Hope, Fear, Depression, Pleasure: Thoughts on Anthony Bourdain and Suicide

bourdain, depression, suicide

On Depression and Pleasure

or

Fuck This Shit

I, like everyone else, woke up this Friday morning to the news that Anthony Bourdain has committed suicide.

And course, there was Kate Spade just a couple of days ago who did the same.

I’m not sure if anyone else is feeling not only heartbreak but fear. Fear that no matter what you do, what you have, what you’ve gained, what you’ve lost. No matter how good it seems for a moment–the demons will always come back. The demons will always win.

All of these beautiful creatures who walk the earth broken, fragile, scraping by every day just trying to connect to something other than pain. Other than the heavy blanket of suffocating grayness that covers so many of us and keeps us alive, but barely. Every once in awhile lifting up, lungs filling with love and light–and then abruptly reappearing right when we think we’ve made it through, right when we forget that we ever had felt that way before. The cruelest joke in the world. Played over and over on so many souls.

This is so hard I think because we saw someone we could truly relate to in Bourdain. Flawed. Yet, able to rise above those flaws and do something.

Something.

Which is often the hardest thing to do at all when you’re being smothered by the thoughts that none of it matters. That it’s all a waste.

Is it?

I’ve often thought so.

Yet, there has always been that slight glimmer; often very very far away, yet, because I’m lucky or tortured I’ve held onto that hope. Hope that the demons will leave me the fuck alone for a day. Hope that at some point I can be strong enough that if they do come back I can drop kick their asses and they will go away only to never return.

There’s that hope.

But there’s also that fear. The knowing that they will return no matter what. And that maybe one day there will be no fight left.

The thing that I relate to so strongly with Bourdain– is that when all else fails, the road to pleasures opens.

Here’s what I mean.

When I gave up entirely. When I wanted to die and felt like I had nothing left. I let it all go.

During a three-day sativa-ridden mania I came to this basic conclusion:

“Fuck this shit. If I already want to die. If I feel like death. If none of it matters, then I’m going to go out in the world and squeeze every last drop of pleasure that I can possibly get. I’m going to be raw and open and so honest it hurts. Because there’s nothing left for me. Except for those things. And if I connect with people along the way, good. If doing this changes me and the demons no long come around, great. But I’m going to ride it until the last drop of wine, the bite of steak, the last loud and long and ecstatic-driven orgasm.”

This is how I relate to Bourdain because when I see him, flawed, yet out there traveling the world, enjoying the simple pleasures, it seems like he had finally figured it out. That he had figured out how to say, “fuck this shit,” and win.

That’s why there is both hope and fear.

The hope that I can carry on a bit longer without the gray suffocating me again and the fear of knowing that one day it will be too heavy to get out from under, no matter what.

This is why I tell people to, “Go Eat A Carrot.”

It’s basically a triple entendre (which is one of my favorite things to write in the world):

1. Go literally eat an orange phallic-shaped vegetable (aka take care of yourself).
2. You suck as a person, go eat a dick (aka STFU).
3. You suck real good, keep on sucking that dick and eating that pussy (aka we all deserve more pleasure from this devastatingly beautiful and hard as fuck world).

And with that, because I never know when the cruelest joke in the world will make its return into my own life, I just want to thank everyone who has ever supported me, loved me, hated me, cheered me on, wished for my failures, eaten my pink taco (and vice versa), let me lick their carrot, brought me flowers, brought be sandwiches, talked to me, talked me out of it, talked me into something that I didn’t want to do but it made all the difference; really each and every one of you out there who makes this place so fucking amazing and awful at the same time. I seriously thank you, because yeah I know, it’s super cheesy and pseudo -sciencey but we’re all here right now, we’re all connected whether we want to be or not; we each do our best and I’m grateful to be a part of that, even if sometimes my best is just breathing through the day.

P.S.
If you’re feeling like shit, if you’re feeling like you’re trapped on the top floor of a burning building and the only way out is to jump, please fucking reach out to someone first. And if they don’t help, reach out to someone else. It sucks and it’s hard but keep reaching because I swear to the fucking goddesses in all of the universe that someone somewhere will take your fucking hand and lift you up (or like bring a long-ass ladder over so you can climb out the building). It’s okay. Nothing really matters. Everything is beautiful. Enjoy the pleasures.

P.P.S.
Burning building/ hi-rise thing was written by David Foster Wallace another beautiful soul gone too soon. Here’s some of that quote just because it’s stuck with me since I read Infinite Jest and it might be the most poignant moment in that long fucking confusing powerful gorgeous horrible lovely book:

“The so-called ‘psychotically depressed’ person who tries to kill herself doesn’t do so out of quote ‘hopelessness’ or any abstract conviction that life’s assets and debits do not square. And surely not because death seems suddenly appealing. The person in whom Its invisible agony reaches a certain unendurable level will kill herself the same way a trapped person will eventually jump from the window of a burning high-rise. Make no mistake about people who leap from burning windows. Their terror of falling from a great height is still just as great as it would be for you or me standing speculatively at the same window just checking out the view; i.e. the fear of falling remains a constant. The variable here is the other terror, the fire’s flames: when the flames get close enough, falling to death becomes the slightly less terrible of two terrors. It’s not desiring the fall; it’s terror of the flames. And yet nobody down on the sidewalk, looking up and yelling ‘Don’t!’ and ‘Hang on!’, can understand the jump. Not really. You’d have to have personally been trapped and felt flames to really understand a terror way beyond falling.”

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When People You Care About Almost Die

death and yolo

Please Do Not Die Yet My Friend(s)

or

YOLO, Death, and Shit.

Today I woke up to a text from my mother telling me that this guy who I have basically known since he was born (a few months after me) had had a heart attack. A 33-year-old man had his heart attack him. Are we already at that age where everyone around us is about to die? WTF?

Sometimes when I’m super depressed I think about death too much. Once I asked a guy at the bar how his 2017 went (as it was right after the new year) and he said, “good enough, I’m not dead.”

And I replied with, “But, how do you know that’s not better?”

He quickly and politely left that conversation.

But really. It’s a pretty deep and dark question. How do we know? We do not know. Even when we’re on mushrooms and we THINK we know, we think we get it, we still have no idea.

Isn’t that what makes living so beautiful and fun? Not really having any idea why we’re here or where we’re going next?

What a ride, huh?

I sent my friend a message asking him not to die today. He explained to me that he didn’t just have a heart attack, he had a MASSIVE heart attack.

To which I replied, “you always gotta go big huh?”

Like, what a jerk?!

People who die are dead and they no longer have to care about anything, but then there are the rest of us still here who have to deal with the death of that person.

I think a lot of people get super upset about other people dying mostly because it reminds them that they too will be dead soon.

And also of course, that the dead person will no longer be capable of contributing in anyway to the alive people’s lives–which is often sad if that dead person was entertaining or thoughtful or interesting in some way, shape, or form.

In any event, I am glad my friend is not dead. I am glad I am not dead (even though I feel dead inside quite often). I am glad there are so many alive people and that most of the people who are alive are pretty alright (some of you though need to work out a few things still).

Mostly glad that puppies and ice cream exist on this planet with me, but that’s a topic for another day.

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Almost Died. Bet You’re Happy About That.

still alive

Fucking Weird Shit Does Happen in Florida

or

If Someone Is Too Nice… Never Trust Them

 

Today I almost died, twice. Once because we interacted with a clean-cut serial killer who rents his car out to unsuspecting victims. Then, in an almost-actual car wreck where we were mere inches away from smashing and decapitating ourselves (the truck right in front of us had a bunch of wood sticking out his backend).

The weirdest part was that I wasn’t scared of death at all. I just had a feeling that this wasn’t it. And if it was it, whatever.

I mean, I’ve led an interesting life. I went to Burning Man once. I’ve had a threesome (more than once). I even read fucking Infinite fucking Jest.

Sure, there are plenty of things I still want to do before I die. Like have sex with a bro in an alley and then punch him in the face right when I’m cumming (consensually of course). Oh, and I want to have a threesome with two hot adult people dressed up like Mario and Luigi. And also a threesome with two hot adult people dressed up like Woody and Buzz (almost happened once but Woody chickened out). AND sex with a guy with a BIG dick dressed up like the Easter Bunny. Maybe do something weird with Santa Claus too? So many wonders are left to unfold.

I also want to finish writing this stupid fucking book that you all “claim,” you want to “read.”

And read it you shall because I ain’t fucking dead yet!

Once I almost died because my Super Type A Friend and my Super Type B Burner friend and I were all out at lunch at this Indian restaurant. They were chatting about their drug use. I was eating food because that’s what one is supposed to do at an Indian buffet. In any event, I had just taken a bite when my super Type A friend said, “I’ve never really done any drugs. Except that one time I smoked crack.”

Of course, I choked. She had to give me the Heimlich while my Super Type B Burner friend decided to go back to her plate and shove the rest of her food in her mouth like we were some kind of live-entertainment dinner theater.

Anyhoo. I go into WAY more depth about this particular incident and the time I blew everyone’s naked… minds… in my book that perhaps one day I will let at least one of you fuckers read.

In the meantime.

Namaste and shit.

Happy to still be here. I guess.

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