Occasionally I Contemplate Murder. Book by Stefan Stenudd.

Occasionally I Contemplate Murder 11

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T he indians treated life much more demandingly than we tend to do. Or did they love it too much to compromise about it?

When the white man needed his cotton to be picked, he naturally first considered the red man for the job. There he was, nearby and in abundance.

Red man, though, was not readily convinced.

He would not develop proper skills for this work, and when his life was trapped in slavery, he preferred to leave it.

White man had no antidote to suicide. Although life can certainly be mastered by worldly powers, death cannot.

When forced to realize this, white man had to bring the black man, all the way from Africa, to do the picking of the cotton.

Thus, by paying the ultimate price, the indians won their precious freedom.

In another world, this sacrifice of one generation probably would have been rewarded to all the following. Here, it did not.

When white man found no practical use for red man, he simply exterminated him. A glorious death, indeed, and one to stain all white men's consciences forever on.

But still, death.

Will the kind of Jesus find it in his heart to forgive the indians their suicide? I pray that he does. If not, what judgement is white man to expect?

Perish the thought.

Well, I wonder if we do at all inherit the sins of our ancestors. Probably for as long as we enjoy the fruits thereof.

And we do.

S uicide can be of so many differing kinds, few of which being as grand and heroic as that of the indians.

Most suicide attempts, experts say, are not altogether sincere in intent. The wish of the one committing it is not to find death, but to bring attention to the circumstances of his life. It's a cry for assistance.

As such, it's also a threat, almost blackmail:

Help me, or next time around I'll do it for real — and then you're to blame!

They rarely do it for real, though. The attempts may be many, and as alarming as the crescendo of a turbulent symphony — but a finale it isn't.

In spite of this, attempted suicides may become failures in such an ironic way, that they really do lead to death. A suicide that failed to fail.

However sad this mishap may be, it gives a certain relief to those left behind. But it's very rare.

This game of pretense seems to be far more popular among women than among men. How come?

Can it be that women relate to life in more of a closed circuit, more matter-of-factly, than do most members of the opposite sex?

I have the impression that women rarely are as curious about the beyond as men often are. Consequently, if the possibility of an afterlife realm is of little concern to them, such women would see death as more of a threat, a thing of horror. Unlife.

Accordingly, a suitable instrument for blackmail.

Women who are less attracted by death, therefore seem to show it less respect. They don't hesitate to play with it, like someone not really believing in it.

But they do believe in it. Death itself is much more real to them than to men. It's the beyond that is not. Death is just one thing — unlife. Not at all attractive.

It could very well have something to do with the experience of pregnancy. Being the very melting pot of new life, it's hard to engage in fancy dreams and visions about unlife.

A lady I know, was constantly trying to kill herself, when in her mid-twenties. Mostly she used pills, not always of a kind that could be fatal in any reasonable dose. It also happened that she slashed her wrists.

She always called somebody up, immediately after the drastic step. Although it caused a few hearts to speed up their beats for the rest of the night, she wasn't ever really close to the point of no return.

The doctors held her for a few days at the hospital, then diagnosed her as healthy as can be, and mildly but firmly showed her to the door.

I think the doctors didn't take her very seriously. They did not even insist on sending her to some kind of therapy. Well, they probably had the experience to tell the difference between her exercises and the real thing.

Still, it did become a strain on her friends. Her phone calls were received with very ambiguous emotions.

Given time, the very frequency of it could probably have killed her. At least, all those pills might have ruined her liver, had she not quit after a few years.

What happened?

She found a man, who made her pregnant.

I guess that starting up another human life made her cease to wish for her own life to end. The baby ignited certain instincts inside her, and she forgot all about suicide. Along with the child arrived some kind of meaning to her life, it seems.

What better meaning could there be to a person's life, than the life of another?

To make sure, she quickly repeated the cure. Today the two children take up all her time and energy. They're good at that.

What will happen when they have reached the age where her assistance is no longer essential to them, I don't know. Yet another?

Or maybe she has come to the conclusion that she never really wanted to die in the first place. Her attempts were solely reactions against life. Death had nothing to do with it.

Those who really wish to die, on the other hand, show a greater accuracy and competence. The manner of their voyage sure varies, but they do usually succeed to depart.

Still, their action can be just as much directed to the world they leave, as is the action of those who never really plan to leave at all.

Often, their suicide is an accusation, intending for their blood to stain as large an area as possible.

They want their death to make such noise that its echo will forever ring in the ears of the poor ones left behind.

For some reason — maybe the inverted case of what goes for female suicidal behavior — this tends to be most popular among men.

I'm sure they feel entitled to bring such punishment on those afflicted, and maybe they would often enough be acknowledged this right by anyone looking into the matter. Still, there seems to be an amount of narrow-mindedness involved.

Throwing oneself from the roof of an apartment building or in front of a train, or banging one's car into a mountainside, tend to seriously hurt other people entirely, than those who could, by the most farfetched of arguments, be deserving it.

It's odd, how merciless those people can be, who claim to have been shown the least mercy. Were they really treated with all the negligence or cruelty, for this rude farewell to be justified?

In my modest experience, those who suffered the most tend to be the least inclined to complain. Those who groan the loudest, really seem to be the most privileged.

Pain must have its laws of relativity.

T he most prolonged of suicides, also that which torments relatives and friends the worst, is drug abuse. All those hundreds of exotic narcotics, coming in every color and flavor, or plain ol' alcohol.

The addict may not always intend to have his excessive use end in death, neither consciously nor subconsciously — but mostly he does.

There's a T-shirt print popular in Sweden, telling it all:

"Booze slowly kills you — but who's in a hurry?"

If you wish to leave this planet, but are in no immediate hurry, and don't mind terribly — maybe even enjoy — some serious humiliation and bodily decay along the way, then there's most certainly a drug for you.

Obviously, it's not the easy way out. Nor is it exactly a sign of cowardice. Sometimes, though, it can stem from indecision, or at least the lack of that overwhelming conviction.

Whatever the cause for this long and trying route, it does tend to be unto others all that it is to the addict. One might even find it contagious, through the bridge of emotional attachment.

People strangely fond of addicts — and such people exist in at least the same abundance as addicts do — tend to end up sharing also the addiction with them.

It is perhaps, when seriously tried, found to be a wonderful way to go? Or is the explanation simply that the addict made the life of his loving one so miserable, the drug becomes her only consolation?

A risky business, indeed.

Five social workers in Sweden were involved in a longtime social project, where the aim was to cure one sole alcoholic. A middle-aged man, living under minute circumstances in the vicinity of Stockholm.

They worked very hard on it, all five of them, for three full years. Or was it three social workers on a five-year project?

Somehow, the difference fails to strike me as all that significant.

Anyway, the drunkard did not get cured. Although they sometimes succeeded to make him step out of the gutter and refuse the bottle for a while, he always fell back as soon as they removed their supporting arms.

Alcohol can be very persuasive, especially to someone with an ear for its kind of music.

When the time span of the project had elapsed, the social workers left to write a book about it.

Soon enough, the drunk killed himself — the fast way.

I'm not surprised. What was left for him to do?

Never again could he expect to receive the same attention, never again be the center, yes, the very source of income for a number of perfectly well established citizens.

When that spotlight of attention turned away from him, all was darkness.

Nobody really wants to leave kindergarten, to stand on his own two feet.

Lots of people who get to reexperience the carefree existence of early childhood — in such places as prison cells or hospital beds — they wish to remain right there forever.

In kindergarten, taken good care of, with the big world locked out and food being served at regular hours.

Who can blame them?


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Occasionally I Contemplate Murder. Book by Stefan Stenudd.

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Occasionally I Contemplate Murder
by 2006, 2011,2015
Paperback, 124 pages
Arriba Publ.
ISBN: 978-1-5142-2337-6

The same book in Swedish

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