Good Morning Ageless Ones,
Like most mornings I arose before dawn and shut off the alarm. I really don’t know why I bother with it. I suppose it’s become a habit ever since I overslept and was ten minutes late for work. To my recollection this was the only time I snoozed through my commitment and can’t suffer those that are habitually late. I looked out my kitchen window and was treated to a spectacular sunrise. It was one of those strictly Colorado morning treats in which all air and sky is bathed in a bright rose colored light. Mr. Coffee signaled my java had brewed and actually managed to not burn the toast. Three soft-boiled eggs and coffee provided the sustenance needed for the busy morning ahead. Normally I look forward to checking my email because I never know what will be there. But outside the job board, the occasional joke, or a brief note from one of my children, there’s little that’s readable. This time I had messages from Fed-X currier services, Barrister Robert Dingle, The Bank of Nairobi, and some weepy-eyed woman asking me to save her life. I passed on the offers evidently turning my back on hundreds of thousands in cash left to me by a long lost European relative! I marked them as ‘phishing’ scams. I jumped in the shower and felt inspired to sing….so before long was belting out “Back to the Island” by Leon Russell. I love that song.
The last few years have taught me to live each day as honorably and frugally as possible, yet never be surprised when shot out of the saddle. Living life precariously perched over the bottomless pit without a net keeps things on edge. Without even average resources it’s absolutely vital that one’s puny network function at will. If just one seemingly minor disruption occurs it quickly becomes like dominoes falling; helpless to stop the chain reaction. In a simple way it’s much like how our present economy came to be. This fragile existence I enjoy is the proverbial house of cards waiting for someone to bump the table. Yet what is one supposed to do? The M.A.S.H. song “Suicide is painless” comes to mind, but reasonably sure it’s always painful for someone. How does one get to this point? While not currently afflicted with thoughts of self-destruction, I do have a better idea about how one arrives at that particular crossroad.
I was feeling pretty good about things this bright February day and had the radio on jammin’ to a rarely played ‘Derek Trucks Band’ and didn’t hear my phone ring. I continued my 15 minute ride to work feeling optimistic about life’s rich pageant and pulled in. I checked my ‘in’ box and walked to my tables that substitute for an office when my phone reminded me of a missed call. Checking voice mail I nearly dropped the phone! Out of the blue a sobbing cry of desperation reached out from the phone and slapped me hard. It was from one of our own! I hesitate to reveal our sad associate but it was clear he was at ‘escape velocity’ and reaching out. The message played back and I quote, “Zuki,…Zuki,…… Zuki,……I need to taste the business end of a shotgun…..please give me a single reason to live!” I immediately left without telling anyone and raced to our associate’s house.
I arrived in record time, jumped out (with some effort) of the car, and noticed the front door swung wide open. I found our disturbed friend sitting at the kitchen table with a box of shotgun shells scattered all over and an empty bottle of Jack Daniels. As promised he looked as though he was trying to eat the shotgun barrels. It seemed to me he was struggling to find a way to pull the trigger but his girth and stubby arms prevented a clean shot. He finally realized I was standing there with mouth gaped open in disbelief and without removing the barrel tried to tell me something. “Unhor hep ahhh hoot” slobbering down the double barrel obviously frustrated. “What” I queried, “I don’t understand…..take the damn gun out of your mouth,” I pled. “I haaaaant uh horon” as the tears flowed adding to the pool of spit collecting around the butt. I’m speaking of the gun of course. It finally dawned on me that the barrel was stuck in his mouth! Upon asking he immediately acknowledged my assessment.
“Is it loaded?” I pressed wanting to help but really had no idea what to do. I began to dial 911 but through his gag reflex-ed tone understood he didn’t want me to. He then pointed to the guns label with his foot and immediately recognized the ‘Hasbro’ logo. While we love our fellow ‘rules committee’ member it’s clear he’s not the brightest bulb. Putting one foot on his chest and both hands on the plastic gun I pulled as hard as I’m capable of and yanked the toy shotgun out of his mouth but noticed pieces of bloody flesh dangling from the gun sights.
After the paramedics took our good friend to ER and it was evident he’d survive, I made a couple of calls to the attending physician and discovered I had performed a radical Tonsillectomy. While there will be major scar tissue, and a noticeable whistling through his nose, he’ll be able to live a normal life such as it is.
DAMN IT PEOPLE….as I’ve said many times, if one is going to kill oneself don’t involve others or concoct a plan that has little chance of success, rather wash down twenty or thirty barbiturates with a fifth of Vodka and go someplace where you’ll not be disturbed. “JUST DO IT!” Jeez.