Of Suicide & Sublimity

December 9, 2014 10:06 PM

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To understand this session, you should first know this: In July of 2013, I drove to the Walmart Super Center in Sault Ste. Marie, MI and purchased a $550 Mossberg tactical shotgun with the intention of ending my life. As is their (failsafe) policy, I was chaperoned out of the store by a fledgling cashier with the gun's blue and yellow-striped box under my arm. It was early evening, the sun a butterscotch in slow dissolve above the Kewadin Casino, the Taco Bell, and the few gulls picking at paper cabbages in the store's lot. I loaded the package into my car and drove MI-129 south to Hessel, MI past flagging pinewood barns and the Pickford high football field, then stowed it in my boat and drove to my parent's island cottage where I had been staying alone. I have always despised guns, and up until unpacking it in the cottage that evening, had never laid a finger on one in my life. The implement was stout, matte black--un-glossed and heavy like the oblivion that ushered its purchase. I took it down to the dock, the sky a pastel ambivalence over Lake Huron, sat in a chair, fumbled with it, cried, called my mother, emailed my psychologist, and finally, fell asleep on the couch eating SmartPop. In the morning, I nailed an old pizza box to a cedar out back and, for the first time, shot a firearm. I was weak; sick with an anguish that would lead me to another similar incident, a clinic, and subsequently my parent's couch.

I emerged from this, all said, 22-month hell this May vowing to refuse the darkness and press on with my mission of making and proliferating art. Though this may all sound like self-indulgent, confessionalist tripe--it is--there is a point. This summer, I invited eight musicians and one very talente...

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