Cafe Hitch-hike


Sam the neighbor

My neighbor Samuel committed suicide behind our building about 3 days ago and at at the edge of the breezeway near his unit. It happened Wednesday evening, and a 14 year boy who lived upstairs found him the next morning. I wrote about it soon after I saw the coppers around my building the following morning, but I had to take it down. It was probably one of the most raw things I've written about.

We were acquaintances. He was a regular presence in the neighborhood. He also had a dog, and was very eager to meet women. Sam was a little quirky, but otherwise harmless. I figured he was a little lonely, but he was always cheerful and with a toothy smile. I felt so sad that someone nearby felt like there was no other option but to do what he did.

Yesterday, I saw 2 women enter and leave his unit. I gave my sympathies to a one who was his ex-wife. She looked very choked up and her face was very puffy. They had 2 adult children and had been divorced for a few years.

A few things about Sam's death really touched me. A lot of people in my building heard when the gun went off on Wednesday night, and I thought it was a muffler backfire or crack. I watered my plants and had a little smoke before I settled in to watch TV soon before it happened. Even if I went behind the building (and I was tempted to get my flashlight to look around), I wouldn't had seen him because his body was in the bushes behind our building.

I walked by the crime scene the following morning and after the police left. They washed the floor of the breezeway, and I went to the bushes where Sam was found. I saw dried drops of blood in the soil, and a few small gelatinous globs close by. I knew what they were, and curiosity hit me along with disgust. I really wished the damn LE did a better job cleaning up.

It made me think about the time I felt suicidal when I was 19 and left home. It was a brand new endeavor and I was completely on my own. I had no idea if I would ever get anywhere. All I saw in my own family life were debris of dashed dreams, bad decisions, and bad luck, and I was terrified of falling into that pit. It was winter in Michigan (gray, cold, and totally blah) and that didn't help. I worked in a hotel kitchen and went to school. I was exhausted all the time, and only had dreams, delusion, and a 1979 beat up Chevy, to keep me going.

I went to visit my sister Big Momma and her husband BBK. He had been drinking a bit and he was talking about God. BBK talked about sin and he talked about suicide being a sin because it was taking God's will into our own hands. Those words hit me the hardest. Did BBK sense my feelings of depression and darkness? Then not long after, my co-worker Crazy James noticed something in me. I'll never forget when he looked me in the face and pleaded, "don't do it!... I don't want to lose another friend to suicide!" CJ and I were both from downtrodden homes and I knew he had a lot of over the top friends; I actually felt those words deep in me. 'Lose another friend?' Those words got me more.

My mentor was the first to hear about Sam and when I was 19 years old. I just remember glimpses of pain in his eyes while I cried. I cried even more when I remembered my mentor admitted he felt suicidal after his divorce 4 years ago. I felt just crushed thinking about losing him like that and told him. God, but those tears were like a cleansing of things I either forgot about or pushed away long ago.

I then remembered my little journey last year where I found myself on a stony shore in England after my visit with Jens Copperas. I watched the sky darken over the English Channel and felt a whirl of feelings in me, but a big part of that was just plain joy. I remembered also seeing the sadness with that joy, and then some:

I looked at the expanse of the moonless night, stars, and cliffs surrounding me. So many feelings swirled in me, but I felt signs of it slowing down. I wanted to laugh and cry, and feel sad but sing something happy. I took it all there... I recognized so much more beauty in my world. I felt so many feelings spin through me, and it made me feel so alive. I never wanted to doubt life or lose hope or faith in it because there was so much so close to me. It made me feel sad to remember the times I wanted life to end... It's not that I never wanted to feel that way again, but I suddenly touched reasons to not. So many things, even simple things, felt precious at the same time.

"I never wanted to doubt life or lose hope or faith in it..." Meanwhile, someone ended their life less than 100 feet away from me.

Then, I had that dream last night that I returned to a neighborhood where I grew up, and everything had changed. The dream then bumped me, some of my siblings, and dog to a beachside where we had a beautiful time together.

My, oh my, and all of that is the story of my life these past 2 years.

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