The following story is a short work of FICTION based on actual events. The concept of the suicide note is merely used as a figurative device, nothing more.
THE STATE OF MIND
By Matt Burns
Dear Friends and Family:
It was only a couple of weeks ago when I got word that Tony Scott – the director of one of my favorite Hollywood movies TRUE ROMANCE – jumped off the Vincent Thomas Bridge in San Pedro, California. I was a little drunk at the time and felt the urge to post the news on my Facebook wall. I said something along the lines of “Wow, Tony Scott jumped off the Vincent Thomas Bridge today. I fear the state of mind a man is in before he’s able to do something like that.” I’m not sure where the latter part of this Facebook post came from. I think it was because I had seen glimpses of this “state of mind” in the past and I think – on a subconscious level – the mindset was still lurking in the back of my consciousness, like a beast in the jungle, waiting to pounce on me when I least expected it. Drinking helped keep this state of mind at bay, at least for a little while, which is what I’ve been doing for the past year or so. Well, no, let me rephrase that: of course I had been drinking before a year ago, but over the past year I have been drinking significantly more. I always lie to myself and say it’s only two beers a night, but the fact of the matter is that it’s sometimes four or five, seeing that the beer I drink (a 24oz. Natty Daddy) has an alcohol volume of 8.0%, which is essentially twice the amount of alcohol that normal beers have. And sometimes I top the Natty off with a normal beer or some spiced rum or scotch whiskey mixed with Ginger ale, so I guess you’re talking maybe five beers a night on average, on top of the usual 20 beers I have on the weekends, or whatever amount it takes me to get absolutely wasted.
So, yes, looking back on it…I guess the drinking increased because the “state of mind” was becoming more and more of a threat to me. But as your tolerance to alcohol increases you eventually get to a point where alcohol loses its ability to cloud the despair with that veil of artificial happiness, and then said “state of mind” sinks its claws into your brain like a demon, digs its nails in really deep and vicious and drains the fucking energy out of you until you submit. As I write this letter, I am at the point of submission. The alcohol has apparently lost its power and the “state of mind” has tore through the veil of fake happiness and it’s clinging to me like that fucking creature in the movie ALIEN (which, incidentally, was directed by Tony’s brother Ridley Scott).
In other words, I am in a dark place, bored with life, and also scared of living another day, as things only seem to be getting worse and worse on a lot of different levels. Of course there are the financial issues – I received another letter today from a creditor informing me that they have once again reported my delinquency to the credit bureau – but financial issues can always be mended somehow. What I’m more concerned about is my degraded morality, a byproduct of my rampant alcohol consumption. I always laugh when people say, “Only the good die young”. Well, duh. Of course they do. Life hasn’t given them enough time to be degraded. If I had died when I was – oh let’s say anytime before 25 – I would have been one of the “good” guys, God would have welcomed me into the pearly gates and my legacy on earth would have been pristine. I was a Magna Cum Laude college graduate from a respectable university. I had everything going for me. I hadn’t even had sex yet. I was virginal and pure. No women had hurt me and I hadn’t hurt any woman. My conscience was snow-white.
But after I turned 25 my morality peaked and things started to go downhill. For whatever reason, I started drinking more and more on a regular basis. I could blame society for this, but I don’t really know whose fault it is. I can’t fully blame myself because I tried very hard to lead a positive and productive life, but the world didn’t welcome it. It didn’t want what I had to offer. So I think I drank to numb myself from the pain of rejection. At least I think that might have been it. It could have been all my own fault and I’m fine with accepting that, if that’s the case. All I know is that my legacy has been tarnished, little by little, mostly because of my alcohol consumption and what I’ve done while under the influence (mostly what I’ve done with women). I am no longer ‘good’ like I was in my early twenties, and – if I live any longer – I fear that I may get even worse…like much, much worse.
What was my tragic error? I think it was choosing to live. Yes, that was my downfall: choosing life. Because every day I lived things just seemed to get worse and worse, completely out of my control, no matter what I did to try and make my life better. But, yes, I guess the alcohol was my downfall as well. Everything that compromised my morals could be traced back to the alcohol. Am I rambling right now? My mind is such mush. I’m supposed to be a writer, but I’m having trouble keeping things focused and coherent now. What I really want to talk about - and pardon the rough transition - is what happened last Thursday night that was kind of the lowest of the low for me, what I hope will be the peak of my degradation. It was an incident that made me realize it was time to die, so as to prevent myself from being degraded any further.
My friends and I were at some bar in a somewhat seedy area of Waltham, MA. where drug dealers and street urchins are aplenty. There was a sad-looking 40-year-old woman sitting at the bar counter with her head drooped down to the floor. I sat next to her and started talking to her, asking “why the long face?” and things of that nature. She said she was going through a divorce or whatever, but we chatted some more and I remember we had some things in common but I don’t really remember what they were because I was, of course, drunk. We ended up leaving my friends and I walked this woman to her car. We started making out pretty quickly and then we walked down the street a bit to find a place we could both pee. There was a random driveway where we relieved ourselves and then proceeded to make out some more while sitting in the middle of the driveway. At one point during the make-out session I planted my hand down into the pavement and felt a warm liquid. It was the woman’s pee. I had been sitting in it for a significant period of time, but – drunk as I was – I really didn’t care. The making out continued and we eventually ended up rounding the bases and approached home plate territory. At this point, the woman informed me that she had just started her period but was still desperate to get laid. I kind of shrugged my shoulders, insinuating that I was game, which I was. So she took out her…um…female hygiene device…and I proceeded to screw her behind a soccer-mom-type caravan in the driveway, on her knees, doggy-style and without a condom. I had trouble getting hard at first – maybe because of the booze – so she sucked me off for a while, and after that I had no trouble.
We had sex twice, both times in the same doggy-style position, and then I said I had to leave. I walked her to her car, kissed and hugged and everything, and then walked back to my friend’s apartment at 3:30 in the morning. While I walked, some guy on a bicycle rode past and tried to sell me drugs. I told him I was all set and then I saw him ride up the street a bit, pull to the side and disappear into the shadows. I was convinced he was planning to mug me, so I took a sharp left turn down a side-street and ran as fast as I could to my friend’s apartment on the other side of the town. I walked into the apartment ten minutes later. My friends were all still there sitting in the kitchen, wondering where the hell I had been. Then they noticed I had a big blood stain on my favorite shirt and thought I had gotten mugged or in a fight or something. It wasn’t long before they put two and two together and realized it was period juice.
So, yes, I kind of felt like a low-life scumbag street-urchin that night. But it wasn’t because of the driveway sex or period blood or sitting in pee. What really made me disgusted with myself was that I purposely didn’t give the woman my number at the end of the night, because I didn’t want her to find me in case I got her pregnant. Of course, I lied to myself and said it was because she seemed a little weird and I didn’t want her to stalk me. But let’s face it: I just didn’t want to be accessible if she were to get pregnant. Granted, she was on her period and I guess they say the odds of getting a girl pregnant are slimmer when she’s menstruating, but, still, there’s always the possibility and like a typical male scumbag I tried to avoid dealing with that situation in every way I possibly could. And it’s this gross display of morals that makes me disgusted with myself. Yes, I don’t care about having sex in a random driveway, sitting in pee and getting period juice all over me. It’s the fact that I could have a random bastard child out there somewhere and I did everything in my power to make sure that this lady could never track the biological daddy down. This kind of a man is not the man I used to be. I used to have honor and morals and chivalry but – for whatever reason – I got to the point in life where I simply didn’t care about all that anymore. Something dark and selfish took me over and now I’m everything that I used to pride myself NOT to be.
So there you have it. This, my friends, is why it is time for me to end things. I need to do it before I become even worse of a person. Besides, I can’t even think about tomorrow without feeling sick. I am so unhappy. If there’s some soul mate or love in life, something that would make me feel more alive, it’s not anywhere in the near vicinity and it looks like tomorrow it won’t be there and so there is simply nothing keeping me alive and giving me life anymore. Life is boring and makes me sick and doesn’t excite me anymore. I have no ambition. My dentist keeps calling me to schedule a cleaning but I keep on avoiding her, partly because I don’t have money or insurance, but also because I no longer feel I deserve dental care or anything that makes me healthier. I don’t care about taking care of myself. Yes, my ambition is lacking and I’m bored. Things happen in my life but they are things that make life worse, like letters from bill collectors or what happened on Thursday night with the lady on her period. These are things that make me feel more disgusted with myself. The longer I live the more degraded I’m going to be and then I’m going to be such a bad person that I’m not even going to get into heaven, I’m going to get into hell. So what happens is you live your whole life one day to the next, trying to hang in there, but all that ends up happening is you slowly degrade yourself to the point where you don’t get into heaven anyway, so you should have just committed suicide long ago to save yourself the embarrassment of who you end up becoming. At least if you get into hell then you get in just for the sin of suicide, not for degrading yourself to the level of the lowest of low scumbags. Are you following me here?
In conclusion, hopefully you can see why I had to do this. Hopefully you can understand the “state of mind” that I’m in. Hopefully you don’t judge but at least attempt to understand. I wish I could wrap this letter up in a more poetic, deep way, but my mind is too tired to do so. All I can do is say a prayer that none of you have to experience this state of mind yourself. I really do hope that. Goodbye all. There might be an “other side” but honestly I don’t really care. I’m not sure I really have the energy to deal with that world either.
September 4, 2012