Tuesday, May 5, 2009

We cope by putting layers between it and us

People should not break bad news over the phone. That's the most recent sentence of my novel.

Last October I some how got roped into either calling or answering the phone, I don't even remember how it happened, just that I was on the phone with my shooting coach and he was telling me that an acquaintance had killed himself. And I didn't know what to say. What does one say?

I didn't really know him. He was a young guy, maybe 23, one of his brothers was friends with Hannah. This guy had coached me for a few weeks in winter 2008. That was the extent of my involvement with him.

I just sort of stammered when my coach told me, I didn't fully comprehend what he had said until after I hung up, and I felt kind of weak in the knees when I told Mom who was freaked out by the look on my face. 

I felt like an impostor for being so sad. Or maybe it's just that suicide is inexplicably horrible, no matter how well one knows the person. I still felt like I didn't have the right to be hurt and disturbed, but that also didn't stop me from writing a novel about it. 

I don't know why I'm thinking about it just now. Maybe I need to stop writing novels about suicide. Is it wrong that things always mean more to me in retrospect? Is it an illusion that emotions, like cheese, get sharper with time? 

According to Michael Buckley, if the Taylor Swift/Joe Jonas break up taught us anything, it's don't break bad news over the phone.

How wretchedly insensitive the world is.


Micah E. said...

I can't tell how I should feel about the fact that Taylor Swift/Joe Jonas break up was the first thing I thought of when I read the first sentence. I don't listen to either of them. Wtvr.

Feeling like an impostor... hmmm.

Falling Wings of Glass said...

Funny, Micah. I didn't think of Taylor Swift/Joe Jonas at all (until Hayley mentioned them, of course).

At least you took this one without laughing, Hayley!

Hayley said...

Laughing at tragedy is my most socially unacceptable coping mechanism, sadly. *wry smile*

K-Mac said...

that's why the Joker is so creepy.

K-Mac said...

{in other news, Katie never posts relevant comments}

suicide sometimes seems so easy and so scary to me. and I totally just watched the House and Lie To Me episodes about it.

or are emotions more like wine...than cheese...I'm not sure where that analogy was going. never mind. It was supposed to be something about emotions setting in.
like love at first sight, you probably don't really feel it then, but looking back perhaps you really did fall in love with them the moment you say them.