Did you know that the 24th St BART Punk Rock Johnny Cash killed himself on November 6th? I fucking loved this guy. He was an amazing singer, I wonder if he could have guessed so many people would be devastated by his death? Being a busker seems like the kind of job where you are being ignored 90% of the time. I’m gonna tip a busker this week and always make sure to smile.
This news comes on the heels of my learning that Ilya Zhitomirskiy from Diaspora, a guy I never knew but seemed so young&promising, killed himself and that a childhood friend Hana, an amazing girl, took her own life this past spring, the news of which didn’t get to me until this month.
I’ve always been a reader of obituaries, they’re my favorite part of any newspaper even the small town ones, and I usually don’t find them sad at all. In fact, over the years I’ve written several for myself and I find them a good way to reflect on what you’ve been doing all this time. While I’ve always loved obits, it’s because they aren’t usually about suicides. Suicides are so tragic, and you always feel like you could have helped the person if only you had known they were sad, or if you had even known them at all, as is the case with the Punk Rock Johnny Cash.
My first year of college in D.C. had a rash of suicides. They were all upsetting, of course. I believe there were about 5 in all including one which was ruled an accident, but didn’t seem like one to anyone on campus. But the worst for me was of guy I had come to know named Hassan who lived two floors above me in our dorm, the HOVA. He jumped off his balcony and landed on the sidewalk. I never knew he was sad. I transferred out of that school the next semester.
It’s fucked up that people get so weird when the subject of depression or other illnesses come up. It’s bizarre to me that there is still such a stigma, as if everyone doesn’t have their own little “something” going on. The world is complicated and people can be awful. Brains are amazing and amazingly painful sometimes. I know people say that creativity, passion and genius often go hand in hand with mental illness, so please spare me the NYT links. I’m just having a moment.