Some of the greatest minds in human history killed themselves,they either had debilitating clinical depression or felt alone and cast out because of their ideas that were ahead of their time.Men like Earnest Hemingway,one of the the best writers of our time blew his head off with a shot gun,not forgetting one of my favorite rock singer song writers Curt Cobain who also had a soft spot for the same powerful hand gun to punch his own ticket.Allow me to use these two icons to try and understand their state of mind at that time before lights out,broad strokes of course.
In the dead of the night when the only voices you can hear are in your head a lot can be said for the trail of thoughts,well,mostly for insomniacs and trust fund brats trying to understand why they are so blessed.Curt Cobain had a heroin problem,Hemingway is said to have lived in the bottle.The question that rises from their untimely deaths is their status,these men were great,these men were famous and successful,why the need for self sabotage?.psychiatrists speak of underlying mental trauma that is usually buried deep in the subconscious,it is either experienced physically or emotionally at some point in their lives.
Hemingway lived through two world wars,saw the gruesome realities that come with conflict,he saw his friends die and nearly died himself a couple times.Cobain got hooked to smack as he tried to balance his growing fame with his laid back soft spoken demeanor,he was always a odd ball though but listening to his music now anyone can feel his soul resonating from the tremble of his voice,he captured many hearts by letting his own bleed on guitar strings.could their fame and glory have been intertwined with their demons,would they have been better off without the monkeys on their backs?
Personally,i cannot be attributed to any great feats although i consider surviving this puss oozing knock off reality a feather on my cap but our addiction to self gratification has reduced all of us to happy masked puppets always going with the flow.The odd ball phenomena is quickly being eliminated from our society as the entire world tries to fake it by #winning.
My ‘# not winning ‘ self gratifying remarks on social media drew the interest of a wonderful person though,someone i had never spoken to before or met in my life,now anyone will tell you that if anyone shows interest especially if its a girl,we automatically switch to our dick heads for level ‘headed ‘decisions and reasoning.on this encounter though this particular person who i will call “damsel to the rescue”had been following my irregular posts on life and death and every other depressing topic in between.She insisted i call her after jotting her number down.
“Hi,have we met before?“my dick head wanted to know.
“I don’t think so Grundel,are you okay?”she asked sounding really concerned.
“Am good,why do you ask?”
“well i read your post and it sounds like a cry for help.Are you alone?”at this point my dick head had pushed the matter to another more hands on department.
“hehehehe am good,i just like contemplating life and everything,”
“How old are you?because this happens mostly to adults who are in their late twenties”She was a professional alright,
“what happens? oh, and yeah am 27…”
“Clinical depression,its a mental,i am a social worker,we see many cases like these but since its a sort of taboo in our African culture many people live with it,some kill themselves because of it and i was just concerned for you”she sounded really nice and i didn’t want to be a dick.
The conversation took longer than expected,it gradually moved from self hate,to religion and its place in my life and at the end to how life is simple and should be taken a day at a time.
At the end of the discussion i was happy for her,the conclusion we reached was one of positive vibes and songs of rebirth but at the back of my head(not my dick head) The old man and the sea which is one of Hemingway’s best short stories was popping up,paragraph after paragraph.The fact that a total stranger was moved enough to try and save me from myself did not move me,of course i was grateful for her kindness and humanity but i still felt this uncontrollable urge to stay my course.
Damsel to the rescue never called me again but she did make a reasonable impact in my life.I knew then as i do now that i am not alone,many of us feel out of place,this life feels like a bad dream,some sick game we have to play for a prize we cannot hold or take home.I also know now that there is a flip side to that coin,happiness can be realized,life can be sunshine and rainbows but all this has to come from within.I am still looking for that spark,my dick head has given me alternative choices but they are temporary and in some cases quite expensive so,no.We all have to talk about these things,especially African men.Kenyan men like myself who were taught to always be strong and unflinching in the way we expose our emotions.Until this evolution of how we show and embrace our emotions comes full circle,Nirvana will caress my ear drums as i gingerly caress my proverbial shot gun.