I was sort of appalled on Monday when I posted my comments regarding the news of Tony Scott's suicide, only to have several people – on Facebook and here on LJ – post comments proclaiming suicide an "exceptionally selfish...act" (that quote, just as an example), including that of terminally ill individuals facing horribly painful and dehumanizing deaths. I'm not going to write an essay on this. I'm going to say what I have to say as succinctly as possible. And there will be no debate/discussion to the contrary, no subsequent arguing over what I am about to write. In my opinion, under no condition is suicide a selfish act. My body and my life are mine, as are yours. No one, under any circumstance, has a right to dictate how one lives or dies. Suicide is my right, and knowing that I have that right – even after the nightmare of having lost Elizabeth to suicide – that keeps me functional many days. I can make this stop any time I please. To proclaim otherwise, no matter how well-meaning may be the declaration, is, well, selfish. If our loved ones cannot bear life, we let them go. Tony Scott ended his life with dignity, careful forethought, and great resolve. He was fucking strong. Period. Now, shut up about this. Thank you.*
This is actually what kept me awake last night, I became so suddenly angry over the comments.
Yesterday, as part of the Help-Caitlín-Get-Better Programme, we drove down to Narragansett. We had doughboys at Iggy's. We ate in the van, as the touron infestation at Iggy's was most unfortunate. Oily, fat, and sunburned nigh unto boiled lobersterdom. Clomping about in hideous clothing and flip-flops. Mooing, as tourons are apt to do. Acting as though Rhode Islanders are here only to serve them. Anyway, the doughboys were hot, sugary and delicious. I'm not supposed to be eating sugar, but I made an exception.
Oh, first we stopped at Spooky's parents. Her mom was out, so we were only able to visit with her dad. And the koi, and Spider the Enormous Cat. Her dad gave me several months worth of Science, insuring my bathroom reading is covered for quite a while. He showed me an apple off one of their trees, with a peculiar blue mold I couldn't identify. But it made me think of "The Colour Out of Space." He also gave us a pint jar of his amazing homemade blueberry preserves. We didn't make it down to pick them this years, mostly because of my fear of ticks and Lyme disease (Lyme borreliosis). Spooky's parents encourage farm snakes, but nothing seems to be able to keep the tick population in Rhode Island at bay. As we left, I realized the grass with filled with beautiful green grasshoppers.
So, jump cut back to Narragansett. After Iggy's, we drove north to Narragansett Beach and Pier. More tourons, but fewer than expected. It's an infamous touron gathering spot. I'd brought along Herr Schnabeltiere, and we sat on the seawall and watched the low waves. The bay was calm, and fuck but I should have been at Beavertail in the sea. The sun was setting, and while Narragansett Beach was in shadow, the sun shown brightly off the phyllite and slate bluffs at Beavertail, 3.19 miles (just measured on Google Earth) north and east. Maybe on Friday, if the weather and tides are right. Anyway, we watched the surfers and a couple of anglers. But the jewels of the evening was spotting a pair of loons only a few yards off shore. Wow! Never before had I seen loons (the Common Loon, Gavia mimer) in the wild. They summer here, but we'd never been lucky enough to run across any. The closest I'll ever come to seeing living hesperornithids. It was the perfect conclusion to a fine drive to South County. readingthedark and sovay and rushthatspeaks, you don't know what you're missing. Or maybe you do. Then again, you guys have lives, and I can't actually say that I do.
And that's enough about yesterday. There are photos behind the cut, including Herr Schnabeltiere, exotic booze, and Selwyn. Today, I stay home.
A view from the seawall at Narragansett Beach looking northeast towards Conanicut Island. You can see our swimming cove (if you know what you're looking for) at the center of the photo, with the lighthouse at Beavertail Point just to the right of it.
Me and the platypus on the seawall.
Spooky and her antique Siouxsie (ca. 1990) T-shirt.
Turns out, the platypus is a total ham.
A Black-Backed Gull (Larus marinus) perched atop a street light. Pretty much every street light across from the beach had its own gull.
View to the north, a sea filled with tourons.
View to the south, the Towers, designed by McKim, Mead, and White, built between 1883-1886.
Okay, so there's a story here. In the granite rubble below the seawall, Spooky spotted an empty bottle, which once had held a liqueur called Dr. McGullicuddy's Intense Root Beer (since 1891!). Now, Spooky is a connoisseur or what we call "old man" or "hobo" booze. The sort of stuff we imagine Tom Wait's would drink were he actually the sort of person he often sings about (and if he matched his public persona). There in Narragansett, she promptly sought out a boozery and secured a bottle. This photo was taken this ayem. I fear Selwyn has discovered the joys of alkiehol. Fuck, help us all.
All photographs Copyright © 2012 by Caitlín R. Kiernan and Kathryn A. Pollnac
* None of this is meant to discourage comments. I want your comments. But I cannot here abide such statements regarding subjects about which I am so passionate. Be thoughtful, that's all I ask. Do not parrot popular "wisdom."