Tag Archives: suicide

McGee and the Garden Hose

February 6, 2013

On the day James McGee decided to end his life, his wife had called him an asshole. “You’ll never be happy, Jimmy,” said Helen.

They sat at opposite ends of the kitchen table, middle-aged opponents squared off on a suburban battlefield. McGee planned to endure today’s skirmish as he had countless others, through a tactic of silent indifference.

While she talked, he watched over her shoulder. Next door, Amundsen mowed his grass again. The precise crisscrosses of his neighbor’s lawn offended him, as did the well-trimmed bushes and flowers. The landscape was an annoying quasar in McGee’s dark universe.

“Why does Dave need to cut his grass three times a week?” he said.

Helen fiddled with a dishtowel. She’d given up cigarettes five years ago, and her hands had been busy since. Her ragged fingernails teased out a thread along the towel’s edge, then deposited it on a growing pile in the center of the table.
“Don’t change the subject,” she said.

His headache set in. Jim’s Helenache, laughed the men at the office where Jim worked. “I’m happy,” he said.

Read the rest: http://www.literaryorphans.org/playdb/?page_id=390

Leaving the Keys

September 10, 2012

Tired and dirty, Jimbo sat in the center of an empty kitchen, determined to drink until he felt normal again. Empty cans of Miller Lite surrounded the legs of the folding chair on which he was perched, a chair more accustomed to the vagaries of family gatherings and picnics at the lake than hard ceramic tile.

Wrapped around him was the cold blanket of plaster, wood, and tile where he’d spent most of his forties and fifties. The floor creaked and the doors squeaked; the roof leaked when it rained. The furnace belched out occasional but alarming gouts of foul- smelling smoke. And yet, one-hundred and thirty-seven payments more and it would have been his. His and Melissa’s.

Read the rest at Eunoia Review: http://eunoiareview.wordpress.com/2012/09/10/leaving-the-keys/

Until the Road Ends

September 9, 2011

When I was eighteen, I bought a 67’ Chevelle for five hundred bucks from a guy at work who was looking for some quick cash to score a pound of bitching Columbian.

My buddy Paul and I towed the car back to the apartment building and worked on it every weekend, tearing it down into a greasy mountain of parts and hopeful that we could put it all back together again, but better, faster – bolting on a wicked intake manifold and roaring headers and lifters that went tick-tick-tick, a thirsty 4-barrel and a screaming cam, and fat sticky tires wrapped around mag wheels that glittered in the summer sun.

Read the rest at Six Sentences http://sixsentences.blogspot.com/2010/09/until-road-ends.html

Beneath the Trojans

August 14, 2010

There’s a train track runs through the place. It slices diagonally across the entrance, past the old stone arch then down around the back where the mausoleum sits brooding. Every four hours or so the Union Pacific roars on through with its loads of grain or Japanese cars or durable goods but this bothers no one; to be honest, nobody in the park really gives a shit when the U.P. comes or where it’s going. On either side of the track lie lumpy borders of snow-covered ice, frozen and melted and frozen again until the bums that prowl the grave-sites can walk high above the rails, a crunchy sidewalk to nowhere. And off the track a ways in the sprawling port-wine shaped field of dirty white with its granite markers and blowing flower stalks sits an occasional pile of dirt next to a man-sized hole, waiting patiently for someone to come fill it back up again. On really cold nights, the dirt freezes up hard enough that in the morning the tractor stalls embarrassingly and they have to pay the bums a couple bucks to help chip the dirt loose so they can cover the poor schmuck lying quietly below.

After nineteen attempts, my first piece in Bartleby Snopes. It was later nominated it for a Pushcart Prize. You gotta keep trying. Read the rest here: http://bartlebysnopes.com/beneaththetrojans.htm

Right Before the Silence

June 23, 2010

Sometime after his third beer, a momentary fragment of pleasure crept into his troubled mind.

Gone for a minute was the dark and constant concern about his bitching boss, the worry of the mortgages, the nagging thoughts of a hungry and homeless retirement – tireless burdens which had turned his life into a gray and cheerless exercise.

For a moment, the pain in his side which he’d told his wife was surely cancer subsided, the twinge in his chest which he’d convinced himself was certainly a future heart attack was now gone, and he looked at his life as it could be; casting aside all regrets and recrimination, he told himself that it didn’t have to be as it had been, did it?

But his old, self-made reality quickly crashed back in and he tossed away the broken fragments of new found possibilities like so many shards of tired glass, stood and walked down the hall and into the kitchen, stepped over his sleeping dog and into the garage.

Unlocking his toolbox, he pulled out the black case from the third drawer down and to the right, and assembling the pistol secretly purchased months before for this very purpose he loaded a clip and with no hesitation at all put the steel of the barrel against his teeth.

And as the bullet entered his brain, he saw for the briefest millisecond his life as it really was; his now lost wife, his fatherless children, the job he would never go back to, the things he’d just now realized he should have shared with his unborn grandchildren, and in place of all this came only silence.


Published by Six Sentences http://sixsentences.blogspot.com/2010/06/right-before-silence.html

To Do List

January 28, 2010

Clean out desk at work, hand in resignation letter, bring good suit to dry cleaner.

Wash dog and bring to kennel, drop cat at Mrs. Johnson’s, water plants, feed fish.

Balance checkbook, make house payment, suspend utilities.

Bring flowers to Dad’s grave, stop on way home to fill gas tank, buy new garden hose and roll of duct tape at hardware store.

Write letter to Mom, change insurance beneficiary from ex-wife to sister, update will and mail to Frank.

Unplug garage door opener, block service door with toolbox, insert hose in exhaust pipe, place other end in rear window, seal with duct tape, start the car and get in – half an hour should do it.


Originally published at http://sixsentences.blogspot.com/2010/10/to-do-list.html