even if none of it seems to be your fault,
and decide to turn poison into medicine.
– Geoff from the book, “The Buddha, Geoff and Me“
When I made my final decision to end it all, for so long I felt as if I had been locked in a box. That there was no key to the lid, and I was literally quite finished … as a older gay individual, an older human being and as something of worth. None of those were correct assumptions, but to me at the time, they were not only valid, but universal truths. I had chipped away at what I was for so long – there were serious cracks in the marble of my foundation. I knew in my heart of hearts that what I wanted from ZZ was never going to be – couldn’t be. I knew that I had given away too much, that I had run dry of what to give for basically nothing in return. I only knew that my vision was faulty, but I hadn’t come to the realization (yet) that I was not seeing him as he was – only as I wanted him to be.
So – the time had come. I was manager of a small apartment complex, and it was easy to decide upon the place. A downstairs, empty apartment. I actually did write a letter, being vague and careful. I chose the candles, the necessary piece of equipment, the pills to dull the pain, and the applesauce to sooth the stomach. I
made my way down the stairs of my apartment (I lived on-site) and into the empty one. I taped the letter to the inside of the door, and went into the bathroom. Lighting the candles, and laying out what I had brought. I arranged everything very attractively – again the gay in me.
I climbed into the tub, and stretched out and prepared. Well, as much as one can prepare for that. This is something I can’t prove, but you can’t disprove – I believe that most of us in those moments have a moment when the mind can “snap-to” and we can see something for what it is. It certainly happened to me. There was no earth shaking, no wind,no thunder or lightning. No booming voice spoke from the ceiling (which did need to be repainted), nor was there a knock at the door to interrupt. What came to me was the entire situation that I was planning and setting up. I realized that it was as empty and futile as I had been feeling. This was not going to solve anything or make anything better.
There was a realization that I was about to embark on the most selfish, thoughtless act I could have done. You may think that I had lost my mind (well, OK – maybe I did) at what happened next, but I began to chuckle. As I looked around at the seedy stage set I had put together, I saw it for what it was. Nothing that could help, nothing that would solve anything. I was actually heading to do nothing more than validate what I had been erroneously thinking. And then I began to cry. Three people came to my mind that I had not thought about during all the preparation and downward spiral. I realized that to these people I had some worth, and they had worth to me.
I climbed out of the tub (not the most comfortable place) and blew out the candle. I took the note off the door(which needed to be thoroughly cleaned), and went upstairs. ZZ (who was a bartender from 8pm – 3am) was surprisingly awake. I sat down and told him what I had almost done. His reaction neither surprised me nor helped.
The spiritual journey does not consist in arriving at a new destination
where a person gains what he did not have
or becomes what he is not.
It consists in the dissipation of one’s own ignorance concerning one’s self and life
and the gradual growth of that understanding which begins the spiritual awakening.
The finding of God is a coming to one’s self.
– Aldous Huxley
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