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A collaboration over too much coffee.
coffee and pen

04 January, 2005

Chronicle of a Suicide

He sat there with a gun in his mouth and his hand near the trigger. But the fingers would not move those final few inches, the index finger curved around the trigger and the rest of the fingers bore the weight of the gun. Like thousands before he too was hesitating when it came to taking his life. In spite of all the shit that passed for his life these days, in spite of all the arguments won with his conscience to reach this point he still hesitated. Something was stopping him.

A something which makes us human and inhuman at the same time. Our innate desire to make a difference, to make a mark, to get our full 15 minutes of time on the stage of desire and want, and to let the world know that you were somebody and you had done something. More than that it was his ego that was stopping him from letting the bullet sever his vital connections. He wanted someone in this world of billions to know his story. At least one single soul who would sit down and listen to him, without passing a judgment, and without expressing soppy sympathy. But where would he find such a person? He couldn’t just go out on to the street and ask the first person he saw to come inside his dingy house and listen to his subjective story.

One by one the excuses or reasons, whatever he chose to call them were running out. His life stretched out behind him like a dull dream on a restless night. To think that he had lived a full fifty years and had not formed one human relationship that he could call his own. All that time lived making ordinary human beings look like superheroes, inserting an element of wonder in an average person’s mind with his cunning creations. So many famous men and women owed so much to him. In part he had made them. It was his computing creativity that had made them such larger-than-life figures.

But now here he was sitting alone in some forgotten corner of this godforsaken city, scared to take his own life. How wicked Life is! It does not stop for losers, the down and outs, the zeroes or the whiners. She has a direction of her own, on a road Time made and Fate repaired when the going got too smooth. One can never ask her to lift her skirt so that you can hide your failures under it. But for God’s sake he was not a failure. The various awards on the shelf behind him spoke volumes. He was after all a legend in the business. Here he considered the irony of history. It seemed to him that legends always went out the saddest way possible. Perhaps the success and fame they achieved in life had to be balanced by the utter despair and depression of the latter part of their lives.

Was he a legend then? Wasn’t he being more than a little generous to his modest achievements? Winning some awards no one remembered anymore, marketing the market-dreams; that didn’t sound like much did it? What the hell! It did to him. He felt that he had been a big success and in the end that’s all that mattered.

So what was he doing? He was just succumbing to the stupid standards of a society which defined success by the amount of money you had, or the number of women you had fucked or even worse the number of inches per column those stupid papers devoted to you. Life was just a parade of uniformity packaged for universal consumption. True mavericks did not exist anymore. Even if they did exist they existed outside the gambit of this soulless society. No, no he would not fall into the same trap many around him had fallen into before. Then he had silently mocked them, mocked their lonely weakness, and mocked their naiveté. Now he understood them. You have to stand on the threshold of death to feel the emotions and thoughts of people who are on the other side. Only at that point is your mind clear enough to appreciate the frame of reference.

He took the gun out and kept it under his chair. The moment had passed. It would not come again. Somehow he was sure about that. He had no reason to give in. He still knew people who liked and respected him. He would begin with them; reestablish contacts that he had neglected to continue. Life ahead would not be a bed of roses but it would at least be a garden that changed with the seasons.



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