Posts Tagged ‘Hancock’

A Super Hero: How ‘The Dark Knight’ literally saved my life when I tried to kill myself after seeing ‘Hancock’

July 29, 2008

Don’t get me wrong – I actually enjoyed Hancock. It was fun, throwaway, with some solid turns by solid actors and an intriguing finale from the end of the 2nd Act to the 3rd. No, my sudden desire to end my participation in the dog race known as life was triggered by what happened after Hancock ended.

My very, very good friend, who I was (am/will be; who knows?) in love with – despite that phase of our relationship being over for some years now – sent me a text just before the closing credits, so I called her up. We’d been a wee bit on the outs, considering that I had earlier pointed out to her that she was – as all people invariably are to differing degrees – a tad racist, citing her admitted fear of black men among other things. Plus there was my tactless marriage proposal 10 days earlier, following Germany’s devastating loss to Spain in Euro ’08 (Blog Post: Pain Is So Close To Pleasure).

Well we talked, a little tentatively and awkwardly, with her apologizing for a non-existent argument over said proposal. It didn’t stop her from divulging a secret to me that damn near fractured my fragile little mind – all with the casualness of an invite to a Sunday school picnic. Now, I’m not one to kiss and tell (seeing that I do none of the former and too much of the latter); suffice it to say that it’s the very last thing you need to hear from someone you’re so in love with you proposed to her even though you knew you’d get turned down and wind up with egg on your face.

So there I am, on the bus and trying to string together coherent sentences as she talks away and I’m dying on the inside – yet it’s like deja vu, seeing how something identical had occurred 5½ years ago. But it was so much worse this time – and the timing couldn’t be more – how shall I put this delicately? – fucked up. So I broke down and made up my mind even before she’d hung up (she somehow caught on that I wasn’t very talkative) to finally take matters into my own hands and end this debacle of an existence before fate conjured up even more colorful ways to mock my very being.

Unfortunately I was heading across town to meet a good friend who’d driven all the way from Fredericton, so I had to stay my hand. I didn’t get to his place until well after 11pm, but fate was smiling (albeit morbidly) on me this time as there just happened to be a Shoppers Drug Mart on the corner of his street. I promptly helped myself to an OTC (Over The Counter) bottle of sleep meds, before opting for 2 in case the one didn’t quite pan out. I had long figured that slashing the wrists was a girlie cry for help, while mouthing a shotgun – Hemmingway style – was the man’s way to go. Having neither the weapon nor the compunction to use it, I settled on a fair halfway point.

I was at my friend’s for over an hour, and by the time he kindly drove me back I was so drowsy it seemed like I’d popped half the pills already. I got back, left a message for my boss at work that I wouldn’t be coming in anymore and wishing him all the best of luck and shit like that, and then popped a fistful of pills.

And promptly threw them up. Don’t get me wrong – not like I gagged or choked or anything. But a series of very strong and interconnected thoughts crossed through my mind with such clarity, all almost at once. For starters, I realized why I’d chosen sleep meds – because they were, in part, responsible for Heath Ledger’s death, an actor I admired even before he was cast in The Dark Knight. I had mourned him for weeks, and the indelible image of him cut down in his prime had stayed with me subconsciously.

But his was an unfortunate accident; he fully expected to awake later that day, which made it all the more tragic. By willfully offing myself this way, I was committing sacrilege to his memory, and mocking such a monumental loss.

Secondly, and much more selfishly, I realized that I was killing myself 10 days before The Dark Knight was due to open. Considering I had never anticipated any film like that in all my days, it seemed like a fucking stupid thing to do at the time. I imagined how awesome that film would be, how blown away and enraptured I would be by it – or not, since I’d be fucking freezing on a coroner’s slab with a belly full of pills and a roomful of mocking spectators. Dweeb, they’d say. He could’ve at least stuck around for the midnight screenings of The Dark Knight. Most awesome film EVER. Then they’d leave the scalpel in my midsection as they rush to catch a screening before it’s sold out. And my cold dead ass would envy them from the grave.

And, with those thoughts racing through the fractured microchips of my mind, I regurgitated the pills I’d mouthed, caught in two minds about the validity of my decision either way.

And I of course have not regretted that decision. The Dark Knight is the most rousing piece of entertainment I can recall, easily my favorite and most indelible theatrical experience ever. I shall see it anywhere between 7 and 15 more times, and only ‘til I am full sated will I even consider finishing what I started on Tuesday July 8, 2008 – precisely 3 weeks ago today.

Until then, I adhere by more words of wisdom from The Joker; for I believe whatever doesn’t kill you simply makes you…stranger.