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The Unknown Unknowns

As I neared the local Panera this morning, the ravens were out in force, flying about in their murder formation, but one sat on a section of the facade and cawed at me as I walked towards the door. I asked it if they wanted to spend a moment telling me about their lord and savior, the Mórrígan, but they didn’t seem amused. Could be they were from Westeros; maybe they were telling me I was invited to a wedding.  I’m on to your douche move, dudes.

Last night I was out in The Burg. I was surprised to discover there is a night life on the street where I live. (No, Sherlock, no singing this morning.) But I wasn’t out to hit a bar or two; no, I was on my way to a meeting. What kind, you ask? Serial Killers Anonymous, we meet every other Saturday . . . Naw, nothing like that. It was a group I was interested in meeting, and meet I did, though only in the sense that I was there last night. I’m not good with meeting people, so there was a lot of standing around and such. I did speak with a few people, but for the most part it was listen and learn.

It wasn’t happy time, however. The discussion for the evening revolved around a member who’d recently died. And not just died, but she’d killed herself. So the mood wasn’t the best for the evening.

There was a lot of discussion about why people didn’t pick up on warning signs, was it possible there was something one could have done, and wasn’t there something that one could use to, you know, profile someone to know if they’re ready to jump off a bottle of pills? The counselor who were there last night was pretty diplomatic, because I’d have said that profiling crap only works on Criminal Minds and FBI statistics show they only solve about three percent of cases by profiling the perp, but there was one thing she said that made me listen. She said that with suicide, it’s a personal thing, that a trigger comes along a pushes the person into their dark, dark space, and we’ll never know the reasons why they took that final step . . .

. . . In that moment I was in one of my stories, because a few months back, while working on a character for an upcoming story, one person was grieving over the loss of a friend who’d visited them a few months before, and had killed herself six weeks later. The character was hiding away, wondering why they didn’t pick up on the signs, and a friend of theirs said virtually the same words to him that I heard last night: no matter what, you’ll never know why someone takes that last step, and you can’t continue to beat yourself up over something that wasn’t your fault.

Given the framework of the world in which the story takes place, it would be possible to summon the girl’s spirit with a necromancy ritual, but who wants to do that? Serious juju, people, and if you screw it up, you’ll find yourself whacking demons when you’re rather suck face with your girlfriend.

Am I writing what I know? When it comes to suicide and death, am I dancing around a subject I know a little too well? Well, yes, I do. I know death, and I know those feelings. Do I know about having those feelings now and then? Of course. It’s a little like being an alcoholic who keeps a bottle near by to steady their will. You’ll stand on the side of a street, or drive down a winding road, or, like me, sit on your twelfth floor balcony and know if you were to go over the side you’d only have to think about the fall for three seconds . . .

But I’m all better now.

I’ve got too many things to say these days, you know?

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