My old roommate just killed himself

Last night I was on a date when I received a phone call. Because the outside display unit on my cellphone is not working, I can’t see who calls and so I screen everything by default. I hit the silence button on the phone and the woman I was out with made a joke that it was my “emergency call”, that I could use to get out of the date.

When I date ended I waited for her to drive out of the restaurant’s parking lot and then checked on the call. It was my roommate. Sometimes when he calls I worry that there could be something wrong with our dog; that Smooches from downstairs may have feasted on him or that a crackhead burglar had just robbed what little we have in our apartment.

I hit reply and within seconds Pat picked up his phone.

“I just had the most bizarre phone call,” he told me.

Apparently, R.J. a guy we knew when we lived down in the city, had phoned him to tell him that a guy who lived with us briefly in this shit hole apartment in Brooklyn had killed himself with a butcher knife recently in his  native country of Brazil.

I wasn’t surprised really. Although it didn’t feel good to know that Marco had offed himself, I suppose that even seven years removed from living with him, it doesn’t surprise me given his mood swings and violence. I said a brief prayer for him – for whatever that’s worth – and then remembered back to lat fall when I’d decided to write a series of blog entries about roommates I’ve lived with over the years. Marco was one of the first I wrote about.

For a moment I felt a bit guilty about having written about this guy and emphasizing how bizarre he was. As I drove back however, I realized that the thought was really not very justified. It wasn’t my fault Marco killed himself at all.

Killing oneself is a pretty extreme act and doing so with a butcher knife seems like a particularly shocking and disturbing way of doing it. Perhaps it is meant to leave a message to those who are left behind, and have to walk through the well of blood you leave on the ground. I wonder how it happened and where and who he was living with when he decided to do it.

I guess the strangest thing about it was that by the time I returned to my apartment, I wasn’t really thinking about it. I was checking my emails and thinking about my weekend, meeting up with a friend of mine tonight and how annoying dating is…Oh, and how much I need a hobby.

Nevertheless, I’m sorry to hear about Marco.


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