A farewell to life -or- Why I can’t talk to you during film school


As far as suicide notes go, the experts would consider this a bad one.  Their main complaint would be that I am not planning on killing myself, which I have been told is a key factor in having a successful suicide note.  If one writes a suicide note and does not commit to killing oneself, then the “suicide note” merely becomes a “note,” and no one cares about “notes,” unless of course someone wrote the note to you.  If this is the case, then a state of puzzled bemusement is generally the emotional status quo.  “Dear me!” people normally begin with, “A note!  How lovely!  And yet it’s written on paper, with ink.  How peculiar!  A simple text message, or even an e-mail would have sufficed, I’m sure, but still, how very nice!”  They would then puzzle over the bizarre looping script the note had been written in, before shrugging and casually tossing the thing in the garbage or, if they are particularly environmentally conscious, the recycling bin. This is of course assuming the note had been written with pen and paper, rather than typed on a heartless computing machine and penned by an equally heartless printer.  If I were ever going to kill myself, I would most certainly write my suicide note with a pen on stationary paper.  It adds that personal touch to the taking of one’s own life that would sooth your loved ones as they tearfully stepped over your swollen corpse and picked up the letter, riddled as it was with spelling errors and horrible grammar.  Things like syntax are hard to keep up with without spell check.

“What’s that say?” Your dad would ask, squinting at a word.  He would then glance down at your body and shake his head. “Lazy kid never did figure out cursive!  Why the hell would we write his damn suicide note in cursive?”

“Robert, please!” You mother would chide, blotting a tear from her eye with your carefully crafted note that you worked so hard on, smearing some of the ink.  “He was trying to be creative!  He was always so creative.  At least he didn’t type it on a computer.  At least he cared.”

As the title states, this blog post is a farewell to life, and I suppose that in a sense it is a suicide note, albeit a temporary one.  My life, however, is not being taken or snuffed out, but rather carefully packaged and set upon a high shelf, where it will gather dust in the coming months until it becomes nothing more than another unpacked box from my move.  On the shelf it will remain until the end of my first semester at film school, when I move out of my dorm.  I’ll discover it once I have packed everything else up in my car, after I have said goodbye to my room mate and I’m doing a last inspection of the room, a last check for anything I’ve forgotten.  My eyes will stop at a small, coffee mug sized box, dusty and alone.

“What’s this?” I’ll ask, picking it up and turing it over in my hands.  It will tinkle slightly, like a wind chime in a light breeze, or maybe broken glass being swept up from a stained linoleum floor.  “Ah!” I’ll remember, setting it carefully down and cutting the box open with a knife, given to me by the man from Aurora, Alabama who had rescued me from a roadside disaster an eternity ago.  The lid swings open, and  a glow comes from inside.  I grab it, and press it gently to my chest, whereupon it permeates skin and diffuses throughout me.  At that moment my phone will buzz with a thousand texts and ring with a hundred phone calls.  There will be time to answer them when I get home, but as things will stand I’d still have 300 miles to go.

But that’s almost four months in the future, and so I sit here in the waning hours of a saturday morning writing my not so suicidey suicide note to let my friends and family know that I’ll be busy nearly all of autumn.  You shouldn’t take it personally, because it’s my fault, not yours.  I was the one that signed up for this intensive film program, and I’m the one giving them money that the bank was nice enough to give me. I sure hope they don’t want it back.

So if you don’t hear from me for a while, don’t worry.  I’m not dead, I’m just sitting up a shelf until winter, when I’ll be taken down, dusted off, and set loose once again, to wreak havoc on the world.

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