Cities and suburbs, real and imaginary.

Friday, July 25, 2008

snow gophers, plus...

I looked up suicide in the Thesaurus, but there’s no other way to say suicide. I have to come up with something for this fucking obituary. I don’t want people to think Quentin killed himself. He didn’t kill himself. His death was ruled a suicide, but it was really more of a self-inflicted act of stupidity than intentional ending of life. How do I put “Qualifies for the largest Darwin Award ever”, but with some respect for the dead?

The thing about Quentin’s death is that it wasn’t that he was trying to take all those pills and drink all that alcohol. He had a headache. He didn’t realize the reaction that would happen when he mixed his special migraine pills with alcohol. He was underage, and a bespectacled geek. No doctor would have figured Quentin – zit-riddled, snaggle-toothed Quentin – for the kind of math geek that drinks vodka in his Mountain Dew. Sure, they might have warned him about the side affects of chronic masturbation, if there were any. But vodka? One look at the boy in his short pants and suspenders and the thought of underage drinking would have zipped right out from anyone’s head. No one could have predicted that.

Also, the knife wounds along his wrist were not intentional. I know they look intentional. But, accidents happen. It just so happens Quentin was always very, very uncoordinated. It’s lucky he does have ginormous spectacles. I can think of at least three occasions he would have accidentally put his own eye out. I know it seems convenient that he managed to cut his wrist, but after the pills, and the vodka, you can’t expect anyone to be very successful cutting up another lemon for their drink. Don’t forget those lemons. They were at the scene, you know.

The gunshot wound is a bit harder to understand, but it isn’t like he was blowing his brains out. Don’t ask me where Quentin got his gun. I have no clue. But, I hate to say that about a dead kid, you have to admit you could see Quentin owning a gun. He had a real problem asserting himself socially, and anger issues. I don’t think he would have shot up the cheerleading squad, even if they did make fun of him instead of ignoring him, but you could really see him as the lone gunman type. Of course he had a gun. He had a Libertarian bumper-sticker on his mini-van, and a FPS obsession that bordered on addiction. He had real anger issues, and plenty of history flaring his nostrils and slamming inanimate objects when he didn’t get his way. He was a math genius, and could easily figure out how to acquire an illegal gun. The fact that it blew his own chest off may seem miraculous in someone who is not suicidal, but need I remind you about the pills in his system and the alcohol?

I suspect he didn’t even know how many pills he took, or how much alcohol. I suspect he took them a couple at a time, and then forgot he had already taken his medicine on account of the overdose with the alcohol. Then, he took more, drank more, and all the while oblivious to the catastrophic meltdown in his pancreatic system.

Sometime between trying to cut the lemon, and pulling the trigger, he probably noticed he was bleeding and assumed he was under attack. He pulled his gun out of his shoulder-holster, but didn’t quite make it all the way out before the trigger went off.

The M.E. did say the bullet entered at an angle, around the breastbone. If he was trying to kill himself, he would have shot himself in the head, or blown off a toe and let himself gently bleed to death.

The noose is also a bit difficult to explain. Still, he was a nerd. Nerds wear ties. When they are alone, sometimes they wear really freaky ties for no good reason. Nerds like ties and wear them even when they don’t have too. If you told me that Quentin was hanging out in his house in slacks and a tie, I would laugh but I wouldn’t call you a liar. He always wore a tie. He thought it was cool to look like Elvis Costello. We liked to remind Quentin that Elvis Costello was not only older than our dads, but nerds never listen, do they?

The fact that pill-and-alcohol-addled Quentin had tied a noose instead of a traditional knot has more to do with his gallows humor. He thought it was funny to tie a noose around his neck with his tie. Seriously. He did it at parties, when he was drunk and trying to look cool. He tied the noose around his neck, but he didn't want to use it.

On his way to the ground, after the bullet wound, but before the carbon monoxide poisoning, his tie was blown out of place from the rippling energies of the angled bullet. The tie swung out and caught something – in this case a corner in the ladder – and held it by a few important, influential threads. These threads bunched. The cheap stitching was destroyed. The errant threads got caught inside the jagged wooden ladder, and held.

What was he doing on a ladder? Obviously, it was the only surface clean and clear enough to double as a cutting board. He had his mountain dew and vodka on the little tray at the top of the ladder. He used the very top of it as a cutting board.

I know this sounds illogical, but you didn't know Quentin, and I did. This all made perfect sense to him.

When you first stepped onto the scene, the second thing you’d notice was how the tie looked like it could be torn any second. It did not look intentional to me. It looked like it got stuck when he fell, and his bad, drunken, noose joke became reality.

This, of course, merits mentioning the true cause of death: Carbon Monoxide Poisoning.

Someone left the minivan with the Libertarian bumper-sticker running in the garage. If you can’t hear the engine running over the 80’s power metal (Quentin was an Iron Maiden freak) then you can’t possibly know you are being slowly poisoned to death by a running car in the garage. Have you tried doing anything but angry drinking while Iron Maiden played in the background?

I know, I know, what the heck was he doing in the garage drinking vodka, taking pills, cutting up limes on the top of a ladder, etc. etc.? Well, to answer all those concerns, let me just remind you that I knew Quentin and you didn’t.

I could go on. Seriously. Anyone who knows Quentin knows this isn’t a suicide. It’s just a case of a clumsy weirdo finally having the accident everyone thought he was destined to have.

I know, everyone thought he had gone loony because of the Snow Gophers, and his mystery animals seem like some kind of warning sign in retrospect. Imaginary animals should have been the first sign of trouble.

I disagree. I knew Quentin. The Snow Gophers were real.

I also suspect a Snow Gopher slipped all that vodka into the first Mountain Dew, and whispered in his ear about the pills he needed.


to be continued...

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