I was thinking about David Foster Wallace.
After his suicide, I made it a point to not think about him because it was very painful to hear of his demise.
I don't mourn his passing for the work he would have written.
It saddens me to think he was in so much pain and felt so trapped that the only way out in his mind was the way out with no return in.
I have witnessed two suicides by hanging. One in Puerto Rico and one in Connecticut.
I kept looking at the ground and how the feet were not touching it.
I wanted to say out loud "There is supposed to be space above your head, not under your feet. How could you have become so confused?"
I read somewhere that Wallace was writing about staying in the moment, about its being an important practice.
It seems that creative people are too sensitive sometimes - perhaps too open to everything that comes our way.
His brain produced copious amounts of connections, words and it may have turned into an exhausting out-of-control inferno.
This is not a metaphor, but an actual physical sensation. The cranium heats up and the scalp tingles like there's an overheated battery in your head.
Your eyes become strained as if you were reading without a light but inside your head.
David Foster Wallace could have been the smart interesting guy at the post office who says something charming every time you bought a stamp or a professor who took long sabbaticals to go grow grapes in Italy to make wine for his friends or he could have been a frustrated brooding bookstore clerk. But he was famous and very accomplished in the ways in which accomplishment is measured.
I wonder what needed fixing for him to see himself clearly enough to protect himself from his destructive impulses. I wonder what could have been done so someone could have been alerted that he was having a minute of madness that might have been dismantled and put aside with some time away from his life as it was or with a brief hospital stay or a trip to a warm clime with tropical fruit.