Friday, January 21, 2005

I was outside thinking about suicide today....

I wasn't thinking about my suicide. I wasn't thinking about the trip I made out to the Grand Canyon, when I wanted to commit suicide, either. No, I was simply thinking about the concept of suicide.

I wasn't thinking about how I didn't commit suicide and how much I have to show as a result. I have Vicky. I have a house. I have far too many pets who love me. All in all, it was a good decision. That said, I have just as many things that make me weary of life, which balances out in the end to a feeling of neurosis.

What I was thinking about are those people who haven't faced the monster. Those people whose lives are miserable and who probably would kill themselves if they'd think of it. I was thinking they probably should. Nobody should live in such misery that they'd kill themselves if only they would think of it. Anyone dumb enough not to contemplate suicide, if only to realize what they have, probably need a little suicide, after all.

Of course, you never get just a little suicide. It's an "all or nothing" deal.

You approach suicide because you think you've reached your end and you have nothing left. Actually, that is wrong, which is the problem with suicide, after all. Even after you've lost everything, as I felt I had, you still have one thing left: your body. You may lose all of your money. You may lose your home. You may lose your loved ones. But you still have your body. Only after you've lost that have you lost everything, and then you're dead.

I had a teacher once say to my class, "We are not all capitalists here. I'm the only capitalist because I'm the only one with capital." Capital is defined as that which you have left after you've deducted all of your liabilities. But even with this definition, we are all capitalists because even after we've deducted our liabilities, here's what we have left: we have our bodies. All we ever really have is our body.

So one might say we are all capitalists. We are all "existential capitalists". This is why, when someone kills themselves, people say they, "Cashed it all in."

We all play a capitalist game every day of our lives. We hold on to our capital even when its net worth is falling because, even when times are bad, we are banking on good times to come. We like to think that, if we wait long enough, our investment will pay off. This isn't always true, of course. For some of us, things never do get better and we've invested poorly. We never know what's around the bend, however, and so some of us kill ourselves. I don't know if this is a wise investment but it sure as hell is aggressive!

You don't hear too much about "existential socialists". Socialists are people who believe that all who have should share with those who don't. It's an ugly word in the land of capitalism, even though most socialist experiments end in failure. They don't end in failure because the system is flawed; they end in failure because the experimenters are flawed. People simply don't like to share.

But there are "existential socialists" out there. Whenever you hear of someone donating a kidney or blood or bone marrow, these are people sharing their only real capital with others. So, when you meet someone like that, you can say, "That was very existentially socialist of you." and you'd be right. With any luck, you'll say that to a Republican and really piss them off.

I was an "existential socialist" once. I gave my platelets to Megan, who was sick. I gave her the only real capital I had. I was an "existential socialist". Oh, I grew more. Socialist, I may be, but I'm not crazy. There's a man who works here who is waiting for a kidney. He can't wait long. He needs a kidney or the disease he has will kill him - dialysis can only do so much and can do it for only so long. Organs are worth a whole lot when it comes to existential capital. This is how to become a real "existential socialist": become an organ donor.

And so I sat out there with my capital, with my body, and thought of people cashing in their last bit of capital and I thought about my own investment scheme and I thought about the kinds of dividends I was being paid. Meanwhile, I smoked a clove, potentially damaging the only capital I have. I thought about how wasteful that was and felt decadent. It was like burning a $100 bill.
And I got up and I came in here and I wrote this.

This story doesn't really have an end. For that matter, I'm not really sure where it began. But there you have it. All you walking bits of existential finance.

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