Suicide no. 30: One Shot
–by Derek Alan Wilkinson
They say you only get one in this life—one shot. And I picture a gun, and hear a song:
Hey, man. Nice Shot. Big shot man.
While there’s no Filter1 in this line of thought, there is an impending sense of doom for me. Most people think of life as this target—maybe a series of them—that they have to hit. The closer they come, the better off they are. If they were lucky enough to hit that bullseye—well..what’s there to say of fame and fortune? Or, at the very least, that simple, happy little family in the suburbs?
It’s too bad I don’t think that way.
It all started with a short muse on The Selfish Gene2, and wound up with me believing—knowing–that we only exist on this planet as large machines designed and enslaved by our own DNA to survive and to reproduce.
And that’s that.
Once I realized this mental slavery as a sort of condition of life, I also came to accept the absurdity of it. Hey—have fun while you can, try to follow DNA orders, live long and prosper. Whatever.
I just wanted to be something.
That, however, was outside of the parameters built up by a society that is written and governed by natural selection—which is funny in itself, because you don’t even have to believe in, or understand how, natural selection or DNA even works. You just act natural long enough, and nature’s lullaby will carry you into a sort of sleep—in which you dream your way into the fray of a battle that, for all purposes, all which is to define “you,” is just another key on natural selection’s piano.
But I’m awake now.
And that gun—that one shot: I’m not the shooter. I’m not even the gun. Luckily, I’m not the shell casings or the gunpowder, but I’m sure as hell not the target, either.
My friends, I am the fucking bullet.
What’s wrong with that, you say? Well, say I hit my target—what then? I’m a wasted chunk of metal in some forgotten graveyard of a hillside—corroding in the ground with a whole lot of them. The shooter? The Universe. The gun? Natural selection. The powder and casing? Unfortunate remnants of that eternal, biological struggle.
As the bullet, I no longer have a target. There is but one place I’d like to have been shot into: the eternal canopy of space. Shoot me into the fucking air. No, wait.
I’ll just come back down.
What I3 really want out of this Faustian deal we call life is for it not to do what it is destined to: to end. But I know that it will, and it has no choice. And thus, I have no purpose.
But I’ve always wanted to dive off of this one skyscraper, downtown. And what better way to tell Mother Nature to suck my mortal dick?
1 The band, formed in 1993, featuring singer Richard Patrick. I don’t use the phrase “founded by” because I don’t know that band’s history, and to say such seems overrated. The song quoted is Hey man, nice shot, and you’ll have to look up the history of a certain politician to know what I’m referencing if you don’t know it already. In any case, the song is (in a small part), about a peculiar suicide.
2 A book authored by Richard Dawkins, Oxford University Press, 1976.
3 When I say “I” here, I’m referencing my consciousness—not necessarily my body or person, or even what has become my earthly “identity,” but my ability to know that I’m alive.