Exaggeration and Blank Verse

Oh, that the Everlasting had not fix'd his canon 'gainst self-slaughter

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The question of suicide has never weighed heavily upon me. Years of pain digging its claws in, carving its mark into my flesh, and I’ve never tried to end it, because I would rather scream back in the face of the monster than let it have its way. A moral victory…or perhaps a Pyrrhic one. Wouldn’t Foreman laugh if he knew I was playing the mythic hero in my own mind. Chase would look inscrutable- I liked that about the kid. He understands the concept of a game face. Cameron would get doe-eyed and concerned, and I’d have to kill her. I’d utterly fail to win over the jury, what with being an unsympathetic bastard and all, and they’d give me the death penalty, and hey, suicide wouldn’t be a problem anymore anyway.

I did crack jokes about it for the first six months or so, until I got my head far enough out of its pain-and-drug haze (not to mention my own ass) to notice how much the jokes were hurting James. Unsympathetic bastard and general asshole I might be, but I don’t go around kicking puppies for fun, and James’ eyes have a way of being eerily canine.

Of course, now that years have dragged by and he’s stayed young, while my own battle with the pain-monster leaves scars on face and soul (I’ve never been particularly vain, but watching yourself grow old before your time really is a bit of a kick in the gut), the idea comes up a bit more often in the back of my mind. Three o’ clock in the morning, or half-past two in the afternoon; what Douglas Adams called “the long dark tea-time of the soul.” Go out while I still have a shred of my dignity. Well, why not? I amuse myself on those dull afternoons by inventing needlessly convoluted and arcane, Rube Goldberg-style mechanisms of death, something to give that fat bearded bastard on CSI a real run for his money when it came time to figure it out.

And if the greatest satisfaction in your life comes from devising ways to torment a fictional character, Greg, maybe you really are in deep shit. Oh, wait- tormenting the Three Incompeteers is probably still your greatest satisfaction. Still good, then.

The schemes themselves are just for entertainment, but the more serious considerations, the “dark thoughts” as it were…I don’t think they’d come up half as often if I wasn’t surrounded by chirpy power-of-positive-thinking morons. I’m contrary by nature; they send me rocketing the other way. I have philosophy on my side, and not one of the mass-market popular boys, either. Someone cranky and dark and Danish. Soren Kierkegaard wrote “ The negative thinkers therefore always have the advantage that they have something positive, namely this, that they are aware of the negative; the positive thinkers have nothing whatever, for they are deluded.” I think I’ll have that printed on a poster and hang it over my desk.

Kierkegaard had something to say about suicide, too, come to think of it. “"It requires courage not to surrender oneself to the ingenious or compassionate counsels of despair that would induce a man to eliminate himself from the ranks of the living; but it does not follow from this that every huckster who is fattened and nourished in self-confidence has more courage than the man who yielded to despair.” So there you go. It isn’t necessarily cowardly. I have the existentialists on my side.

Of course, I suspect that at least some of old Soren’s issues stemmed from the fact that he was living in a Scandinavian country, surrounded by those lovely blonde creatures they breed there, and couldn’t get a date because he was both massively depressed and slightly agoraphobic, not to mention a philosopher, meaning broke. Might’ve done better if he was a doctor. There’s a thought. I should move to Denmark and take up philosophy as a hobby.

Of course, you can be a prince in Denmark and still be depressed, lonely and celibate. Look at Hamlet. If he’d had the balls to kill himself in Act One, I can’t help but think it would improve the play immeasurably for the rest of us. But no, instead we get moping because the Everlasting has fix'd his canon ‘gainst self-slaughter. Shut up, Hamlet. Have Uncle Claudius marry you off to the Princess of Sweden or something and get over it already. Then call me, and we’ll figure out what kind of snake venom can kill you by being poured in your ear. I’ve always been curious about that.

Well. The hour draws late and soon my three young wards (it’s easier to deal with them if I pretend I have power of life and death over their vacant little heads, or at least the ability to marry them off at will, like in a Victorian novel) will be popping in to try my patience. So I shan’t die today, at any rate. Not enough pills left in the bottle…though that isn’t my preferred way in any consideration. Too much risk of the body asserting itself- aspirating your own vomit is much less dignified than drifting off to sleep. And we are still operating under the delusion that this is about dignity, right? Not boredom or disgust or self-loathing or despair? Right. None of that. I don’t feel those things. I’m content with my life. It’s nothing deep, nothing psychological, as James would have it be; it’s just pain.

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