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Tuesday, August 16, 2005

It's a Wonderful Life?

I came close to throwing myself off a bridge yesterday. In a fit of despair and exasperation I decided to end it all. I saw no point in going on with the charade, nay, the lie that was my life up until that point. I actually did jump off a bridge, but it was only about twenty feet to the water below, and since it was a hot day I found the experience refreshing enough to do over and over again until I got hungry, so I gave up on the ending-it-all scheme for the day and went and had a sandwich and a beer.

I woke this morning with the usual existential dread that has plagued me over the course of a meandering life seemingly devoid of purpose. I thought of returning to the same bridge. I wanted to try to do a one-and-a-half, but instead I thought that it was high time to put an end to this cruel joke of a life. This time I found a really high bridge. I figured that I could do a ten-and-a-half off this sucker. Not a bad way to go out, if I do say so myself. I finally found myself at peace with myself as I stood balancing on the top rail.

Just as I stepped into the abyss I felt myself transported into another dimension. I felt like I was in a dream. The angel Gabriel stood over me and asked me why I would want to end my life. I was hysterical; I told him that my existence meant nothing; I would not be missed; I would not be remembered. The angel Gabriel bitch slapped me. Then he began to lay into me with a flurry of punches and kicks. I screamed out to him, “OK, I get it. Knock off the hysterics.” I preferred my idea of throwing myself off a bridge to getting beaten to death by one of the Lord’s thugs.

Gabriel told me that my life was important. It was important to a lot of people. He then demonstrated this to me by showing what the world would have been like had I never been born.

First we visited the ski chalet of the CEO of Ketel One vodka in Davos, Switzerland. “Had you never been born, Ketel One vodka sales would have been mediocre, at best. Their CEO would never have been able to afford this 6br/5bath chalet. He would have been forced to keep his 2br/3bath condo. Could you live with the shame he would have had to endure?”

He transported me to many places and showed me that things would have been different had I not lived a life of excess and complete selfishness. I saw pig farmers unable to send their children to Harvard because I wasn’t there buying my weight in pork products week after week. Entire cheese producing regions in France reduced to crippling poverty. Next we visited an abandoned cigar plantation in the Dominican Republic. He was about to take me to a marijuana dealer I had supported single-handedly while living in the dorm in college, and then on to the home of the editor of Jugs magazine who had been reduced to doing wedding photography. I told Gabriel that I got the fucking point. Enough of the life-affirming bullshit already, it was starting to get embarrassing.

The angel Gabriel took off and then I found myself in a no-holds-barred cage fighting match against a beaver dressed in a drum majorette’s uniform. These sorts of bizarre dreams are common while in a morphine-induced haze. As it turns out, I really did jump off that bridge this morning. I hit a steel girder about twenty feet below and now I’m in the intensive care unit. It’s great to be alive!

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