Sunday, September 27, 2009

Out, Out Brief Candle

My father's best friend killed himself last night. It was very unexpected, but somehow not very surprising. He had pretty progressive multiple sclerosis and... he was just in really bad shape. In his note he said that he had the right to decide when he died. My dad was probably the last person to see him - he went over last night to watch the football game with him.

The thing is, I completely understand why he did it. With a such a degenerative, incurable disease, there's not much else you can do. When you can no longer control your body, what else can you control? Given a choice of slowly and painfully wasting away to nothing or dying quickly on your own terms, what would you choose? At what point does suicide become the best cure?

This dilemma is one that I have given a good deal of thought. There's a good chance with my Wegener's Granulomatosis I could end up in a similar situation. It's not nearly as bad as MS - there are pretty effective ways to control it and I responded well to the treatments. It's also possible that I will never have a relapse and I will go on living a healthy, normal life. But what if I do have a relapse? What if next time it's much worse and I don't respond to treatment? If my lungs collapse and my kidneys shut down, if WG slowly eats away at my body... at some point quality of life is so low that it's easier on everyone to simply end things.

I'm not saying that I want to kill myself, not by a long shot. But if I've become a burden to those who love me (and I'm not saying my Dad's friend was, but... he was. They were glad to bear that burden, but still), if I can no longer do anything that I like to do, if I am slowly wasting away and the only thing I can still control about my life is how it ends....

I guess my point is that I can really understand why he did it. That actually scares me a little.

My mom is making paella for his widow (oh, wow, she's a Widow... somehow that's harder to wrap my mind around than anything else I've written today). Why does our society meet tragedy with food?

Wednesday, September 23, 2009


Hilarible is a term coined by my friend, Spydr. Yes, that is her name... Well, not the one on her birth certificate, but that's what everyone calls her. Hilarible is, in case you couldn't figure it out, a combination of Hilarious and Terrible. I heard a story today that illustrates this principle perfectly:

This guy, we'll call him John (I don't even know his real name... he's a friend of a co-worker's son), asked a girl out, we'll call her Julie. John decides to take Julie to the State Fair for their first date. John and Julie both live in Provo, which is about an hour long drive from the fair grounds in Salt Lake. While John is driving to Salt Lake, his stomach starts to hurt; he's getting gassy. He holds it in because he's in the car this hot girl, and you just don't want to murder your date with noxious butt-fumes. But the pressure is building up to the point that it's painful so he decides to roll down the windows, turn up the radio (so she won't hear it) and just let her rip.

He shartted.

Not much he can do at this point. They're almost to the fair so he just keeps the windows down and hopes that she can't smell it. She can probably smell it, he can smell it, it's bad. After they park, he makes sure she's walking in front of him and just does everything he can to save face.

They go into the Fair and before long they come across a booth selling "Utah State Fair!" sweat suits.

John says, "Oh neat! I'm so excited to see this! When I was little my family used to always buy these sweats and then change into them and wear them around the fair! Let's do that!"

Julie says "Uh, no. I'm not going to wear those."

John buys a set anyway and goes into a port-a-potty to change. He takes off his shirt and puts on the sweat shirt. Then he takes off his pants... they're really bad. He thinks to himself "I don't want to carry these around, that will not work." So he drops his pants and his underwear into the tank. Then he opens the package of sweat-pants.

It's another shirt.

Rather than swallowing his pride and asking Julie to please exchange the shirt for pants, John puts on the sweatshirt like pants. One leg through each arm hole. He pokes his head out and looks around for Julie. She's not nearby so he bolts. He runs through the fair, out to the parking lot and drives away.

That is hilarible. It's so terrible that it's hilarious. Certainly not to John, who suffered pretty major humiliation and should probably fear for his life if he ever runs into Julie again. Or to Julie, who was left stranded in Salt Lake. To an outside party, it's really funny though; it's Hilarible