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A blog about my friends, family, and all the weird and annoying people I know. Feel free to comment. I'll delete it if I don't like it.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Madness

I've been teaching the play, Hamlet, for about 8 years. I like the play, but I hate hearing 12th graders read it out loud. So, we watch the movie most of the time. Hamlet provides society with many words of wisdom and contemplation about life, living, family, and interpersonal relationships including blended families. The most obvious and well known quote is Hamlet's famous To Be or Not To Be soliloquy. I'm gonna say that some people may not realize or remember that it's about suicide. To be alive or not to be alive. That is the question. Should I kill myself today or not? The audience knows that Hamlet is kind of a melancholy fellow all dressed in black and moping around and pissing everyone off all day long. Hes' the quintessential young adult: mad, passionate, sarcastic, manipulative. These are all wonderful characteristics of being young. Part of the play, however, dates Hamlet as being 30 years old, which, if he is, he is a giant loser. You shouldn't be a whiny cry baby asshole when you're 30.

Anyway, the most famous line, though, is about suicide. Hamlet  must decide whether or not to endure fortune's  'slings and arrows' or just kill himself and be free from all the bullshit. However, he doesn't really feel like burning in eternal hell so he lives to see another day and decides to pester and kill other people instead. 

I've never thought about killing myself but when I talk to teenagers about suicide and go over the meaning of that soliloquy, I bet there are many a kid in the audience who has. For myself, I'm more afraid of dying accidentally than anything and to purposefully seek it out isn't something I've considered. For some reason I'm sure I'll die from the sneak attack under the bed murderer or death in the shower when I'm home alone and swear I hear a window break and armed men talking in muffled voices. I've also been worried that people who turn more than 2 times the same way I do are following me home to kill me and stuff me in my own trunk. I realize too much sometimes the fragility of life. It is most evident when I'm on an airplane. If that flimsy looking wing taps the ground or one of those tiny wheels falls off, I'm dead. Every time I walk off a plane I'm happy to be alive. I do not want to die. 

I must be very comforting or wise or some shit because I've been faced with other people's desire to end their lives and it stresses me out. I've had a total 4 people tell me they wanted to die and one person asked me to play a certain song at his funeral. Now whenever I hear that song I think of death. Thanks for that. 

Each time I'm left with the question about whether or not it's my responsibility to keep somebody alive. When you tell someone you want to die you put the onus on that person to take some action. I know now that some people don't really want to die, they want help. But some people really want to die. People who really really want to die, die.

But, when I'm the person they choose to call and talk to about ending their life, is it because they've given me the task of proving to them that life is worth living? Why me? I think strangers are going to crawl through my doggy door and stab me. I'm not that wise.

Sometimes I have my own doubts about the absurdity of life. I'm not religious, anymore, so I can't follow what the Bible says and lean not on my own understanding. I'm usually okay with not understanding. It doesn't cause me too much undo stress since I can navigate bullshit pretty well. It's a skill  I've learned over time. If you want to be happy, you have to learn how to deal with bullshit.  Here are some instances of how I stay alive:

1.) Doing less: I actively try to do less. I clean less. I cook less. I care less. If you are fastidious about everything then everything will bother you. Dishes in the sink? Who cares! Clothes in the hamper? Get a life.
Car dirty? It will rain soon enough. Once in Florida though I knew I had to take all the old food wrappers out of my car when I saw a cockroach on my floor board. That's a little excessive so now I throw the garbage from the car onto the garage floor.

2.) Avoiding people who are high, drunk, or excessively stupid. Avoiding these types of people have made me a calmer person. People who get so drunk they fall down, cry, or get arrested need to be avoided. High people are also a problem. They may seem all nonchalant and shit but they are sneaky little fucks plus it's just not fun to hang out with someone who is high. As for the excessively stupid, those are usually your high and drunk folks.

3.) Sleep. Sleep. or you'll go nuts, everything will bother you and you will be a giant walking talking freak show.


I really don't know how to keep people alive.

I don't know if I know how to love someone enough to make living worth the pain for them.

 I don't know how to make people happy or make them inspired or concerned or generous or funny.

 I can only hope that however it is that I learned to be genuine, generous, funny, and inspirational, will somehow float through the air and hit the people that I love and be enough to keep them alive.










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Life Will...

"Life will break you. Nobody can protect you from that, and living alone won't either, for solitude will also break you with its yearning. You have to love. You have to feel. It is the reason you are here on earth. You are here to risk your heart. You are here to be swallowed up. And when it happens that you are broken, or betrayed, or left, or hurt, or death brushes near, let yourself sit by an apple tree and listen to the apples falling all around you in heaps, wasting their sweetness. Tell yourself you tasted as many as you could." Louise Erdrich, from "The Painted Drum