COLUMN: The abyss

You never know when it's going to hit you.

Once, I found myself in the midst of a debate on the ethics of assisted suicide when my chest tightened, my stomach turned and I found myself unable to formulate a single thought but "run." So, I did. I sprinted as fast as I could until physical pain bottled up in my chest and threatened to burst.

I would have loved to burst.

Most recently, it was while I was researching for an article. At first, it seemed like the typical indie movie assignment where a budding director found a group of budding actors and produced a piece of admirable mediocrity.

These guys hardly talked about the movie at all, though. They talked about this kid named Kyle, whose entire life revolved around film. He wrote a script just before he killed himself, entitled "Kill For Her."

They wanted to produce Kyle's movie for him and inspire hope for others considering suicide. I still can't even imagine such a response on my end.

And then it hit me again.

In high school, two students committed suicide a little over a year apart. The first student I talked to everyday at lunch. It was amusing because we were nothing alike. The second tried to teach me hacky sack. Valiantly.

I wasn't best friends with either of them, but I was close enough that I grant myself the label on most days.

I remember every conversation before I learned the second did himself in. I don't remember a single conversation for three days after.

For the entire duration of his funeral, I stayed in the parking lot staring at the entrance. For some reason, I couldn't bring myself to go inside.

My friend Ross had it worse. The first one who committed suicide mentioned him extensively in his suicide note. They were best friends. It's still a frequent discussion when we get drunk, the only time it's a topic.

Adrian, another high school friend, has been a miserable drunk for the most part. It's more than a frequent topic for him; it's the only one.

I guess none of us can really understand why someone would choose just not to exist.

Or, at least I think that's it. The only train of thought more terrifying is when I can start to understand it.

It's true what Nietzsche said about the abyss, but he always made it seem like a choice.

Still, it's impossible to look at a sunset and even consider escape. It's equally as hard when you spend a night with friends or see your name in the paper. Some things in life are just too beautiful to give up.

So, I've resolved for the remainder of my life to be my last conversation. I want them to know what they're missing out on.

Ross is still the same asshole he ever was, and I think they'd like that.

Adrian is starting to enjoy himself again when he's drunk, and I swear, it's more beautiful than sunset.


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