This Sorrowful Life

It’s been a while since I’ve written anything personal–okay, maybe a month, but for me that’s a while.  Or long time.  Or longer than I’m used to, but that’s how things are in my life.  And I should point out that I’m liable to say some things below that may freak others out, so if you are the kind the freaks out easily, depart before you abandon all hope.

If not, let’s roll on in, kiddies . . .

I’m mentioned, off and on over the last few weeks, that I’ve found myself fighting depression.  It’s not a lot of fun, let me tell you, ’cause it wears you out.  I once described depression as treading water in the middle of the ocean:  you’re doing all the work to stay above water while the ocean does nothing–it just sits there and waits for you to tire and go under.  That’s why if you don’t find a way to get out of the water, you’ll drown and die.  And the ocean doesn’t care ’cause it’s a force of nature.  Just like depression:  a force of nature that gives zero shits about you as a person, or for your quality of life.

And November hasn’t helped the situation much.  I’ve got a lot more pressure at work of late, and there’s NaNo, and I’m getting ready to head home at the end of the month for the first time in almost six months . . . it’s a mess.  Really, the last few weeks have started to engulf me . . .

My Resting Bitchy Face from this morning offers proof of this statement.

My Resting Bitchy Face from this morning offers proof of this statement.

Last Friday, right around noon, because I remember it being after I ate lunch at work, I started to find myself getting in a bad way.  I actually cried a little at work, but not enough that it was noticed.  Actually, nothing I do at work is noticed, so it’s not in any way unusual that people would see me sitting in my office starting to lose it.

It wasn’t until I made it home that things came right off the rails.  The moment the door shut behind me I began crying.  I was still crying when the computer came up.  In fact, I cried off and on for the better part of an hour straight, and spent the rest of the night floating in and out of the feeling that there was far too much pain in my life.

Last Saturday was my shot day, and I thought that might help me break out of the funk, but the moment the psychological effects wore off I was right back to being a maudlin little bitch.  Going out and getting makeup didn’t help; being out in the sun did nothing.  I felt as if nothing I did was helping break the feeling that, no, things weren’t going to get better.

By about three PM I’d already made up my mind:  there wasn’t any point in going on, so I might as well shuck this moral coil as fast as I can.

I started preparing for my death.

It’s not easy for me to say that last line, because that’s a hard point in your life when you hit the tipping point and realized you’ve gone from “if” to “when”.  I didn’t care, however:  once you reach that point you just wanna kept going.  It didn’t matter if I was finding the energy to love myself, because I wasn’t feeling any love coming back, and that’s something that’s so difficult to put aside an ignore.

So I started getting ready.  I knew I was going to record some videos and post them for people to view.  I rehearsed what I was going to say, and when I was going to post them.  I knew the manner in which I wanted to check out, and weighed the pros and cons of survivability.  I was all ready to go–

Save for three things.

One, that day was the last episode of Doctor Who‘s most current season.  Okay, so I sound like a geek here, but I had to see how the season ended.  Two, I was into Act Three of my huge, Infinity Jest-like novel, and that meant I was not only getting towards the end, but I was also coming up on a good part that I’ve been sitting on for over a year.  I’d made promises to people that I’d finish this damn thing, and I knew I couldn’t leave people hanging about what happens–and if that doesn’t sound like a writer’s ego hard at work, nothing does.

And finally, there are two people on my “If you die you’ll hurt them” list, and if I died now, I’d be in violation of Jacqualyn’s Law, which I named for a friend.  It’s a variation of Wheaton’s Law, though this one is geared more for women.  It says, “Don’t be a twat,” and I’d have been a massive twat if I did what I was thinking of doing.

So I settled back to watch Doctor Who, and when that was over I headed into writing.  I still hurt, I still found it difficult to get through Sunday–which I helped smooth out by doing more writing–and I made it into Monday, then Tuesday, then . . .

Here.  Today.

Last night I felt the depression coming on again, and I was really not looking forward to dealing with this crap.  Then I noticed someone I’d just reconnected with on Facebook was trying to get my attention.  She’s a transwoman from Canada who transitioned decades ago, and we’ve shared some information over the months.

We started talking, and we talked, and we discussed why I was depressed, and why I felt suicidal, and were there things that I wanted to do that may have made me feel this way.  And there were answers to those questions, and a lot more–

And by the time we were finished, we’d chatted for about three hours, and I felt a whole lot better than I had when the evening had started.

As you can see, I'm actually smiling a little.

As you can see, I’m actually smiling a little.

Things aren’t “over”, but they’re better.  Much better.  I had some plans I want to discuss with my therapist when I see her the Monday before Thanksgiving, and I hope she agrees that it’s time I actually move on these things.  I’m not feeling the trepidation about going home that I have had for a while–it’s going to be the first time I’m going to be Cassie with them full-time since I’ve started transitioning, and while I’m certain my daughter will be cool with it–after all, we went out shopping together as daughter and, um, other mother–I can’t say the other person in the house is gonna dig things.  Maybe I’ll have to cook a couple of good dinners to break the ice . . .  And I’m going to start taking the first steps towards getting my name changed.

But mostly I’ve chilled on the death stuff.  I’m still in the ocean, but I feel like I’m closer to shore, and if you keep moving towards shore, eventually you get up onto dry land and you don’t have to wear yourself out treading water.  And if I can’t get onto dry land, maybe I can get somewhere shallow enough that I can rest once in a while.

This Sorrowful Life.  Sometimes you find yourself surround by bad people and zombies, and you have the choice of either giving in and joining one of the two hordes, or you fight back against the hell that waits outside your walls.  Neither is an easy choice, but you have to make one, because doing nothing is not an option.  You must make a choice.

I mentioned in one of my last videos that you have a choice with transition:  become who you are, or die.  I said I’m trying to get off the death track and be who I am, and last night I finally felt as if I was bucking that first track and leaving it behind.  I hope to make it so.

I really do.

Tally Time, the Hard Salem Life

First, lets have some news, good and bad.  First the good news:  I’m doing fine in the transitioning area, and I was told by my doctor that I’ve got “boobage going on,” which is one of the reasons I love her.

But the bad new is I may have hypertension, and that’s not good.  Three times I’ve had my blood pressure taken, three times I hit 150 on the top end.  So I need to start looking into how to get that down, because I really don’t want to start on blood pressure medication, nor do I want a stroke.  No, I don’t.  Not at all.

This is my worried face.  It's not a good one.

This is my worried face.  Can you tell?

I snapped the above picture in a Panera about five miles from my doctor’s office in New Jersey.  Since I knew I’d get home late, I wanted to get in my writing–which is why I always bring my computer with me when I’m out like this.  You write where you can, and since I like going to Panera, if their wifi up working, I can hop online as well.  The wifi wasn’t working yesterday, which is why I was able to write over seven hundred words in about forty minutes.

Now comes the part of the post were we start talking about bad things at my school, and if you don’t want to hear about people dying, it’s best you move away from here and return to the Internet, where just about anything is found for the click of a Google.

 

Ready?

 

Let’s Go.

 

We’re at the point in the story where the security people know if any deaths occurred during the breach of the outer defense screens.  They go off of who didn’t make it back to one of the two safe areas, particularly with the comms down, and also if there were any eyewitnesses who saw someone dying.  It’s not a pleasant task, creating a tally of the dead, and Isis is particularly sensitive to this, because eleven years before, as a student, she lost friends at the school during a Deconstructor attack known as The Scouring.

We pick up in the story learning that death is something that is always around . . .

 

(All excerpts, this page, from The Foundation Chronicles, Book One: A For Advanced, copyright 2013, 2014, by Cassidy Frazee)

During her tenure as Director of Security for the Salem Institute, Isis Mossman found it necessary to report to the Headmistress on the circumstances surrounding the deaths of six students. Though much was done to prevent such a tragedy from occurring, deaths happened—and most were not accidents.

One of the non-accidents occurred during a Call Out Match, which occurred when differences between students could only be worked out in usually quick, one-on-one, combat. Two E Levels squared off n 2008 and one student fired off and intense barrage of magic that the other student—the girl who’d actually initiated the challenge—was unable to block or deflect, making their demise a sudden, blood-soaked mess—all of which was allowable because of the Foundation wavers the students signed before entering the combat area. Isis was required to investigate, though the root cause of the death was easy to determine, the solution would have made it necessary to either eliminate the use of additional spells—death spells were already forbidden in magical combat—or forbid this form of combat altogether.

The second non-accident happened three months after Isis became the security director in 2006. A transformation spell backfired on a C Level student during class, and despite the best efforts of Jessica Kishna and Nurse Coraline and her staff, they were unable to resuscitate the boy. Isis was unable to come up with a solution, other than the completely unacceptable notion of no longer teaching transformation spells . . .

 

When it comes right down to it, killing someone with magic is a pretty simple thing.  We’ve already seen Annie and Kerry being warned after their Self Defense and Weapons class not to use their Air Hammer spells against other students, because they could probably cut them in half like so many zombies were they to use them.  And Annie knows a death spell, so she’s already a dangerous little girl.

There’s also something else that one has to take into consideration in this little hot pot of magic:  under the right conditions students will snap and perhaps find it to difficult to go on . . .

 

The school took every precaution possible to prevent students from killing themselves. All high places from which one could jump were protected by safety enchantments; ingredients that could be used to manufacture poisons were monitored and secured. The detection grills were always on the lookout for students suddenly registering zero life signs, and the vitals of students who attempted suicide through bleeding out or asphyxiation were immediately noted, which always resulted in the instant notification of the hospital staff on duty.

The staff and instructors were also trained to notice changes in behavior that could lead to suicidal ideation and/or action. Everyone working at Salem had been a student, and they knew all too well the pressure-ladened environment that existed inside the walls of the Institute. They’d seen the same behavior in fellow students, and with the additional training they’d received, they could now recognize it in their own students. With enough recognition it was possible for someone to approach a student and tell them, “We should talk.”

Sometimes, however, there were students who were impossible to notice short of reading their minds . . .

 

The possibility of suicide at school couldn’t be any different than the chances of it happening in Normal schools.  It happens here, too, and if you’ve figured out from the excerpts that at least four students have killed themselves from 2006 to 2010, then you know being a witch doesn’t mean you’re immune to the pressures of life.  That’s why there are three counselors at the school, and others can be brought in on a moment’s notice.

Noticed I didn’t write how they died.  I did in the novel, and as you can guess, if you’re good with sorcery or transformation magic, you’re out as soon as you think about the deed.  It’s something Annie says in later years:  once you know a few death spells, if you want to die, you put your thought, energy, and willpower into it, and in two seconds you’re gone.

Like it’s said, the teachers there have a hard time trying to keep the lid on some people.  And as Isis notes below . . .

 

In each case Isis was able to determine that beyond better observation of the student body coupled with proactive counseling, there was little one could do to prevent a student who was sufficiently skilled in magic, superscience, or Gifts, from killing themselves if they were looking to end it all and move beyond The Veil.

Today was different, however. Today Isis was reporting of the deaths of students that she may have been able to prevent. She knew it was impossible to have a defense that was one hundred perfect foolproof, that someone was going figure out a work around given enough time—and that the situation on the school grounds could be worse.

It didn’t make her mood any better.

 

There I stopped, and tonight I get into Director Mossman’s report to the Headmistress, and we–well, actually you; I know what she’s going to say–discover how many students were lost, and how Isis might have to deal with breaking this bad news to a student just down the hall from her.

Now here is the strange thing:  all this time I’ve been looking at Chapter Twenty-Two, and I realized I left a scene out.  It’s right . . .

There, because being an Abomination and getting Intervention.

There, between being an Abomination and getting Intervention.

It’s a pivotal scene, and I can’t believe I left it out.  I know what it is, but . . . as Ricky would say, “You know how it goes.”  Sadly I do.  But I remembered it today.

And something else happened during the writing of the scene yesterday:

It has something to do with numbers, I know that.

It has something to do with numbers, I know that.

Act Two finally crossed a hundred thousand words.  So, between the two acts, I’ve two novels.  The question remains if I can finish up this act in another fifty thousand words.  I think I can–

Yeah, I really do.

Signposts Amid the Shadows

I’m touching on writing a little here, but I’m getting into some other stuff as well–like mental illness.  That’s a heavy thing, so if you don’t want to read what I have to say, look at the picture and move along.

This looks like it's near Annie's house--which makes sense, since I'm going to talk about her.

This looks like it’s near Annie’s house–which makes sense, since I’m going to talk about her.

Onward, then.

 

Though it may seem like a strange thing to consider when writing a novel about tweens and teens who are training up to be magical people, one of the things I had to consider when putting Salem together was the issue of counselling and mental health issues.  That’s a very important thing to consider when you one realizes that pulling some kid in off the street and showing them they can alter reality to suit their whims may just put a weird-ass bend on their personality in time.  The Foundation isn’t going to be happy if, after your second year at school, you turn your parents into ferrets and keep then in cages the whole summer.

And that’s a minor thing.  Imagine what happens when you get really good?  Say . . . like my main characters.

There will come a time at Salem when the pressures of what’s happening in their lives becomes a little too much for Annie and Kerry, and they start to lose it a little.  I mean, Annie admitted first day of Sorcery class she knew how to kill someone with black magic, and Kerry was already seen suffering from depression.  Sure, becoming better witches is going to make their feel a lot better–until they snap.

Then all hell breaks loose.

In these stories there will come a time where Kerry nearly dies.  There will come a time where Annie loses her shit and almost kills someone in school.  There will come a time where both Annie and Kerry will be put through a most stressful day that pushes them physically, magically, and mentally right to the edge and beyond.  There will come a time where both of them are faced with a situation that may seem like it’s the final night for them both, and they not only talk about their impending demise–they promise each other that if one should die, the other will follow, because continuing to live without their soul mate simply isn’t an option.

That’s an issue that’s really simple for them as well.  Annie points out that they both know enough transformation magic and sorcery that if they wanted to die, it would be over in less time than it would take to work up the spell.  Stop your heart, freeze your blood, shut down all chemical reactions in your brain:  stuff they could do to others they could easily do to themselves.  It would be quick, it would be painless, and they’d know someone would be waiting for them on the other side once they were gone.  It’s not something either would do because of depression:  they’re not like that.  But to join the other in death?  Yeah, not a second thought is needed.

It’s the  part about being able to do this to others that keeps The Foundation on their toes.  At various times in the stories they both get counselling.  They both suffer depression; they both go through periods of intense anxiety; they both exhibit signs of PTSD at various times.  All before they ever get out of school, so imagine what their adult lives are gonna be like.

But they get great counselling.  The Foundation has some of the best counselors in the world, and when you have a couple of people like Annie and Kerry representing your future, you want them to get the best psychiatric case possible.  And they do.

They live in a world where they can get all the best medical care possible.  They live in a world where, after a particularly hard day of fighting the magical fight in the shadows, they can spend the next month chilling and talking to someone about the experience.  They go to a school that has enchantments in place to prevent people from jumping out of high towers, or crashing brooms into walls at a few hundred kilometers an hour, or setting themselves on fire, or any number of ways one may try to harm themselves.  They live in a world where certain people–whose names start with an A and a K–could, if they decided to just go completely batshit insane, could do up River Tam considerably and take out a couple of dozen people with their minds.

It’s not a perfect location for that, but the school does its best, because training kids up to be the future shadow runners of the world is sometimes gonna leave an invisible mark.

We, on the other hand, aren’t that lucky.  I’ve never hidden my own mental illness, never admitted that it isn’t there.  Between depression, being bi-polar, and having GID, I’ve been a mess most of my life.

Mental health treatment in the country of my birth is a joke.  Most of it isn’t covered by insurance.  Nearly all my therapy has been covered out of pocket since 2009 on, and believer me, it’s not cheap.  I don’t take meds because I (1) have no health insurance, and (2) didn’t like how I felt when I was on meds, which was either zombie-like or not much better than I was before getting on them.

These days I do what I can to get by, and I’m usually successful.  Usually.  I have my “Break down and cry” moments, and they’re usually bad, but I get over them and move on.  I was crying Sunday when I went out to pay a bill, because I do that–cry, not pay bills.  Saturday night . . . well, that was a disaster.

I have a hotline number on my phone, and my therapist’s number as well.  When I’m feeling bad I don’t go out on my balcony, because I live twelve stories up and I have enough knowledge of physics and laws of gravity and acceleration to know once you’re over the side it just about two seconds and done, finished, out of the blue and into the black.  Quick, easy, and pretty much painless.

When I’m feeling really bad I visualize.  I have two people that mean everything to me.  One is my daughter.  The world can suck enough and she doesn’t need anymore suckage in her life.  The other is a person I spoke of last week, the one person who means the world to me.  When I get really bad I imagine her alone in a room in the dark, crying because she’s heard that I’ve move on beyond The Veil and I’m not coming back.  I hold that image in my mind for a few moments, then shuffle all the bad shit away and move on.

I’d die for her, but not that way.  It isn’t fair to her.

My novel kids will not always have an easy time.  Before they turn eighteen they’re going to see a world of shit, and it will be difficult for them to walk away unscathed.  It’s stuff that they’ll take into adulthood, things that will remain with them for a long time.

But I’ll take care of them in the end and see they get help.

If only I could do that for everyone.

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?

The Forgotten Silence

There aren’t many days when I forget something that I should write about, but it does happen.  Yesterday was like that; I’d gotten my post written and set up all over the place, when I realized–oh, damn, I should have mentioned that.

So I’m a day behind.  Sorry.

One of my favorite writers is Hunter S. Thomson.  I loved the tales, loved the wildness, loved the apparent recklessness that Hunter appeared to live.  He was one of those people whose work, no matter how insane it appeared, I read.

On 20 February, 2005, he wrote his last piece.  It was short, and to the point:

 

No More Games. No More Bombs. No More Walking. No More Fun. No More Swimming. 67. That is 17 years past 50. 17 more than I needed or wanted. Boring. I am always bitchy. No Fun – for anybody. 67. You are getting Greedy. Act your old age. Relax – This won’t hurt.

 

He’d had a hip replacement that never seemed to work correctly.  He’d suffered a broken leg.  His addiction to alcohol was acute.  Since Hunter saw no other way out, he shot himself, and brought an end to his life.

Yesterday, 10 September, was World Suicide Prevention Day, an international event that’s held every year the same day.  Suicide’s one of those things that’s around us all the time, but most people never give it a thought.  Fewer of us know anyone who’s tried or committed suicide, even though it’s the 13th cause of death world wide, and the leading cause of death for people 15 to 24.

I had a distant relative who killed herself and her two children.  It happened in the mid-60’s, and actually made the local Chicago TV news.  I was told later that she was “manic-depressive”, and had been in and out of treatment for years.  At the time it didn’t make much of an impact on me, because I hadn’t begun suffering from my own “manic-depressive” issues–but I would understand it later.  Oh, yes, I would.

Ten years ago I worked with a person who took his life.  There wasn’t any warning; there were no tells.  One night he went home and, just has Hunter had done, shot himself.  Another person who took himself out, because the demons were too big to fight.

But I know these things first hand, because I’ve suffered through my own darkness.  I’ve been bi-polar most of my life.  I’ve suffered incredible moments of depression I thought I’d never leave.  I’ve checked into a “facility” for forty-eight hours because I thought I would be a threat to myself, and almost did it again over the summer, when I seriously thought I was losing my sanity.

Worst of all, I’ve attempted that final trip twice:  once as a teenager, and once in my early twenties, when my life felt like it going nowhere.  Needless to say, I didn’t succeed either time, but I took those steps–

I’ve also taken steps to help myself.  I’ve seen therapists:  in fact, I’m seeing one now.  I’ve called help lines so I could connect with a voice that would listen, and offer help.  I watch my own tells, and understand when I’m getting ready to lose it–like over the summer.

You treat mental illness like any other illness:  with treatment and observation.  We aren’t lepers to be kept isolated, with people fearful we’re going to pass our illness to others through casual contact.  We need to be seen and heard.

Sometimes we also need help.

World wide there are a million people a year who die by their own hand.  How to stem this tide?  Through help and understanding.  Through dialog. Through reaching out and offering a hand where it’s needed.

Sometimes just a little human touch is all that’s required to break the silence.

Dreamers and Demons

So many strange things today.  Let me tell you, I didn’t want to get out of bed, because of the things my mind was showing me last night–

See, the last few weeks I’ve complained that I haven’t seen many of my dreams, that I can’t remember them.  So, as I was dozing off last night–or, I should say, trying to doze off–I was repeating a mantra that I was going to remember, going to remember . . .

Remember I did.  Oh, boy, did I.  Can’t tell you a lot of the detail, but it seemed to consist of (a) being with some woman I’d never seen before showing porn in a classroom full of middle school kids, (b) doing very detailed measurement of certain areas of her body, (c) finding out she was a cop, and lastly, (d) hooking up with her partner and riding shotgun with him as we took some suspect down to a river, left him belted in the car, then went full-on murderball on his ass as we drove the car into the river and let him drown.

Yes, good times had by all!

That was disturbing.  I mean, yeah, I helped smoke some guy in a rather horrible way, and even though it was in my dream, it seemed that, and the sex stuff, was a rather strange way for me subconscious to remind me of–what?  Just want the hell was it telling me?

So into work . . . and I discover, to my embarrassment, it’s the birthday of H. P. Lovecraft.  One of my favorite writers, and here I was completely forgetful that just over a hundred and twenty years ago he was born.  He and his demons, his racism, and his talent.  He was the first horror writer I read, and it was through him I eventually got into Stephen King.  Lovecraft also, in his own way, pushed me into role playing, as Call of Cthulhu, Second Edition, was the first role playing game I bought.

Lovecraft was a guy with a lot of demons.  It seems like anyone creative has some ifrit on their back, and that sucker is constantly flappin’ it wings so it can keep you wrapped up in bad mojo.  This guy laid it all out for everyone to see.  He was a crazy, misogynous, racist dude who wrote crazy fiction–and spent a hell of a lot of time encouraging other writers to keep at their craft.

I posted a happy birthday for him–like he’s going to see it, right?  Well, maybe a Deep One will see it when they check their wall; these days you can never tell.

No sooner do I get that posted that I learn Tony Scott, director and producer, brother of Ridley Scott, jumped to his death yesterday.  He drove out to the Vincent Thomas Bridge, climbed the ten foot fence that’s suppose to keep people from leaping, and went over the side.  They found a note in his office, so it wasn’t a spur of the moment thing: it was something he thought about, and planned.

And executed.

I’ve seen these demons as well; they are the darkness of your life that tries so hard to consume you.  Even today, after decades of fighting them, learning to keep them at bay, they are there, waiting, sort of watching with their yellow eyes, knowing that every so often I’ll slip up, and let them in.

This last time, I did the right thing; I spoke with people, I got help.  Too many don’t.  Too many are consumed.

Gotta fight the darkness.  Never let the demons win.  Gotta stay with your dreams, even when they are strange.

Strange beats dead any day of the week.