Claire's son was in the store again today.
I had a little conversation with him.
I can't think about it without getting all choked up..
He was 20 years old, horribly depressed. His whole family went to therapy with him to make sure he didn't feel singled out. Because, they decided it must be a problem ALL of them were having, not just him. They wanted to fix it all.
Jim didn't want to fix it.
So he didn't talk. He never tried. He was such a smartass. He had this insane mix of his mother's dry humor, his father's over the top, loud and rambunctious nature, and his own hard little edge. He was fun as hell to talk to. I didn't get to do it often enough. I usually way too busy when I saw him. But he knew his punk music and his lil ironic comments were usually the sort of things I would repeat later because they were so on the fuckin mark.
Then he tried to kill himself.
And he didn't succeed.
He ended up with a bullet lodged somewhere in his frontal lobe. I think they got the bullet out. But he's legally blind... and to talk to him... it's impossible to distinguish him from someone who was born mentally retarded.
His motor skills have been damaged, he's got the emotional life of a 6 year old... it's like talking to a child.
A fucking child.
I asked him how he was doing today, he said he was fine. I asked him what they were in the store for and he said "we're gonna get a toy!" like an awestruck kid about to get a present for being good. Completely guileless. completely not him.
So I guess... I guess maybe he succeeded in killing himself.
Jim is certainly dead.
and he's not coming back.