. Right that no one he knew believed that. Maybe this thought is what has me writing about this dismal subject so many years later.
    It was a tragedy. He needed to prove that he was human. He had his reasons. Otherwise he wouldn't have acted so completely unnaturally. It was his right being the only true sovereign of his body and mind. I must have cared at least little at the time because I now wish he had not done what he chose to do. But that was not my decision to make. It was indeed a tragedy, but it was not my tragedy and I would never claim it to be.


    I do not think Kurt Cobain and L would have been friends. I'm fairly certain that L would have tormented Kurt if they had gone to school together. I think Kurt would have lashed out at L's bullying in a way that would have given L enough joy to keep coming back for more. I think that Kurt would have used that destructive behavior in a constructive way.
    I do not know why I have written "would have." Kurt did. Of course it wasn't L he was lashing out at, but that does not matter.
    Kurt Cobain felt everything anyone has ever felt at certain times and situations. His times and situations were no doubt more surreal than most peoples, but he felt them just the same. He was a human being. He simply acted differently than most. The ends were just as destructive as L's, but the means still seem more constructive and important. I have mentioned that I am indeed a fan. This is why L is not my tragedy. L is no longer my tragedy.
    Kurt Cobain had every right to do as he did, but I still wish that he hadn't.

The End.

    I hope these gloomy words hold a light at the end of the tunnel. At 9 years old it did not make sense to me. At 17 years it did not make sense to me. Now, at 27, when I really think about, it still does not make sense to me. Thank you.

Aaron C. Molden




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