Structurally-speaking, this thing’s a mess. When I began this “note”, I had every intention of making it as explanatory as possible. If anyone was sincere when asking “why?”, I hoped that they would find all the answers here. That much seemed owed. Recently though, my mood and thoughts have been even more depressed, and I realised that 1) I am not mentally capable of a comprehensive ‘FAQ’; 2) it was probably impossible anyway; and 3) quite painfully, my answers would only make sense to a handful of people – and, even then, in fragments. (A difficult truth I’ve been forced to face is I share no common reference points whatsoever with several people one is led to believe are kin and One.)
I have also omitted a lot of what I now consider irrelevant and, much, much worse, uninteresting. Also gone is some embarrassingly lavish praise I had heaped upon certain people that I no longer stand by. Although, along with much else, my moral instincts have gone out the window (I would’ve spewed at one time, thinking I would become the sort who considers the issues of right and justice externalities), but I know still that it would be wrong to explore who and why. I do not mean to cause suffering, I wish to end it. And besides, I can’t just pave over past feelings and appreciations (and, in one case, love). Those expressions maintain their own subjective truth – and, in all honesty, it is still possible that they may be closer to the objective truth.
But this is where I’m at: what had once provided me with solace and stability now make my stomach turn, my nerves burn.
Words aren’t enough. I attempted to write about what it’s like being in a perpetual state of war with myself and the “reality situation”, and gave up. The logistics that went into conveying it through the medium of dance, alas, proved too difficult, so I drew this:
I’m being kept alive for others, who – whatever their intentions – are tearing out what had once constituted Luke, reciting cliche as they do. I understand the former to an extent (below you will find a quote from Bellow, he laid it out far better than I could), but I rather be dead than pecked into the idea of what another thinks I should be. As for the latter… “Think about the positives” “Why don’t you stop thinking this way?” “Why don’t you make a change?” “Why, if life is so bad, don’t more people commit suicide?” (Yes, I have been asked this.) Well, why don’t you fuck off? And, as you’re doing so, try thinking about what that grey mush inside your head is for. These are nothing but hints to a mind out of work. (Just a word of advice: this type of “thinking” can be positively torturous for someone contemplating suicide. If someone you care about is having doubts about continuing the struggle, try listening to what they have to say and engaging with that. Catch-all motivational lines won’t cut it.)
Others have bucked that trend recently and asked, “don’t you have any hopes for the future?”. Usually as we sit in a drab office that fill neither professional nor patient with much in the way of expectation. Well, actually, it would rather nice if you’d take a fucking hint doc, and prescribe me the strongest sleeping pills available. If not that, perhaps I’ll luck out and one of those peripheral blurs I’ll encounter on the way home will come into view and slice open a vital artery. I have a mobile, a wallet, a debit card – dammit, I have shoes, there must be something worth stabbing me for?
This is a tad melodramatic, but how exactly can I convey what it’s like to glance the headline, “BUS AND LORRY IN HORRIFIC CRASH” by chance, and immediately be taken by regret? If only. If only I had been walking there. What am I to do with these thoughts? What was I to do with these thoughts?
As stated above, I don’t want to become someone else’s idea – or the aggregate of multiple persons’ – nor do I want to spend time making my imaginings real. Not only can it be coercive or self-serving, it’s often bound for failure. And even my modest attempts at projection have collided unsuccessfully with the material.
But then with everyone going around so capable and purposeful in his strong handsome case, can you let yourself limp in feeble and poor, some silly creature, laughing and harmless? No, you have to plot in your heart to come out differently. External life being so mighty, the instruments so huge and terrible, the performances so great, the thoughts so great and threatening, you produce a someone who can exist before it. You invent a man who can stand before the terrible appearances. This way he can’t get justice and he can’t give justice, but he can live. And this is what mere humanity always does. It’s made up of these inventors or artists, millions and millions of them, each in his own way trying to recruit other people to play a supporting role and sustain him in his make-believe. The great chiefs and leaders recruit the greatest number, and that’s what their power is. There’s one image that gets out in front to lead the rest and can impose its claim to being genuine with more force than others, or one voice enlarged to thunder is heard above the others. Then a huge invention, which is the invention maybe of the world itself, and of nature, becomes the actual world—with cities, factories, public buildings, railroads, armies, dams, prisons, and movies—becomes the actuality. That’s the struggle of humanity, to recruit others to your version of what’s real. Then even the flowers and the moss on the stones become the moss and the flowers of a version.
I certainly looked like an ideal recruit. But the invented things never became real for me no matter how I urged myself to think they were.
My real fault was that I couldn’t stay with my purest feelings. This was what tore the greatest hole in me. Maybe Thea couldn’t stand many happy days in a row either, that did occur to me as a reason for her cooling off. Perhaps she had this trouble too, with her chosen thing. The year before, when Mimi was in trouble, Kayo Obermark had said to me that this happened to everyone. Everyone got bitterness in his chosen thing. It might be in the end that the chosen thing in itself is bitterness, because to arrive at the chosen thing needs courage, because it’s intense, and intensity is what the feeble humanity of us can’t take for long. And also the chosen thing can’t be one that we already have, since what we already have there isn’t much use or respect for. Oh, this made me feel terrible contempt, the way I felt, riled and savage. The fucking slaves! I thought. The lousy cowards!
And the usual distractions have failed and failed. William James,
There are in most men instinctive springs of vitality that respond healthily when the burden of metaphysical and infinite responsibility rolls off. The certainty that you now may step out of life whenever you please, and that to do so is not blasphemous or monstrous, is itself an immense relief. The thought of suicide is now no longer a guilty challenge and obsession.
My “springs” are spent. Recently, a friend told me of how Russell and Wittgenstein had both been kept from self-murder in this way. Elsewhere, James explained, “meanwhile we can always stand it for twenty-four hours longer, if only to see what to-morrow’s newspaper will contain, or what the next postman will bring”. These men – towering figures I feel silly mentioning in relation to me – found that the secrets contained within logic, the mind and the study of society were of such fascination, that death had to be postponed. No longer did time feel like the passing of a gruelling sentence, it was valuable. Valuable and fleeting. I understand that, or at least I did.
To the extent my mind was furnished with knowledge, the result was the formation of whirlpools: those of fatalism and despair and other things. And, in keeping with the rapidly straining analogy, I’ve had my fill.
I am not in anyway suggesting I’m unique in any of this. I know that many have been left spent by the beastliness of neoliberalism and the vacuum of an agreeable out (or as another friend put it “absence of a counter-culture”.)
Without ideals – something greater than any of us – I’m left with the accumulation of wealth through degradation, and, immeasurably worse, dealing with people for no other reason than having to. All in order that, one day, I may drag another human out of blissful nihility, and say, “your turn, Tuck”. (Admittedly, naming it Tuck would be setting him up for a fall.)
No, you’re alright, thanks. I’ll pass on all that. And, what’s more, what’s wrong with you? …It only occurs to me now, but doesn’t our species meet Einstein’s criteria of insanity?
- [Redacted] – he is to receive the best possible care, I ask that [redacted] is helped in doing this. What funds I had left are to go toward him. He is wonderful and my death needn’t affect him
- Books are to be offered to friends primarily (no particular order): [redacted]. Those unwanted, and I’m guessing Marxist, texts are to be donated to youth groups, in the hope they might spark proletarian revolt among millennials. And, seeing as man, beast and Allah have seen to do as little as possible to alleviate the plight of those refugees pouring into Europe, perhaps some books can be sent their way (just the cheerful stuff though, don’t you think? i.e. PG Wodehouse)? Also, please don’t destroy any of the books (ah, so there is something I’m sentimental about)
- Games/consoles/clothes to the same kind of places
- Numerous smoking apparatus and tobacco are to go to [redacted], the only other man I personally know who truly appreciates pipe smoking
- My drawings are now [redacted]
- My writings are to be offered to any madperson(s) who wants them. Most of them can be found on this site or on my Laptop, in the “Most Writings Collected” folder
- Body – what can be is to be donated to medicine/research. And please do not waste your time with religious ceremonies. Religion, in particular Catholicism, provided nothing but immense irritation in life (and Torngasoak will be livid if you do decide to dump my body at some altar somewhere). Conversely, do have a ceremony if it’ll make you feel better; I’ll be in no state to argue
But, more importantly than all that, [redacted] is to be given all the support and love possible. I dread the ways my life’s conclusion will impact hers. She does not deserve this; didn’t deserve me. The simple fact is my decision, though some will fail to understand, was made despite many of you, and not from spite.
Yes, [redacted] was good and I was very fortunate to have the friends I did, but it doesn’t change all the rest:
Terrible governments and their masochistic apologists still exist; as do nuclear weapons, GCHQ, the CIA, the “Royals” and reality television; same for religion, golf, cruelty, hypocrisy, literalism and all the other irrevocable foibles that make apemen Earth’s most dogged disease. (This isn’t a manifesto, so, thankfully, I’ll stop here. Besides, those who knew me knew my hates. Probably far better than they knew their contrary.)
Crucially, those loved ones couldn’t change my mind about any of that.
(And no, this isn’t a matter of a “passing phase”, a case of temporary misdirected attention. There are certain things I cannot not know – however unpleasant – and they are the specters that won’t go away. I know that Man is capable of Sandy Creek and Sandy Hook, of poisoning village wells, of bombing hospitals, and, fucking hell, of Auschwitz. I know that what we mean by “justice” will never attain actuality; and that the latent sadism or potential cowardice to carry out, or allow such outrages, resides in me. Because I am Man just as much as the next, and that thought terrifies me perhaps more than any other.)
I’m just sick and tired of too much. And now, “to death” another
insufferable cunt can append.
- Any responsibility or blame lies solely with me. If you need someone to hate, let it be me
- If by any chance my attempt fails, and I survive in a state where I’m unable to convey my wishes, it is essential that I am allowed/helped to die. To not do so would be awful, and contrary to any idea of “the moral” that I’m aware of. It would, if you’d allow me, be selfish of those who intervene elsewise, and resentment is all that could be returned (if at all – if vulgarisms about vegetables are to be believed). My life has been a succession of bad judgements and missteps, and if anyone should think this to be just another one, let it be my last
And for goodness’ sake don’t check my browser history. I won’t be around to explain just how innocuous webpages like “latino housewife takes a visit from the plumber” really are. (These jokes are falling flat, aren’t they?)
This may never be enough, and I’m sorry for that. I am sincerely sorry. Your love, patience or friendship was, when possible, dearly appreciated. But I’m fucked beyond my own capacities of recognition. I can’t go on.
I drew this piece, which is of course inspired by Goya, during a particularly trying time. Only now, with all the talk of 2016 being a struggle for all admirers and inheritors of the Enlightenment*, I thought I would share it, restyling it as my modest, and modern, take on The Sleep of Reason Brings Forth Demons.
Also: Christopher Hitchens’ words are just as apposite today – where more leftists are taking the “if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em” mantra to heart.
Goya did not idealize “the people” and was more inclined to notice savagery than nobility in human nature. The “human nature” argument has been allowed to waste a lot of liberal time, and keeps emerging the subtext of contemporary arguments about crime, race, evil and other areas where reactionaries feel that the instinctive gives them the upper hand. It is the special achievement of Goya to have been a radical pessimist; to have forced our attention upon the base and the ghastly aspects of the human personality while not surrendering to them ceasing to protest their official instatement. He had few illusions to lose-fewer perhaps than many liberals of today, whose optimism would have buckled if forced by a circumstance like that of Spain in 1812.
*And I make no allusions to the nauseating “New Atheist” cult here. “Enlightenment – with or without the capital E – has unfortunately become a buzzword in that electronic circle-jerk.