Dead son calls his father

Dead son imagines calling his father

What do you expect, being born on Friday the 13th? That was my fate without me knowing it and the madness that followed, followed the madness that followed the madness.

The shrinks had their own name for it but I called it a babbling hell of diabolical voices. I didn’t know what the hell was going on. They put me on Chlorpromazine and a bunch of other mindbuckers, but I had the last laugh. I took enough Amobarbital and Secobarbital to kill myself three times over.

The first time hadn’t worked and I wanted to be sure the next time. I was “determined that there should be as little imprecision as possible,” as my dad’s favorite writer William Saroyan wrote in ‘The Daring Young Man on the Flying Trapeze.’

I hated doing it to my crazy father, and I wondered as I spun off into oblivion what would happen to him. I didn’t know if my death would do him in or not, but I suspected he would survive. He told me when he visited me in Ward 3C after my first suicide attempt, “I hope you don’t try this again, Will, because I don’t know if I can survive another one — and I’m into survival.”

My sparse response at the time was, “It’s good that you know that about yourself.”

After some rocky years when I was a kid when my dad and my mother got divorced, we had a pretty good relationship at the end. Eccentric was the shrink’s word for it. Fragile was another. But despite our past differences and difficulties, we made contact on several occasions in the last couple of years. Times when we really understood one another and wrote many letters back and forth signed with the big L.

I kept all of the letters he wrote to me, and now he has them again, and I know he kept mine, although I don’t know if he can bring himself to read them. He’s a very emotional guy.

There were many times when we would drive each other crazy, but finally, now, in retrospect, I loved him and I know he loved me.

My suicide was a shock to all concerned, even though I tried it once before when I was diagnosed with this goddamned mental illness. 

At the end I gave everyone a false sense of security, to throw them off the track, to prevent them from stopping me. I had just one thought and that was to take those barbiturates I had bought on the street with my last hundred bucks and to get the hell out of this world. I was on “the wrong earth,” to quote Saroyan again.

You know what I’d love to do? I’d love to be able to tap into the Internet or into the phone lines or whatever and call my dad. As in life, I’d have to make it a collect call.

I know it can’t be done, but man, I’d love to do that. I’d tell him I’m sorry for hurting him by killing myself but I could see no other way to escape the voices, and I’d tell him that I’m at peace now and that I’ll love him through all eternity.

Even if I could figure out a way to do that, I couldn’t really do it. I mean, when he picked up the phone and heard my voice, he’d think he had gone mad. Who wouldn’t in a similar situation?

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13 thoughts on “Dead son imagines calling his father

  1. Just a few words. I like reading your posts. I hope it does not sound disrespectful to say that I enjoy reading them, since they are full of deep hard feelings and bitter experience, but they also sound so sincere and attach to reality, yours. Anyway, I wanted to say I read you whenever possible and I thank you for sharing. Best wishes.

  2. This is a very sad but beautiful piece of writing, but I could not help wondering (and worrying) where the lines of fiction and non-fiction were. I know you have been finding things so difficult of late and I hope you have been reaching out and getting support where you can. Thoughts are with you.

  3. Your compassion, Rachel, touches me from across oceans and continents, thank you. The words I write here are true, only the frame is fantasy. My son died many years ago, but in the sense of this post, he lives, somewhere, distant and close. Bill

  4. So sorry to hear this Bill. That is unbelievably sad, and my heart aches. I think it’s a lovely way to think that in writing about him, he lives on, or feels closer. Take care.

  5. Rachel, down there in NZ (I lived in Wellington for a while during my vagabond youth and I loved it), you are a caring soul. Thank you.

  6. Hey! Mich, I just went to sleep for many hours, or is passed-out a better word?…..This old man, sitting here alone in his old log cabin, has now passed 300 + Fans (I do not like to name them “follower’s”, as I am no Leader) I am traveling at Light Speed here, because that is where Time, supposedly, stops…..I am Surfing on the Sun, my friend, just riding those waves of Light, to who knows where? ~~~~~I have given up^ on waiting for Susan’s children to take the actions necessary, so I just sit here on my Time Machine, spitting out word after word, I do my best to keep it simple, no Big complicated Words, I say what I have to say in plain everyday English, so readers do not have to pull out a dictionary…..I would get YOU up^ here, but there is no place for you to sleep, with Susan’s bedroom sealed off at her children’s orders. If that should ever change, there is New Sheets, Mattress Pad, blankets awaiting your arrival! I have not had to cook a meal in a long time, as my good neighbors keep dropping off food for me to eat and enjoy! Is this a place of Magic, or what? ~~~~~We got new snow today,so all of my trees are decorated in that lovely White stuff for Christmas, I have my Light show pretty much set up^, one window left to go and I am going to set it in Laser Light…..I am trying to figure out how to send YOU pictures of it, maybe via E-mail? Your old Friend, George….

  7. I am on Fire Here Brother Mich, I mean like 3,000 degrees of Heat, read my latest post’s to see what I am saying, another Log, sacrificed to Brother Fire, another hour on those Drums…..I would have driven Susan Nuts! One time I was trying to learn how to play a Guitar, and Susan said “This is driving me nuts” So I took that Guitar and stomped it into splinters and threw it into the fire, now I can Play on my Drums to my Hearts Content, because it bothers no-One…………….Think about that, Brother Mich…..

  8. Your Susan and my Susan would have been good pals, I reckon — that’s the kind of thing she would say to me if I was bugging her with Heavy Metal music or yelling bloody murder at my computer or screaming at the church bells next door to shut the hell up!