Once I had him in my car, I suggested that we go for a ride; the night was clear beckoning us to mingle with it. He agreed easily enough. I began the conversation that led to my second suicide watch and was a bit horrified at how quickly it led exactly where I intended.
"I've been thinking a lot about death lately. I find myself imagining all the different ways people die. What death would I choose if I could?" I spoke matter-of-factly.
"Oh, that's easy for me. I've been toying with suicidal thoughts since I was a boy. Kids can be so cruel and somehow every one knew I was gay before I did. Made death look pretty inviting when the alternative was having my **** kicked daily by the jerks at school."
“I know what you mean.” Actually, I had no idea. If anything I was one of the jerks doing the **** kicking. “So, how do you imagine your suicide?”
“I’ve imagined every possible scenario. I always come back to the pills. It would be quick, easy, done!”
No, that would not work at all! "Oh, come on! That's too easy. After everything this world has done to you and you just walk out silently! Not me, I could never go like that."
"Ya? How would you do it, then? Maybe clowns and a parade with monkeys clanging brass plates?"
"Funny", I said flatly. This one is annoying. "I always dreamed of going out in a blaze of glory.....literally."
"You're **** crazy, you know that? You're talking about burning yourself alive?"
"Yes, that is exactly how I would go. Think of it! Your ex weeping because he drove you to such an act. The guilt would burn him alive!"
"Maybe. I doubt it, though. Besides, you're forgetting one important detail; pain, unimaginable, horrible, excruciating, pain!"
"No, the pain is exactly what I want. Life has been an enormous line of one painful event after another. I want to spit in the face of pain! Bring it on! Let the fire burn!"
"Escaping the pain is kind of the point of suicide."
"Only for the weak, my friend. The strong man lets the world know that absolutely nothing it does to him can change him at all."
"You're all talk."
"You think so? Try me."
"Alright, for one, where would light yourself on fire and with what?"
"The tank is full of gas and there are fields, abandoned buildings, plenty of places."
"Ya? Well, what **** good would it do to burn yourself alive and spit in the face of pain if no one sees the blaze?"
"Good point!...... I do have a video camera in the back seat."
"You can film me and send a copy of the tape to the media. Everyone will see me burn and be horrified. I get hard just thinking about it."
"Well, that's all fine and good for you, but what about me? Who'll film me?"
"You're right. How selfish of me. It's your night. I can find someone to do this for me. I will film you and then your ex will be haunted for the rest of his miserable life."
"Where are we?"
"Your final resting place, my friend. This will be spectacular!"
The parking lot was bereft of even a street light. The headlights of the car were all that illuminated the pavement.After parking the car, siphoning enough of the gas out of the gas tank, and dousing my new 'friend' sufficiently with the fuel, I took the camera out of the back seat and asked Allen if he had anything to say.
And with that, I lit a match and tossed it on him. He lit up like the Olympic torch and the air filled with his screams. It was magnificent.
If only I could get his final words out of my head, they haunt me some at night when I dream.
"STOP! MAKE IT STOP! OH GOD, PLEASE, MAKE IT STOP!"