Friday, February 18, 2005

stories about death

So shit... it's rare that I'll go out on a weeknight, because I have to get up at 7 in the goddamn morning. When I do, it's a real struggle not to be a crabby bastard because I'm exhausted from work. Last night I decided to go out and drive halfway across the planet to meet my friends at a bar... on the way in, it was a struggle to stay sane because it's raining today and rain always makes me want to hang myself with my tie. Basically I don't need any outside depressing stimuli because just contemplating my own failures, etc., makes me plenty depressed.

Just as I'm pulling up to the bar Albert calls me and tells a story of how this CMU dramat girl whose career was just taking off spontaneously died of pneumonia last week. One night she was out to dinner with her dramat buddies, saying she had a cold. The next night, dead in the hospital*. I tried to laugh it off and say "Well, you go to a funeral, at least it ain't you in the casket," but Albert was having none of it and insisted on saying shit like "Just think about it Rogier-- a vibrant, beautiful girl struck dead by a horrible illness etc. etc."

So going into this bar I was already depressed. I was with my ex-girlfriend who is still one of my best friends and she started recounting the tale of how another ex had died. I'd heard the basics before. The guy was a hippie; he was on mushrooms climbing a cliff in Big Sur when he fell to his death. But this time she told all the details from the perspective of his best friend, who was also shrooming, and had to watch his best friend die while tripping his ass off. Fuck, i'm shuddering as I type this.. God...

Anyway this friend saw the dude fall eighty feet headfirst onto rocks, and had to rappell down after him. He said that half his face was gone... his brain was exposed, looked like tapioca, but he was still alive, burbling and moaning, trying to speak but his face and jaw were smashed. He tried to crawl toward the sea... the friend held him in his arms and sung to him while he died.

He left behind a wife and baby.

All night I kept thinking about it... the horror of having your face and jaw smashed apart and trying to speak but only groans coming out, somehow trying in your shocked daze to make it to the water... and even more, the horror of being on shrooms and seeing your best friend a mangled wreck, dying and in unimagineable pain.... trying to comfort him, trying to save him but you're at the base of a fucking sea cliff... the guy was apparently never the same.

By the time the other chick we were with told us about her guilt over how she had yet to scatter her mother's ashes over Hawaii I was like "pshaw-- that ain't shit."

* If I were at that dinner, I'd be thinking "that shit better not be contagious"

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