21 April 2010

Coping with the ever present spector of death...

It's been a few days now, and this Vince thing is still gutting me at its core. Let's just dismiss the way it went down, it's more than that. At least for me, pretty much any death that I have to deal with forces thoughts to my mind that I spend all that I have trying not to think about. Death. For me, it's the overbearing issue that grinds at my soul in the same way that glaciers grind away their landscape, in the same way the mighty Colorado carved what we know as the Grand Canyon (before they built multiple dams, provided Las Vegas with power and water, but stifling the power of one of the world's most powerful rivers). Death. I try to get away from it, but it always seems to filter itself into my psyche...



...for me, death in general hits me differently, probably because I've had to deal with quite a bit of death in my time (some have said it's at the core of my generally less than pleasant disposition). I do not have any of the members of my immediate family that are still alive, having lost my older brother before I turned 12, my father and mother in the span of 6 years before I hit the age of 30, and my sister dying in 2002. Each death hit me differently, but they all hit me in a very similar fashion- like being hit with a sack of oranges- i was destroyed on the inside, but (as is my general MO) was not letting anyone on the outside see that anything was (or even could be) wrong. Usually, I would just find some shell to crawl into, usually with a bottle or some pills or some other vastly destructive tool, and would hope to some day crawl out of the other side, hoping to be a better person because of it (nothing remotely close to a "strategy" although when my mom died, I guess the strategy was to do Coke until i ran out of money or died- but that's not really a plan, as much it is a result for a lack of a plan). These methods, although in retrospect ended up being effective, were not the smartest means to resolve those problems. I had to tell myself that there had to be a better way to deal with the anxiety of thinking about death, instead of worrying about how to live...

..there is a second reason I have a different conceptualization of death and life than most. Every man in my family, on my dad's side of the family (with the exception of my dad's twin, who is an anomaly in every possible way) have had the unfortunate issue of heart disease, and, like a Whitley's grandma's priceless ear-rings, this heart disease is passed down from generation to generation, with my dad dying at the age of 47 (which is 8 years longer than his dad, who lived 6 years longer than his dad). I don't know if I will get this heart disease, and I know you can live with it for some time (dad was diagnosed on his 39th birthday and he lived with it for 8 years and through a heart attack and a double bypass and and angioplasty). My 39th is approaching like a Japanese Bullet Train, so the 800lb gorilla that is death was in the room anyway, but at least before Vince, he was being quiet...



...i guess i am being dishonest with myself when I say that the way this whole thing went down doesn't get to me more than normal. He was walking from a friends house to his house in his own town. I'm a person that enjoys walking, and I really do enjoy walking by myself, especially in new areas. I really enjoy people watching, and I think it's easiest to do when you're just a passive observer in a community- nobody is paying attention to you, which makes it easier for you to pay attention to your surroundings without affecting those surroundings (people are much more likely to act like themselves if they think there is nobody there that may judge them for doing so). I'm the kind of guy that would have no problem leaving his hotel room in a town I'm visiting at 2:30am to walk to the convenience store to get a Coke and some Gummi Bears. I've been told by numerous people in numerous places where I've just walked out on my own (Detroit, Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami), sometimes in my younger days looking for a little shadiness (read: Indonesia). I've been told by hotel staffs, cabbies, bartenders, etc. that I was in situations I should be more concerned about, but when it was all said and done, I always pacified myself by saying "Who would want to harm me?" and the answer "Crazy motherfuckers, and for no logical reason" never popped in my head...
...and now there's a side of me that wants to be more cautious, wants to stay in my house, fearful of the crazy shit that's happening outside. It's the paranoid manic side of my personality that gets crushed like Reid Shannon's soul when he was dating The Funkiller- except in those dark moments, alone, when I start thinking about death. But, as a great philosopher and king, George W. Bush once said, that would let the terrorists win. I'm sick of how this is making me feel- I'm sick of being gutted by that actions of some douchebags that I really hope get what they deserve (we can debate about what that would be- but it's hard for me to be sympathetic about three guys that broke out of jail to kidnap someone- the fact that he was a friend of mine is important, but even if i had just come across the story, I'd still feel similarly). I just want to not have this Pulp Fiction-esque situation change me in the way that other deaths have changed me. I want things to be normal again.



But I also want to be 6'6" so I could play hoops, and independently wealthy, so I never had to work. I'm beginning to think the second is more realistic than returning to a world of normalcy.

1 comment:

  1. That Pharcyde jam is my favorite. Good shit D

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