Posts

Showing posts from April, 2018
Part II

A Recollection of May 15, 1994
Although I had planned on killing myself at 8:00pm, immediately after 60 Minutes, at 4:00pm I decided that I had lived long enough. My life was complete and I was ready to die. I was neither depressed nor in a state of despair - I was neither sad, nervous nor fearful. I was simply comfortable in what I was about to do. I did not look at my life as being almost over because I was content in knowing that death was near and dear.
I took off all my clothes except my underwear. I shut off the TV, closed the window drapes, unlocked the door, pulled back the cover from the bed and fluffed the pillows. I then opened a bottle of Sangria wine, pour a glass and took two Dramamine and six Valium.
Over the next fifty minutes I had a few glasses of wine, smoked a couple of cigarettes, paid some bills and addressed an envelope to the Cape Cod Chronicle newspaper in which I enclosed an article I had written entitled, Homeless in Chatham - a thinly disguised pie…
Part I

A Recollection of Sunday May 15, 1994
I awoke in my motel room at the Bradford Inn at 6:00am. I felt refreshed and reborn - replenished in mind, body and soul. The frightening fears and anguishing anxieties that had overwhelmed me on Saturday afternoon had disappeared, vanished completely. Never was I more at peace, so full on inner harmony and tranquility. There was within me a sense of divine deliverance of rescue, relief and redemption. The duel demons of depression and despair were burdens of the past. The day before me held the precious promise of splendid salvation.
It was a most beautiful spring morning and I was well aware that my life would soon end - that it would be enclosed within the boundaries of the day's rising and setting of the sun. For the first time in months, if not years, I felt alive and looked forward to the day. It was truly a new morning, a new beginning. All my yesterdays were over my shoulder, the past gone and forgotten. There was only now, tim…
May 15, 1994
In Extremis

"A brief parting from those dear is the worst man has to fear,"
                                       William Butler Yeats  -  Under Ben Bulben

My final memories this morning are of my dog and cat, Andy and Yoyo. When Maggie was on her way to the airport last Sunday to pick up her mother, I stopped by the house with a bag of dog and cat food. I didn't go inside but left the bags by the front door. When Andy saw me he came running to the window by the door, he was barking, laughing and jumping up and down. God. he was so happy to see me. Then, out of nowhere, Yoyo jumped up on the table by the window. She was purring so loud I could hear her outside. When I put my hand on the window, she kept putting her paw out trying to touch me - and then she began rubbing her face and head against the window, desperately trying to touch me and feel the gentle touch of my hand. When I put my face up against the window, Andy comes over and started licking the g…
May 14, 1994

"You've never seen death? Look in a mirror every day and you will see it like bees working in a glass hive."
                                                         Jean Cocteau

About an hour ago I walked into the Squire bar where I had planned to spend the afternoon drinking with friends and watching the Red Sox on TV. But the second I sat down, I was overwhelmed by such a ferocious force of fear that my hands and feet started shaking uncontrollably. When the bartender brought me my beer, I had so much difficulty pouring it into the glass that it foamed and overflowed. my hands were shaking as I picked up the glass. I don't know if anyone noticed the trouble I was having, but I didn't stay to find out. I drank my beer as fast as I could manage, then told my friends I forgot something and would be back later. But will not return today.

After I left the Squire I rushed back here as fast as I could, all the while terrorized by fear - a fear of unknown…
May 13, 1994
Friday the 13th

"Suicide, I suspect, is very often the outcome of mere mental weariness. Not an act of savage energy but the final symptom of complete collapse."
                                               Joseph Conrad  -  Chance: A Tale In Two Parts

A few hours ago I kissed my parents goodbye, told them I would see them soon, walked out of the cottage and began my drive back to Chatham. When I reached Suicide Alley on Route 6, I was suddenly overpowered by acute and anxiety, my hands and feet began to shake and tears filled my eyes. I pulled into a rest area and cried, my entire being smothered by intensifying sorrow and fear - wishing to live but hoping to die. Questions and questions about what I should do and what I plan to do?  After I cried myself out, I was back on the road.

What is this mental madness of mine? What is this mental metamorphosis of mind, mood and  memory that mangles and mutilates without mercy? I do not know the causes but am well awa…
May 12, 1994
Ascension Thursday

"The dragon is by the side of the road, watching those who pass. Beware lest he devour you. We go to the Father of souls, but is it necessary to pass the dragon."
                                                               Saint Cyril of Jerusalem

Some "G" words: gloom, grief, ghastly, gaunt, grave, grim, glum, gruesome, grampa Frawley.

Last night I had to call Maggie and tell her the moving company needed a day extension to get my belongings out of the house. She went ballistic! She screamed at me and called me every rotten name and four letter word imaginable, some in combination I never heard before, let alone been called. She even threatened me with a law suit and arrest for violating the divorce agreement, and then proceeded to slam me with all my faults, failures and frailties. Never have I experienced such volcanic and vicious hatred and contempt.  I allowed her to unleash her anger and after a few minutes her tantrum slowl…
May 11, 1994

"No one ever lacks a good reason for suicide."
                                         Cesare Pavese

I arrived in Sandwich late yesterday afternoon and will be spending the next two nights here. I am surrounded by relatives - my mom and dad, my aunt Clare and uncle Frank are next door on one side of us and my cousin Bernie and his wife Sally are on the other side. I love these people and enjoy being with them and seeing them one last time. And this time with my parents is very special, each moment precious and pleasurable. Although they are unaware of the importance of this time together, I am cherishing every minute. There is an odd and uncomfortable feeling within me, knowing that when I leave on Friday morning I'll never see them again - and when I kiss them goodbye, it will be forever. There are sadness and tears in these thoughts but they don't dampen my determination and desire to die.

Last night I dreamed of the movie, Harry and Tonto, starring A…
May 10, 1994

"We must love one another or die."
                 W. H. Auden  -  September 1, 1939

I read these words in a now forgotten book or magazine, "The beasts of hell walk among in the clothes of the common man or woman." Oh, so true! Hell truly is other people and the devil comes to us dressed in many disguises. I am constantly amazed and disturbed by the harm, pain and suffering people inflict on one another.

As I rode by the house this morning I saw Deb working on her window boxes and wondered what she was thinking. I know that she does not realize the pain and suffering she has caused me, nor does she probably care. And I fully understand the importance of blood being thicker than water, but that doesn't excuse her cold heartlessness and her superior sense of self-righteousness.  She reminds me of Pontious Pilate and her hands will be forever stained by my innocent blood. Will she pray for me when I die? I doubt it! Kindness has never been one of he…
May 9, 1994

"Never forget that, until the day deigns to reveal the future of man, the sum of all human wisdom will be contained in the two words, wait and hope."
                                                        Alexandre Dumas  -  Count of Monte Christo

In this morning's mail there was a small package from Robin, a thank you note for the gifts I sent her and a small book of Yeats' poetry. In her note she said I must like Yeats a lot because I quote him quite often. That I do! I read once that he was the most quoted poet in the English language. While reading last week's Time magazine, there were two quotes from Yeats in the review of the TV movie of Stephen King's, The Stand.

There has been much on the news today about John Wayne Gacy, the serial killer who has made a small fortune while being on death row selling paintings of clowns. He is suppose to be executed at midnight tonight. I know how he must feel this minute awaiting his end, hoping against …
May 8, 1994
Mother's Day
"Life is an adventure in forgiveness."                Norman Cousin - Saturday Review
A few hours ago I walked into the Squire restaurant and who should I see but my former attorney, Karen, and her partner, Sarah. I don't know who was most surprised, but we did say hello and then I just kept walking towards the bar in the next room. It was the first time we had seen each other since she dumped me as her client over two years ago. I've forgiven her for dropping me but I doubt if she's forgiven me for refusing to pay my twenty thousand dollar bill. Trust me, it's a lot easier forgiving when you're the debtor than it is being the creditor.
After much arguing and yelling, Maggie has finally agreed that the moving company can come on Tuesday May 17th - two days after I'll be dead.  What she does with my belongings then, is way beyond my control or care - as I rest peacefully in death.
Over the past few evenings I've met some…
May 7, 1994

"Regret is an odd emotion because it comes only upon reflection. Regret lacks immediacy, and so its power seldom influences events when it could do some good."
                                                                William O'Rourke   -  Idle Hands

Today is Mimi's birthday. I have though of her often during the past few months, many times with tears in my eyes. The genuineness and generosity of her love, caring and understanding were gifts I took for granted and oftentimes took advantage of - and never truly appreciated until now, fifteen years too late. She is a woman of decency and virtue who has a healing heart and a sincere spirit, a joy to behold. I allowed her to slip away while I was busily searching for all that she offered in someone else. In my search I found Maggie but her gifts came with empty promises and false bottoms.

What is most remarkable about my life is that few men have had any influence on my being, upbringing and education. …
May 6, 1994

"Honor thy father and mother."                  The Fourth Commandment
From the day I started this journal to this Friday afternoon, I have written very little about my parents. I don't know exactly why, but can offer two possible explanations. Since this journal is being written for them and anyone they wish to share it with, as a remembrance of a troubled son, I have probably subconsciously avoided writing about them directly. Secondly, I've been so entangled and persecuted by mental turmoil and anguish and so engulfed by problems without solutions, that I've not thought of them as I should.
Anyway, my mother and father have never failed me and have been there when I needed them. I know they love me and I hope they realize how much I love them.
My father has a manly strength of purpose and ideals  which I've never been able to achieve. I have never met a happier and kinder man than my father. He wakes up with a smile on his face and it never leav…
May 5, 1994

"What you really value is what you miss, not what you have."
                                                   Jorge Luis Borges

I am thinking more and more about God. When one is facing death, God suddenly becomes the most important being in the universe. There was a time when I thought Maggie would save my soul, such is the foolishness of blind love. My soul has become my own to save or lose. For years I have either refused or ignored God's generous graces and gentle guidance. Now, I must redeem myself and gain redemption on my own.

I wonder about God and if there is a God. Did the universe and earth just evolve from some converging  cosmos or was His creative presence there at the beginning? A few years ago an almost perfect skeleton of a man was found under an ice cap in the Alps. The man was named the Ice Man and it was determined that he was between 5 and 8 thousand years old. I wonder what God was doing the day the Ice Man got caught in a snow storm a…
May 4, 1994

"You cannot have a proud and chivalrous spirit if your conduct is mean and paltry. For whatever a man's actions are, such must be his spirit."
                                                         Demosthenes

Two months ago today, I shut the front door of what was once my home, walked up the courtyard, got into my car and drove away. Since then I've seen Maggie three times - in court for our divorce hearing, at the Jack Conway office to sign our refund check and a month ago today when I stopped by
the house to pick up a few things. Tonight I have to call her. I've hired a moving company to pack up and store my possessions and the manger wants to see what has to be moved.

I miss Andy and Yoyo. A story about Yoyo that I've been unable to write until now. When Maggie went to Connecticut for Easter, she put Andy in a kennel and left Yoyo at home. At six o'clock Easter morning, I went to the house. When I got to the front door, Yoyo jumped onto …
May 3, 1994

"There is but one truly serious philosophical problem, and that is suicide - judging whether life is or is not worth living."
Albert Camus  -  The Myth of Sisyphus

Some "F" words: fear, futility, faults, forgiveness, frail, fatalism, forsaken, family, forever, forgotten

Yesterday I stopped by the Brooks Library in Harwich and as I was looking through back issues of Newsweek, I came across an essay on depression and loneliness and read these words, "depression is life's loneliest agony," and that this agony turns into such great suffering that it is called, "the shipwreck of the soul." The agony I suffer has not only been a shipwreck of my soul but it has swallowed me, body and soul.

When I return to Sandwich last evening, my father was at the cottage. I was hoping he would be and I was glad to see him and happy to spend time with him before I die. But this morning he pissed me off by asking me two simple questions. "What do y…
May 2, 1994

"Lovely Lady dressed in blue, teach me how to pray. God was your little boy and you know the way,"
                                                                                       A Childhood Prayer

My nana Frawley taught me that prayer when I was probably three or four years old, and I would say it every night before I went to bed. When I was older, around ten, I stopped saying prayer and eventually forgot all about it. But when I woke this morning those words were singing in my mind, over and over - and I thought about my nana and grampa and how kind and loving they were.

Kindness and love are two virtues we need the most in life and are often the virtues missing from a great many lives. As human beings we all suffer and experience pain at one time or another - from disease, wars, accidents, beatings and abuses. The causes are endless but most pain and suffering are inflicted upon men and women by other men and women - usually deliberately and with foreth…
May 1, 1994

"The sea diminishes all men."
      Sign in the Horizon's Beach Club

That it does! And so does a broken heart, dark depression and utter despair.

I just came back from Horizon's where I had a few beers and a couple of shots of Jameson. There was a waitress there who looked very much like Mimi. She was tall with long brown hair and a crystal clear complexion, and a smile that was warm and inviting.

It was the first time I had been in Horizon's in twelve years. Although it is less than a quarter mile from my parents cottage, I only have four clear memories of being in the place. Mary and I went there one cold autumn night after dinner and drank a couple of Irish coffees.

After my wedding rehearsal, the evening before the wedding, my Peter and I went there for one beer and ended up spending the night getting drunk. That's one night of many in my life I wish I could do over. After the rehearsal I planned on going directly back to my parents, but Peter…
April 30, 1994

"It's a film about how precious and wonderful love is in college and how diluted and confusing it gets afterward."
                                            Mary Louise Parker - on, Naked In New York

Last night I cooked my own supper for the first time since the night before the Super Bowl, three months ago. I had hot dogs, beans, coleslaw  and plenty of beer. It was good.

On my way back yesterday I stopped at the Hallmark store in the mall to buy a few Mother's Day cards. As I looked through the cards, my eyes kept filling up with tears as I realized this would be the last time I will send my mother a Mother's Day card.  I saw Mother's Day cards from dogs and cats and was going to buy them and send them to Maggie, but she doesn't have a sense of humor anymore nor a sex of humor either.  After leaving the mall I went to the MSPCA in Centerville just to visit the dogs and cats. But once inside I was so overwhelmed with sadness, I immediate…
April 29, 1994

"The world is funny to those who think, tragic to those who feel."
                                                             Horace Wallace

Yesterday afternoon I came "home" to Chatham to get my mail and pay bills. I received my official divorce decree. I also got a notice from the town that my name has been removed from the voting list because I'm no longer a resident. Jesus, how low can the bitch go! Maggie must have gone down to the town hall and told them I moved.   But where did I move to?

There was also a package from Robin, a warm wonderful letter and a small booklet of inspirational poems. She has been one of the few bright spots in my life these past five months. In Ireland I bought her many small gifts, which I mailed this morning.

A week ago tonight I met Bridget at O'Flathery's Pub, it seems and feels as though it was months ago. In Ireland the weathermen on TV and on the radio use the phrase, "passing bright spots,&qu…
April 28, 1994

"Human life begins on the far side of despair."
                         Jean-Paul Satre - Les Mouches

I woke a few hours ago realizing I so not have many days left, knowing I'll never spend another night in this room. For far too long I've been an island unto myself, insulated and isolated by imagination and infirmities during which time my life has been a balancing of extremes - a mental and emotional tightrope on which I swayed between hope and despair, happiness ans sadness, contentment and depression, faith and futility and sanity and insanity. On a day I don't remember, everything tilted towards the far darker side and I slid slowly into an abyss from which I cannot escape.

I read once that life is divided into the horrible and the miserable. Unfortunately, I've been possessed by both demons at once. Life is a struggle no longer worth surviving. I do not fear death because in death I will find peace. I have come to recognize death not onl…
April 27, 1994

"I'm going back to Massachusetts. Something is telling me I must go home."
                                                  The Bee Gees   -   Massachusetts

Well, here we are - me, Tiny and Berry, the three mindless and meager musketeers, waiting our flight to Boston. But where do we go once we land? To my parents for the night, but what then? Sometime tomorrow I'll be back in Chatham with no home, no place to live. I've now been living like a vexing and vanquished vagabond, out of two overnight bags, for five months. It has been a jarring and jumbling journey that will soon becoming to an end.

Above the small, enclosed foyer of Dick Mack's pub, there is large window. It is up there,  looking out the window and warming herself in the sun's rays, that Dick Mack's cat spends most of her day. - when she's not curled up on a bar stool. I think the reason I spent so much time drinking there was not so much for the companionship of my fr…
April 26, 1994
"Hey, Rocky! You're back! Where have you been? - "Around the world." - "What have you learned?" - "You can't escape."                                               Johnny Hart - A  B.C. Comic
A Berraism, mine not Yogi's - wherever I go, there I am.  I did not come to Ireland to escape. I came for memories and happiness. But all I found was emptiness, loneliness, fear, anxiety, depression, despair, sadness and added rejection. Some pot of gold! What I learned was that I did come here to escape, but it is impossible to runaway from the annoyances and distortions of a disturbing and distrustful mind.
This morning I put my hands in my slicker's pocket and found the Lady of Knock medal I thought I lost. It is a beautiful day, bright, sunny and warm. I spent most of the morning at Thoor Ballylee, going through the museum and talking with the new curator, Mary Callanan.
Now, I am at Coole Park which is about three miles from T…
April 25, 1994

"Yesterday doesn't matter if it's gone...catch your dreams before they slip away, dying all the time. Lose your dreams and you will lose your mind, in life unkind."
                                           Mick Jagger/Keith Richards   -   Ruby Tuesday

Well, it's back to disappointment, discouragement, despair, depression and dejection - in other words, I'm back to normal, dismal and decaying. When I called Bridget yesterday afternoon, I spoke with her brother who told me that she was visiting friends in Tralee and wouldn't be back until Tuesday night. I asked him if he had a phone number and he said he didn't. Liar!

When I got off the phone all I could do was get drunk, but because it was Sunday i had to wait an hour before the pubs reopened at 4:00pm. What a long and lonesome wait that was! Within seconds all happiness and joy were demolished and dissolved, replaced by the emotional emptiness of disbelief and bewilderment. I spent th…
April 24, 1994
"Happiness is a sort of atmosphere you can live in sometimes when you're lucky. Joy is a light that fills you with hope and faith and love."                                             Adela Rogers St. John  - Some Are Born Smart
Today is the 78th anniversary on the 1916 Easter uprising, a rebellion that was planned and enacted by Irish poets, writers and teachers. It is only in a country in which all of its wars are merry and all its songs are sad, that such men could be revolutionaries. Within months, most would be executed by the British and through their martyrdom Ireland eventually gained its freedom. May those heroes be at peace this Sunday morning.
The newspapers this morning were full of stories about Richard Nixon, his death and his life. Next to J. Edgar Hoover, Nixon was the most evil American of all time. The less words  about him the better. He was no hero, just a corrupt crook and criminal full of depraved wickedness and viciousness. It is not…
April 23, 1994

"Somewhere over the rainbow skies are blue, and dreams that you dare to dream really do come true."
                                                    E.Y. Harburg   -   Over The Rainbow

There's no frown on my face today! I am floating and frolicking in a miraculous medley of love, lust and levity - my heart's happy, my soul's smiling and my mind's merry.  Jesus, I can't believe I feel so good! Last night I held an angel in my arms and worshiped all her adoring charms.

From the beginning! Around 8:00pm last night I walked into O'Flaherty's Pub, ordered a Guinness and sat at a corner table by myself. As the pub filled up, a young couple sat across from me and we introduced ourselves. They were Seamus and Bridget, brother and sister from Lispole which is about five miles from Dingle.  After a few minutes Seamus left to join friends at the bar and Bridget came over and sat beside me. For the next couple of hours we talked, bought each…
April 22, 1994

"What is life? It is the flash on a firefly at night. It is a breath of  buffalo in wintertime.  It is a little shadow that runs across the grass and loses itself in the sunset.
                                                                   Chief Crowfoot  -  Blackfoot Indian Chief

Either ten or twelve years ago while visiting the Knock Shrine, I bought an Our Lady of Knock medal which I kept in my pocket.  Two years later I lost it. Last week when I stopped at Knock on my way to Donegal, I bought a new medal. This morning I noticed it was missing. I wonder if there is any meaning in the lost medal? Am I a lost soul beyond protection, beyond redemption? Has Mother Mary abandoned her prodigal son?

When I was in Saint Augustine I wrote about the B.C. cartoon and prayer waiting. Every day I try to go to Mass and pray as sincere as I can for help, for hope and for relief from the mental pain and anguish. Yet every day I feel worse than the day before. I am a lonely…
April 21, 1994

"Bitter the tears that fall, but more bitter the tears that fall not."
                                      A Sign at the Blasket Island Museum

Yesterday afternoon I visited the Blasket Island Museum out on Slea Head near the village of Ballyferriter. The museum is a beautiful building sitting on a rocky plateau overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. Three sides of the museum are all windows, so as you view the various exhibits the sea is always visible. The museum displays the history and heritage of the island and tells the story of the hopes, hardship and hardiness of the people who once lived there.

Today I am sad and depressed, full of despair. The angel of death looms over me and I am covered by his dark shadow - and I can feel the breezes as he swings his log, sharp sickle above my head. I do not know how much longer I can hold onto the small sliver of life that remains. There are days when May 15th just seems too far away.

All my thoughts are now of death. I…
April 20, 1994

"For the error bred in the bone of each woman and each man craves what it cannot have, not universal love but to be loved alone."
                                                          W. H. Auden  -  September 1, 1939

There is no need for an alarm clock in Ireland. In Donegal the huge blackbirds would wake me with their shrills. Here in Dingle it is the baa, baa, baaing of baby sheep. Baby sheep are everywhere, in the fields and along the side of the road - they even can be seen chasing their mothers down the middle of the road, oblivious to cars, trucks and tractors that must wait for them to get out of the way. Watching the baby sheep chase after their mothers brings tears to my eyes and reminds me of the fact that nothing is worse than abandonment. As they chase after their mothers, the baby sheep sense the feeling of abandonment and their constant baa, baa, baaing are cries that pleas. "Please don't leave me! Please don't leave me!"

A…
April 19, 1994
"Listen my children and you shall hear, of the midnight ride of Paul Revere."                                                               Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Some "H" words: hell, hearse, heartbroken, homeless, hollow, helpless, haunting, hopeless, haggard, homesick.
Today is Patriots Day, the anniversary of Paul Revere's famous ride, the battles of Lexington and Concord - the a farmer fired the shot heard around the world. A year ago today I was sitting at the bar in the Squire in Chatham and watched the Branch Dividian Compound in Waco, Texas, burn to the ground on CNN - may the innocent children who died that day be at peace. Now, I am in Ireland fighting my own battle, a rabid revolution that is ravaging and relentless.
My mind is a hurricane, wrecking havoc upon my mind and soul. Last night in O'Flaherty's Pub I overheard a young woman tell her boyfriend, "You're as sick as your secret." I could identify becau…
April 18, 1994

"Amid the sufferings of life on earth, suicide is God's best gift to man."
                                                         Pliny the Elder

A few hours ago I arrived back in Dingle. It was a long drive from Donegal, over six hours - but it seemed much longer. During the entire trip I was in my own private hell of misery, sadness, depression, loneliness, despair and anxiety. I am exhausted, so much so that my mind's weary and my soul's fatigued. There is a sign in Dick Mack's Pub that reads, "Without stress my life would be empty." I should have tattooed on my forehead. The most strenuous thing I do all day is pick up a pint of Guinness. I am being strangled by suffocating stress, manufactured in my mind as I feel time closing in on me.

Sanity is supposedly soundness of mind. As sure as I know my name, I can state that I am as insane as a person can be. My mind is unsound and is an unseemly and unsafe place in which to dwell. An…