The Rantings of Some Idiot From KentuckyA Story by G.D. McLulz
Will is on his way to Nashville and Has Already Contemplated Suicide. He's fed up with life and he's looking for an alternative to the "bullshit" life that he's living right now.
I. F*****g Bowling Green.
It was the middle of a cold night in January and I was in f*****g Bowling Green, Kentucky. I was in Bowling Green because I was on my way to Nashville from Louisville. Why I was in Bowling Green or what really got me to this point is something that I wasn’t sure of. I was sick of Louisville I guess, sick of being stuck in the same place, seeing the same people do the same thing every day.
So I was just sitting there in Bowling Green. I started to cry. I was on my way to Nashville, going to start my new life there and I couldn’t even get past f*****g Bowling Green, Kentucky. I was sitting there, in the parking lot of some vacant flea market because it wasn’t open during the week. I could only think of everything I was leaving behind. I fell asleep.
II. Down and Out in Louisville.
Louisville is where I’m from originally, it’s a weird city. One that possesses both the bullshit that you’ll find in any city North of the Mason Dixon line in America, but you’ll also find the bullshit that you’ll find in any Southern city as well. It can get rather hot in the summer and f*****g cold in the winter. It has, on a smaller scale, all of the hustle and bustle of cities such as Chicago, Boston, even New York. Now there’s a bullshit phrase, “hustle and bustle” that is. Anyways, Louisville also has that Southern Charm that you find in places like Memphis and New Orleans.
Actually, Louisville has neither. That’s just what you’ll read on some brochure that’s trying to get someone to come to the city when it’s not the first Saturday in May, which is the Kentucky Derby. It’s a place that seems good for a few years when you’re in your late teens or early twenties. The Highlands area is hip. It’s cool and it’s everything you want when you’re that age. You hang out at places like Cafe 360 and Ear-X-Tacy when you’re under twenty-one. Cafe 360 has s****y food, hookah, and it’s open all night so when you feel rebellious and like to see some dumb graffiti “art” you can go there and bask in your youth. Ear-X-Tacy, It’s a music store. Good selection of music, but overpriced. It sucks to say this but it’s just easier on your wallet to go to Best Buy to get the album you want.
When you turn twenty-one in Louisville, all is fantastic at first. There’s a bar for every person, a lot of bars that people claim as their own. You know, the place that people go to on accident one day and then claim that they discovered the coolest bar in the city. Like the Back Door off of Bardstown Road for example, it’s some little bar on the side of a strip mall. It has a lot of pool tables, cheap drinks and good food. The type of place where you ask for a single and get a double. Well, the thing about it is, that everyone in there feels as if they’re the ones who discovered the bar, it’s too hip. So hip that it’s not even hip anymore because all of these “hipsters” started to go there, and when something becomes too mainstream, it’s not hip anymore.
By the time you’re twenty-three or twenty-four, Louisville begins to suck. You have to face the reality that you’re not in college anymore, and if you are still in college at that age, you have another five years of it because you f**k around too much in the first place to actually ever get your degree. That or you’re just never going to finish, probably work some serving job until you’re forty, then one day wake up and find that all of your dreams and all of your ambition no longer exists. When you’re that age in Louisville, twenty-three or twenty-four, you begin to realize that you have a drinking problem. You also feel sucked into the city, which at one point, you thought would have been a great place to raise a family. It’s so much f*****g bullshit that it’s going to give you a headache, that’s when you start dealing with suicidal thoughts.
That’s what I’d started to deal with. I’d felt like I didn’t have a purpose in life. I graduated college, right in the middle of a recession, and couldn’t find a job. The only jobs I could find are the ones that are awful. Working at the bars until they close at four. Bartender doesn’t seem like a bad gig, that is, until you work long enough at a bar to make friends with the rest of the losers that work there, You work four or five days a week then you spend your off days there too. Not working, but drinking. Throwing the money away that you gave up your social life for. You end up buying shots for everyone that you work with, only realize that they never buy the next round. You work until four, then you work another two hours trying to clean up the place. Sleep all day and then get up and do it again. It becomes a vicious cycle and one that is extremely hard to get out of.
Anyways, back to my suicidal thoughts. Nothing was going right for me. Didn’t have a job and refused to get one at a bar or a retail store. Lucky for me, I was an only child. My mother, who makes good money, just gives me whatever I need. Yeah, it’s pathetic but it’s also a way to make a living without doing anything at all. So that’s what I did, nothing. Until I couldn’t take it anymore. You can only watch movies on cable or play video games for so long until you start to get bored with that.
That’s when things get really bad, when you get bored. Because you just start to sit around in the dark. Thinking about stuff, about the girl you dated who broke your heart or about how you wish you would have done things differently in your life. It begins to take a heavy toll on your mind and your heart. You start to dwell on the regrets that you have, so much that you start thinking of ways to get out of it. You tell yourself that you are going to go and get that retail job, give yourself something to do and achieve some independence from your mother, since your’e a momma’s boy. You never do though. You’re too damn lazy to actually do it. You sit there for several weeks and tell yourself that your’e going to get up and get on the internet and submit your application to Best Buy and Target. Maybe O’Charley’s even. Still, you dont. Weeks. Weeks I’m telling you. I sat there for weeks and couldn’t even build up the energy to submit a Goddamn online application for a job that I was probably going to get.
That’s when I decided to end it. I didn’t really want to end my life though, I just couldn’t think of anything better to do. It was more of a cry for help than an actual attempt at offing myself. Such a lame excuse for a suicide attempt, that I actually never even attempted. I called my friend Jackie to arrange a coffee date, and actually tell her what I was going to do.
III. The Coffee Shop Incident.
“What the f**k are you talking about,” she asked after I told her that I just wanted to say goodbye, and to tell all of my friends, all three of them who she didn’t even know, that I love them. “Are you retarded? Are you f*****g retarded? You’re not going to kill yourself if that’s what you’re really trying to tell me.”
We were in a coffee shop, on Bardstown Road. Heine Brothers Coffee at the corner of Bardstown and Eastern Parkway.
“Well,” I said. “I’m stuck in a rut and I don’t really know what to do.”
Saying that I’m “stuck in a rut” is really another bullshit cliche that I can’t believe I’ve used. It’s like “hustle and bustle” because it’s something that you say when you’re not really smart enough to know how to say it any other way. Either that or you’re just an extremely boring person who uses cliches too much, which I find myself to be.
“No. No... No! You’re f*****g retarded Will!”
People were starting to look at us. Well not me, really just Jackie because she had all of a sudden raised her voice and yelled something that most people find politically incorrect.
“So you’re saying that I’m not going to do it,” I said calmly, in attempt to lower Jackie’s voice.
“That’s what I’m saying.”
“Well won’t you be sorry then,” I said with a half grin.
“No I wont be. Look at yourself,” Jackie said. “You’re being playful with me right now, telling me that I’m going to be sorry. That’s not what people say when they really want to kill themselves.”
“F**k off, I’ll do it.”
“How? How are you going to do it? I dare you to do it.”
“Toaster in the tub.”
“No,” Jackie said. “You complain when you shock yourself on a door handle because of static, like you’re really going throw a goddamn toaster in the tub?”
She was right.
“Well fine, I’ll jump off of a parking garage,” I told her.
“Will. Remember that time when we went to Red River Gorge and we hiked up to Courthouse Rock? We were looking into that beautiful valley and I sat there and let my legs dangle over the edge.”
I did remember that day. That was the day that I was going to tell Jackie how I felt about her. Spill my heart to her. Another annoying cliche, I know, but I was going to. We weren’t really in a relationship, but we kind of belonged to each other at that point. At least that’s what I thought. I never ended up telling her how I feel. She fucked some dude a few weeks later and all of a sudden to vehicle that we were in, that was heading towards a relationship took a U-turn into her now being engaged to that same guy. We’re still the best of friends though, regrettably.
“Yeah, I remember, what’s your point?”
“You wouldn’t even come within ten feet of the cliff. I sat there on the edge of it and you talked about how you had butterflies in your stomach because the edge of cliffs make you nervous, you’re afraid their going to crumble off and you’re afraid of heights. You’re not going to jump off of any parking garage.”
She was right again, I’m basically a giant p***y when it comes to heights. I couldn’t even look over the edge at the top of a parking garage, much less jump off of the damned thing.
“Bullet through the head.”
“No Will. You love yourself too much. You love attention. You’re not going to put a bullet through your head because when you do die, you want people to walk by your open casket and think about how good you look, even though you’re dead. You’re not going to sacrifice that by putting a giant whole in your head.”
Right again. I love attention.
‘In fact,” Jackie said loudly. So loudly that every one in the coffee shop was now looking at her. Even though baristas or whatever the hell you call them stopped stirring up coffees to look up at her. “I don’t even think you’re going to do it at all! So quit wasting my time and quit wasting your time and call me back when you think of a way to kill yourself that you’re actually going to do. You’d never even actually seriously think about attempting one of those methods, much less go through with them! Call me when you think of a legitimate way to kill yourself! One that actually might worry me into thinking that you might actually do it, then we’ll meet back here again.”
“Actually ma’am,” called out one of the coffee makers or baristas or whatever the f**k you call them. “Don’t bother coming back here at all. This isn’t the first scene you’ve caused and frankly, we just don’t want your business anymore.”
“Go f**k yourself!”
She stormed out of the coffee shop. I wasn’t upset at all. She was right. Those weren’t things I could actually go through with. That’s the way that Jackie is. She’ll care about you but it’ll be through tough love and if she feels like saying something it’s going to get said whether you like it or not. So I went back to my place.
A week later, I called Jackie again.
The Coffee Shop Incident Revisited, But at a Different Coffee Shop.
“Will, don’t do it. I don’t even know how you’d be able to afford to do this,” Jackie told me.
We were sitting in Highland Coffee a little bit further down Bardstown Road. Highland Coffee is situated behind a Blockbuster video. It’s where I’d spent what felt like days at a time studying while I was in college.
I had nearly a dozen sheets of paper sprawled out all across the tiny table in the corner of Highland Coffee. Jackie was looking at them. Not really reading them or taking in any information from them, just looking at them. She looked up at me, and a single tear ran down her eye. She sniffled once.
“How could you want to do this to yourself,” she asked softly from deep in her throat. “Are you really that unhappy with your life? Do you really feel like this is the only option you have left?”
“I’m afraid so, Jackie. I afraid so.”
This time she wasn’t just dismissing everything I said as if I were some moron trying to get attention. Those “no’s” she let out actually were out of deep concern for me, as her friend. Her best friend.
“Will, there’s other ways to take on your problem. You need help. Go to counseling. Go see if there’s someone you can talk to. There are other ways to deal with your pain than just leaving everything and everyone behind like this.”
“I just don’t know anymore. I just don’t feel like there is anything I can do. I guess that I’m just hoping that if reincarnation does exist, everything will just end up better for me. I’d have no recollection of this life. I’m hoping it exists. It’ll be a fresh start.”
“Will, that’s ridiculous,” Jackie was still crying. Actually she was crying much more as the conversation went on. “I just can’t believe that you’re actually being serious about this stuff and doing research and actually giving it some thought. I’m sorry about what I said to you the other day. I’m sorry that I came across insensitive and yelled and caused a big scene.”
“No big deal.”
“It’s just that,” she continued. “You have a lot of really great friends. There are a lot of people that care about you. Your mother cares about you. Your father cares about you. I care about you, you’re my best friend and if anything ever happened to you, I’d blame myself at this point.”
She was full of s**t. I mean, maybe her emotions were real. I’m sure that she really didn’t want to lose me. But she was just saying what she was supposed to say. There was nothing genuine in what she was actually saying to me. She was just saying the things that they say in movies or in books. She may have felt that way but she wasn’t doing a good job at expressing it.
© 2010 G.D. McLulz