Monday, January 5, 2015

Once upon a time the dam was damned.

I had a friend in school. I'm going back 34 years now. Her name was Sherri and she was lovely. She carried about 40 pounds that she didn't want and was awkward. I really liked her (non romantic) but I don't think she believed me. I included her in my reindeer games and never didn't acknowledge her at school, the mall on the street or at a mental North Vancouver party. North Van was don't believe me? Dial the RCMP and quiz them about North Van in the 70-80's. We we're dangerous and out of hand far too often. Personally, I was "known to Police" and got jacked up about 4 times a week! Slept in the drunk tank most week ends. I was such a wash out! I'm much better now...
So Sherri. Nice girl, hell of an artist, charcoal and pencil mostly. She gave me a sketch of The Hermit from Led Zeppelin 4 that was brilliant. No idea what became of it, but I had it on my wall forever.
I remember a guy confided in me that he had had sex with Sherri at a party when he "couldn't score anything else" I won't tell you what I did to him many months later. Suffice it to say, he never did know why or what hit him. Funny, I don't recall his name.
Sherri eventually told me about it. She felt pretty good about the night. I guess he had a silver tongue. Maybe I should have chatted with her before I convicted him? Oh well.
When my life was mental (14-27 yrs old so daily?) I would often go up to Cleavland Dam to think, count crows, breathe and try and dull the nagging screams in my head. To this day, that's a sacred place for me.
Douglas Copeland writes about the area in his book Life After God, read it!
Harry took black and white pictures of me up there with his Konica Autoreflex T which I've recreated with my daughter 4 decades on.
I love the dam!
The first time I saw a huge murder of crows was up there. I bet there was 6 thousand Hitchcocks flying about!
So yeah, the place is sacred to me as I've illustrated.
Sherri killed herself up there.
I was 19 nearly 20 when I got the call. She had her journal and was sitting under a larger conifer dead when she was found. She ate a bottle of some kind of pills.
I didn't even know Sherri was sad.
I can still see her face, but I can't recall her voice. Hell, I don't even recall if I went to her funeral.
I was so pissed that she didn't tell me that she was sad.
I suffer depression! I have a few people that know key phrases for when I'm in trouble. The only snag is that I have to tell them unless they have the forthwith to randomly ask. (thank you Paula, Heather and Raina)
Major mental gymnastics when I go to the dam. How dare you take something sacred to me and defile it? FULL STOP!
Sherri is more important than a place on this planet....
Suicide is desperation. Suicide is the final pain relief. Often, suicide is seen as the only option.
I need you to notice your friends, your loved ones, your coworkers. You may be the hope that they are searching for.
Sherri is gone. I missed the clues. WE missed the clues...
If you flirt with suicidal ideology or feel overwhelmingly sad, breathe deep and then call me!

1 comment:

  1. I'm so very thankful that you have taught me to listen even more intently. Remembering back to 2 significant times you saved our son's life. I hear how past relationships have defined your knowledge of sadness and depression. What I know is by hanging onto their memories you are teaching, spreading knowledge of signs to look for, and when to step back and build trust. Thank you for the incredible impact that is recognized so often years later. One quote I've been told. Lance is a friend that will always listen, even when I didn't want to talk." A