Before you think I hadn’t learned anything from all the glaring honesty Kristin and Nancy, and even Paul, had shed upon my confused little brain. It’s not true. I had listened to all of them very carefully. Weighed what each had to say. I’m not sure I liked what they were telling me. Not at all. Having everything of any note you’ve ever accomplished in your life…every meaningful relationship you’ve ever had…all reduced to “you like challenges,” somehow seemed to totally trivialize everything. Such an incredibly trite answer, even if there was truth to it. And there was truth to it, without a doubt. However, it was also not quite accurate. I knew that, now. I mean, I guess I always had. But Kristen had put the final piece into place for me. The full truth was more complicated. The full truth was even more sad and pathetic.
You don’t know how badly I wish I could end this tale, right here, and tell you that meeting Kristin that night saved my life. That fate had somehow served someone up from my past to shake me out of my self-absorbed little world. Someone to make me realize how every bit of life I had really was too precious to ever throw away. That would suit you, wouldn’t it? A cheery, uplifting, life-affirming message in the most literal of ways. Sorry, you lose.
I loved seeing Kristen that night. Hell, I loved seeing Kristen just because I loved looking at her. The fact that she sat out there even though she was freezing, had to piss, and really wanted to be home, should prove to you that my praise for her is about more than just being so truly-fuckable it makes me ache. But, if anything, seeing her and listening to her insights about me, and why I did things, just confirmed what I already knew. I couldn’t back out of this. I needed the ending. It was part of things. Part of everything I had ever done and ever would do.
All those things Kristen had said, and Nancy before her, about me creating challenges for myself was 100% true. However, their understanding of the reasoning behind it wasn’t nearly the full picture. You see, I created challenges because they created conflict. And conflict creates drama. That’s right, I’m telling you I am a drama queen. So sad. And a drama queen in the biggest of ways. I construct situations that I have a good chance of not coming out well for one simple reason. It makes me feel. No, I didn’t forget to finish that sentence. I’ll say it again. I do things that create drama because it makes me feel, period. Sick, isn’t it?
Bring on the misery. Bring on the longing and yearning and obsession. Bring on the joy and elation when I’ve fought the hard fought battle and won. Just let me feel with all the intensity and energy one can feel. Give me women I’ll never have. Give me career dreams I’ll never accomplish. Just let me feel all the pain and glory of it all. Just let me fucking feel.
It’s not this book that I want turned into a movie. It’s my life. A Major Motion Picture that makes you laugh and makes you cry. All the boring, mundane bits edited out. A swelling progressive rock soundtrack to heighten the emotions. Everything BIG. Bigger than the lame little lives that others are content to lead. Bigger than the life I could ever have if I didn’t give it an ending of appropriate intensity and drama.
Which is why we’re here now, you and I. On this road high above Los Angeles. A road named Mulholland with a sharp curve and a serious drop if you go off of it. A drop almost guaranteed to result in your death.
Cue music! “Muse” in all it’s prog. rock grandeur! Perfect. Perfect. Now, we rev the engine. The Mini waiting to play its part in the final scene. And finally, the tense close-ups. ME. My face, serious and determined. My hands clenched tightly against the wheel. My eyes. Hold on the eyes. That’s it. And now, as the music swells, I gun it. Head straight toward the edge of the road. One last shot of my face as the car is airborne. A long shot of the Mini hurtling off of the road and into the sky. It dances against the night sky. A ballet of death and destruction as it lands. Disintegrates upon impact. Flames. Flames everywhere. A fiery death. There is no way anyone could survive. It is done. We hold on the flames as we remember the man we have gotten to know so well. Remember a life that ended as it was lived. Cut to end titles.
Except for one thing. I didn’t do it. I’m still here (Duh. Who else do you think is writing this?). I chickened out. Actually, it was even worse than that. I was sitting there on Mulholland, trying to push myself that one final step I needed to, when a cop came. Nothing like the LAPD to fuck up a good suicide. The cop was actually this really burly looking, super-ugly chick that told me I couldn’t park there. She seemed to assume I was just looking at the view. Not even an “everything OK?” Just basically “get the fuck out or I’ll arrest you.” So, I left.
It’s hard to describe the emotions one goes through when one thought they were going to already be dead by their own hand. At least this one. All I can say is it leaves you relieved in a way, but even more than that, it just leaves you really, really tired. Fucking exhausted, actually. So, I did what any self-respecting-failed-suicide-attempter would do. I stopped by an In & Out Burger and got some really tasty fast food. Then I went back to the hotel and slept. I could always try to kill myself again, tomorrow.
And I did. This is it. The final scene. The final act of a sad and pathetic and pretty much wasted life. The real deal. The thing you’ve all been waiting for.
Once again, I found myself in bed, naked and alone. Only this time there was an empty pill bottle on the table beside me. A bottle I had procured a few days ago from an old film acquaintance of mine. A bottle now empty, as I had ingested its entire contents. It was better this way. No waiting for the Freaky Man Killer Gene to strike. A final act of control. Of creating the drama I craved so much.
Picture it, we start on a close up as my eyes begin to grow weary. The music starts soft and grows louder as we slowly start to track away. We gracefully pull back and see my sculpted, Adonis-like body sprawled naked atop the bed. My gigantic, horse-like member on display for women everywhere to worship and adore. And then…And then…Who am I kidding? This is the end. The real me. In all my pathetic glory. The naked truth, so to speak. I owe you that much. And by the way, thank you. Thank you for sticking with me. For being there through all this. Thank you.
So, back to our show. There’s no music. Only the sound of two Mexican maids out in the hall arguing. And, if a camera were really here, it would see the short, pale, out-of-shape, mushy body of a man who didn’t exercise enough, ate too many cold cheese burgers and farted a lot. And as far as his horse-like member, it would be a tiny little stub out there for the world to laugh at and ridicule. Something I’m sure will happen after somebody finds me here. When someone finds my body. After I’m dead.
But, no matter what, you have to give me credit for following through. All that talk about killing myself and ending it all wasn’t just bullshit. Even when I found myself having last minute doubts, I knew I had no choice but to follow through. If not for my sake, for yours. After all I’ve put you through. After all the crap I’ve made you listen to. It’s the least I could do, really. Besides, rules are rules.
I start to get sleepy. I feel the drugs course through my blood. And I find myself thinking of Nancy. I imagine her walking into the room and finding me like this. I imagine her looking over my naked body with a look of amusement on her face. Knowing that she had caught me. Enjoying my sense of embarrassment and excitement. I imagine a look of mischief in her eyes as she just keeps looking at me without saying a word. And finally taking mercy upon me and bending down close to me. And kissing me. Kissing me so perfectly I never want it to end.
And then I imagine her smiling as she undresses herself in front of me. Finally, letting me see the body I had pictured in my mind, so many times. Letting me see every wrinkle and flaw that only makes her that much more beautiful to me. That only makes me want her that much more.
And I imagine us making love. Of feeling so connected to her. Of it all feeling so incredible. So wonderful. So right.
And, most of all, I imagine the look in her eyes. A look which tells me how much she loves me. And always will. And how the phone rings.
The phone is ringing. A terrible, loud, shattering noise that pulls me down from heaven and back into a messy hotel room in Santa Monica. I don’t even know if it’s real or I’m still imagining things.
And I see myself pick up the phone. I’m not really there. I have no control. I just standby and watch as I say “hello.”
PHONE TRANSCRIPT, SANTA MONICA – DAY
Are you OK? You sound funny.
You didn’t drink too much or do
anything stupid, did you?
It’s not stupid, Mom. It’s better
this way. I don’t want to die the
way Dad did. I want control. I want
to write the final scene.
What are you talking about?
I’m sorry, Mom. I know this is hard
for you. I just don’t want to die of
What curse? What are you talking about?
The curse. The Freaky Man Killer Gene.
It would get me, anyway.
What gene? Oh, My God. You didn’t…?
It’s better this way.
Listen to me. There is no curse.
No, the Freaky Man Killer Gene. Dad.
Your father was a manic depressive. He
What? No. The others. The death gene.
Alcohol or drugs.
But you always told me…
I thought it would be easier for you to accept.
You were just a child. There is no curse.
No, the Freaky Man Killer Gene.
You haven’t done anything stupid, have
you? Oh, God. Please, talk to me. Tell
me you’re going to be alright. Please…
I see my face as I still process all the information through my barely still functioning brain. I watch and wait like a silent witness. Just another passenger along for the ride.
I’ll be fine.
And then I see myself put down the phone. And I see my squishy, out-of-shape body jiggling with tortured laughter. This ending is just too perfect.
FADE TO BLACK
CUE MUSIC: MUSE/”FEELING GOOD”
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