Swim for your Life.
Written by Louis J. Costa
Today would have been the day I decided to begin my finality. To just do it. To fade to black. To get it over with, man!
“Today would’ve been the day,” I thought to myself, “If not for the current responsibility I cling to as a relegated part-time father, I WOULD HAVE started the end chapter of my life.”
Still caught in the macabre theatre that insomnia and despondency brutally torture me with daily, the ceaseless anxiety brought on by this affray deploys the extreme urge in me to simply knuck up and do the damned thing.
“I COULD become humane and start the hauntingly peaceful act of killing myself, my way…today.” I ventured upon careful introspection.
… and maybe I should.
After all this wonderfully cursed brain of mine has emphatically decided that I owe ONLY one remaining debt to life after my children grow. To self-terminate. T2 style. For the good of humanity.
The opportunity to become courageous and administer the euthanasia kill shot that I KNOW to be lying in wait, quietly tuggin’ on my thoughts IS wildly exciting and far too vivid to admit.
Whoops. I did just that.
An incessant voice plotting my beautiful demise sings outward to a melody only I hear. An ending proper.
Lucky for you, my suicidal thoughts won’t play out anytime soon, or in some guilt-ridden splay of shot-gunned brains sprayed across porcelain walls. Nor will my bloated corpse EVER be found bound with a thickly knotted rope having choked the life out of myself. Dried, stinking and strangled, vomit-speckled and gagged over my blue face.
NOPE. Not quiet yet.
I simply cannot stomach the image of someone I love finding me all piss-pants and blood-gorged HANGIN’ around stiff as a board. Becoming a deathly-bored rigor-mortis piñata with shit-stained skinny jeans is no way to leave my affairs.
I HAVE at times indulged the euphoric and seedy fantasy of taking the addicts’ way out. Streamlining black tar heroin bought under the bridge, booted from some old spoon and boiled with my favorite Zippo lighter. I imagine the kaleidoscope then fade to black just after directly injecting my withered arms with the hyper-dosed syringe I would steal from my father’s CVS pharmacy. Right. Out. From. Under. His. Nose.
Alas, hard drugs and vomit-caked blue lips have never appealed to me. PLUS the high success rate of sneaky paramedics now adeptly armed with NARCAN turn the thought from my Opium’s Opus to yet ANOTHER embarrassing scenario that I’d have to apologize for and explain away.
Pondering the possible tolerance I have for self-actuating violence, I ask the question to myself silently after yet ANOTHER mass shooting headline comes ticking across the abject news screen.
Who keeps doing this to these poor people I wonder? Does that sort of brutality live deep within me? When would I choose to do something this dastardly? Where could I lay 60 people down finally?
Why would a self-hating coward go down in a hail of gunfire and mass murder for 15 minutes of fame he never gets to bask in?
Seems wasteful and pointless. Not well thought out. Dumb.
You know I’m just wondering aloud the real who/what/when/where/why of the modern mass graveyard creating phenomena that baffles most sane consciousness. Though It IS plausible WHY you would assume that this could potentially be a murderously comfortable choice of mine, I digress to your point.
I fit the bill. Sure.
Large. White. Accused. Angry. Bald. Billy Joel fanatic.
Warning: Stop making an ASS of U and ME. Please stop DEAD in your tracks right now! (Bad choice of words I know)
Unfortunately there seems to be enough batshit people engaging in their own red dead final fantasies these days to NOT joke about such thoughts.
After all, who am I to judge? Who am I to convolute their maniacal message with my own careless meandering?
Because You may be right, I MAY be crazy. But remember.
I just may be the LOU-natic you’re lookin’ for. Turn out the Light.
Fortunately I’m a lover, not blood-letting killer.
I look to pawn only my own life into the void of eternal purgatory actually arguing that I value your soul far above my own. I’m the devilish fiend advocating that you should concede the same evaluation of your existence as I have mine.
Don’t point your dirty boog finger at me. Discontinue reading this madness right now and get to gettin’ with cuttin’ out of life YOUR way I say.
I’ve drawn a precise blueprint below to do JUST that.
Take a gander and you’ll never look back.
This isn’t just hyperbole of man-child drama here people!
No, my will to meaning and overall peace of Fatherdom to the most beautiful boys a man could ask for has effectively staved off the idea to brutally severe my existence from body for the foreseeable future.
Lou’s launch sequence to deactivate has been aborted in its second trimester. Just short of REAL liberal irresponsibility.
Make no mistake the thought lingers eternally etched into my day.
Embossed on the back of my atavistic brow the mission statement reads: “Don’t forget. You are going to kill yourself one day!!!”
Better get planning to become gone. Forever.
If I have my way, this is the exact course of events on how I will die.
This is how I plan to end my life.
The ending for me starts with a well mapped out plan. Most unemotional things I do are diagrammed out to a dizzying degree. Papered walls full of chicken scratch doctor script tacked neatly awaiting their imperial chancellor’s implementation.
I’ve developed the useful ability to type almost as fast as I can think. The accompanying printed pages of notes and regurgitated garble are usually Sharpie scribed with arrows, and errant circles highlighting the fact that only someone virtually demented could unravel these schematics.
True to form.
I neatly deploy my own enigmatic cryptography decoding the rubix cube that my mind has just shat directly into this world.
I’ve realized that to birth this tactic is effective ONLY about 25% of the time.
Survival of the fittest ideas for certain. Natural selection of the wasteful and dangerous. I like it this way.
So, I’ve narrowed down that exactly 1/4 of my ideas actually make it to an implementation stage with a now estimated 20% of those projects actually meeting some grotesquely marked standard of loosely defined success.
Sadly … studying this empirically corrupt data, anything that I take the time to eject from my imagination has an improbable 5% shot at becoming SOMETHING worthwhile.
What can YOU derive from that thought?
To put in perspective: the chances that I actually kill myself in the manner in which I am going to un-vault for you has a 1 and 20 odds of happening. (or about the chance the Pittsburgh Steelers have of winning the Super Bowl going into week 13 of the 2018 season.)
Come to your own conclusions from there.
Now, I can bump those odds with perseverance to task or attention to death’s details. But where would the adventure to the greatest destination of my life be without the true Hand of God interjecting ultimately where it wants me to go? Those variables, we cannot account for you silly agnostic.
There also exists a REAL problem in commanding the Reapers’ sickle to obey. Trust me, even MY hubris is not self-righteous enough to think divine planning will impede death’s omnipotent thrust. So again, who EXACTLY am I to egotistically announce to the world the exact date of purpose of my passing?
I am no one. We are no one. Remember that.
Assuming I have not made any more children to see off into this amazing and wretched life, my age would be roughly pegged at 55 the day that I cease. Giving me a hellish 20 more years of existence. sigh.
(IF I pull this off correctly, which does happen from time to random time as noted above.)
My eventual urn or plaque or headstone’s epitaph should read: The proudest, most privileged Father, Coach and Burrito Connoisseur that has gotten to experience this world.
Louis James Costa March 2, 1983 – June 15th 2038.
That is haunting to write. Sobering to read. Odd shaking shot down my spine taunting the juxtaposition of the day that I WILL die should fate NOT supersede.
There is power in knowing. Control in the pleasantry of it. See, I’ve toyed with the thought of death many times over.
Loneliness, suicide, overdose, depression, sudden death … They plague us all DAILY and I’ve found that NO ONE talks about them.
Sweep, sweep under the rug AND shhhhh. Suffer on your own young man.
The biggest issues of our lives are molding under the carpet until the day your facebook account quits posting food pictures and a widowed go fund me page pops up to support your children in its place.
A year later your dog is living with another man, your boys cute little butts are being wiped by people outside of your control and life turns to some dark foray into the actual abyss because you are now gone, pal. Figuratively or permanently: chance has already interjected.
Sad but true.
Let’s get on with it before I digress into more violin laden death posts.
We have a job to do here.
My suicide: Warning: Explicit Content ahead.
On June 15th, 2038 I will awake determined. The white sand beaches of Aruba will unfold before me on long, soft runways as the intense sprints bathed in echoes of my favorite music serve as a final training ground before an ACTUAL fight to the death occurs.
I will need (1) A life insurance policy with the most vaguely gapped coverage for suicide AFLAC will allow me to sign by then (2) A letter sent out to each bandito boy + a few thoughtful and emotion pierced notes to the Momma’s I have held and still hold dear. (3) One last big ol full throttle dance party to prop me up headed to a final destination.
The nuclear fission drive that I lock away will be spilled out into some small hidden tourist community the last few months of this life as I work my ass off in hot sun that bakes my skin into a cancerous glowing hew.
Finally, there will be zero need for me to worry about the long term effects from the over exposure of my carefully guarded translucent pate so I may obtain the tan I deserve.
As promised, I’m going to give away everyone of my possessions previous to my passing. I already have given the literal shirts off my back to this point and it has felt amazing. By the time this hell bent prophecy presents itself I will have inevitably accrued more personal garbage to give to those in need.
Bartending at night will have grown monotonous and proven lonely even on my hide, though openly courting every single local feline fills my precious spare time full. I WILL have stashed away a modest fortune of dollar bill tips over polite banter and enough free drink tabs fueling the weddings’ of my grown lads, given to them legally through an iron will.
There is one thing that is for certain. The last night of my life will be hand crafted my way. Vintage. Slowly. Carefully.
Engaging not in the depravity lush experience that defined my college years but in the act of enjoying every evenings taste: I will richly enjoy the beating drums and senses rich dance a few wild last Meringue moments can offer.
Hips touching hips. Gliding my hand up the back of glittering sequin blouses and then after a few stiff shots of Rose Tequila back down sweat stained silk dresses ending in lips touching lips.
Climax Shiver as I feel the warm breeze touch my skin as she whispers what I want to hear.
Laughing, we will part ways with the festively lit local tavern leaving the rest of the cash in our pockets for the jovial ‘tender with these words scribbled on a drink napkin in familiar wild doctors’ esque chicken scratch,
“Live Free. RISE X UP”.
We will walk barefoot arm in arm, hand in hand entwined in the excitement of what our final lude acts of love will feel like repeated until morning.
Over a tented cabana floating above a shallow bright ocean I grow hard thinking of the exotic moonlit curves my hands will be granted access to caress and am driven crazy by the audible fantasy of those midnight moans as they penetrate these final thoughts.
We will be lucky.
Because tonight she will be receiving ALL of my love … And I will be grateful because this fantasy reciprocates an energy so intense that our tiny hut will not be able to contain the pleasure yelps, grabs, smacks, sucks and mutual release that accompany this last carnal session.
This seems too polite to the reality of my intense charms yet still exciting and real enough to pull off.
The day I die, I anticipate the rich tequila head burn from the evening ‘fore.
My morning ritual of preparing strong coffee while we smile devilishly at each other cooking eggs and smelling the lightly toasted bread smattered with seedy jam feels worth the price of death at this point.
My favorite IRONMILL T-shirt drapes barely past her long tan thighs and the sweet sense of passion clings to my skin as we engage in the time tested bonded practices that lovers ought to do.
I’m going to grab her up, hold on for as long as I can stand and finally let go of the THING that has always lived inside of me concerning romance.
I’ve been carrying around this grudgingly dying bushel of rose matter and now seems like a good time to just let it ALL go.
All the failure, joy, shame of love tied with discontentedness and WANT will leave my body to finally rest.
Assuredly, she will let her weight ease into mine and from my capable embrace I will quietly whisper to the soft nape hiding behind her long hair, “Thank You.”
Saying “Goodbye” to the suffering that has haunted my soul. I will then leave as I always do with no return.
Happily un showered and looking to speed directly across the coral reef barrier into the darkest depths of ocean I can find, I slyly chuckle at the front desk clerk as he instructs that it is his company’s policy to hold onto a drivers license during the rental period of this 40$ an hour Jet Ski adventure boat.
I of course, oblige knowing that the Identification Card and missing person’s interview will be the last recorded interaction that I have on earth while he OF COURSE, has no idea that in 1 hour this jet ski will NOT be returned and police report NEEDED to be filed immediately.
Nodding intently, I load my scant belongings onto the high speed sea vessel and ignore ALL the emergency action, sound advice and grave warnings being given at once. POOF. Gone out of my thought forever.
Already thinking about these last moments alive and the block rocking’ beats turned up to a volume that only my half deaf ears can tolerate, I open up the throttle to head straight for the horizon.
Contemplating my funeral arrangements and having made sure to exit stage left long before I let cancer erode my body and the instinctual need to live one more day overtake my quality of existence THIS choice seems pragmatic to me. To shove off before EVERY human stops interacting with each other or man destroys our magnificent oceans fully as we all decide to hastily plug into an AI virtual reality … permanently hiding our true flesh and living out fantasy as a handsome avatars controlled by robots, I will battle my ferocious final fear.
It was imperative that I leave no 10,000 dollar death toll or wonder as to the “where” Lou went. I planned this course meticulously and am proud of my last days here.
“Dad was cursed by the genes that inhabit us” my boys would say. “He loved us. He was the RIGHT man for the job.”
“He did it HIS way” someone would eulogize over my friends and family.
Half of the somber crowd would sigh unapproving. Half would sadly understand.
Over this course to my ending with the salty oceans’ spray kicking across my face and whine of the small engine maxed out with unrelenting demand for more speed on its propellers, I imagine to run the gamut of emotion preparing this unquiet mind for rest and my body for the unmitigated shock it will soon encounter.
“The right man for the job DID die today.” I thought, BUT I politely ask that you feel no sorrow, pity or pain for I have lived my dreams, became the strongest person YOU know, wrote my life the way I wanted to share it and learned from my mistakes. I have studied long into the wonder of this life of ours and came to my own proud conclusions.
Being “negative buoyant” I DO have a valid concern with staying alive in any water, bath tub, crick walking, river floating, lake boating, carnival ocean steamer vacationing or at this juncture, Shark infested waters dangling helplessly around on a rented Ski Doo with a wish to test my survival ability.
I fear the water, legitimately.
As a kid I was scared of sharks so badly that I was terrified to even open my eyes in above ground swimming pools.
Keepin’ it 100.
I once held up an entire waterpark for 20 minutes after jamming my outstretched limbs into the molded plastic halfway down the whooshing slide effectively blocking anyone else from enjoying its descent.
Panicking. I realized I could NOT swim and had no understanding the wade pool that caught us was only 18 inches deep making drowning near impossible.
So, I stuck there, like a deer in the spotlight not knowing its fate, screaming bloody screeches like a wounded sacrifice while the crowd rolled their eyes and yelled at me to “JUST LET GO!”
In full disclosure, my pops HAD drowned two boats in his lifetime of captaining on family camping trips so the thought persisted strongly in my lack of trust around water with each other.
The loud speaker called for my father and I watched him forced to politely climb up the long wooden staircase past an angry line of vacationing white people slathered in sweaty sunblock to the main tower. I simply refused to finish the slide until he crashed into me full speed sending us both flailing to the pool waiting for us below.
It is with this same innate terror on my heart that I’m slowing down my ski as the fuel gauge reads at exactly E. NO gas in the tank remaining. No return from this expansive final graveyard.
A quick click of the batteries off button won’t be needed as the juice to power my tunes has to stay flowin’ and only a left turn of the key to shut down my motorized life boat is necessary to effectively strand me I decide.
Reaching down to flip open the chum mess that I’ve prepared in a sealed bucket I pull out THEIR lunch, gagging on the intense waft of decaying fish. I fling about the pail of grotesque sea guts to skim across the water then wash off the blood, reaching my arms frighteningly deep into the sea, then fully unrobe.
I thought, maybe IT would be quicker if I didn’t wipe off the blood?
I will not cling to life any longer while my brain continues to disintegrate as my flesh is now ready to INTEGRATE with this killing machine and my self sacrifice READY for the honor of nature to take its course.
“It won’t be long now”
Fully prepared to be drug under water into the pitch black, I envision the show my brain will light off a few seconds before I perish as a wonderful display of old memories, little mermaid fireworks, and long sharp jagged teeth smeared with chunky flesh covered in my old faded tattoos.
It is so peaceful and calm sitting here.
Exactly the moment I watched the sun reach high noon in the blazing summer sky the first shark surfaces and glides across the water effortless. As quick as I spot him, He disappears under the glass surface of the rolling ocean.
Helplessly bobbing up and down the larger than expected waves brought on horrible sea sickness. I began to get nauseous as my legs shook and confidence broke. Realizing in my instinct THIS was a bad idea the thought sunk in that I just made a massive mistake here. I was out of my depth and this was going to be nothing more than a merciless killing of an old drunk man, not the spiritual release I romanticized it to be.
No sooner than I frantically started grabbing at the ignition key did I see the other 3 fins swimming quickly at the broad side of my un sputtering jet ski.
Panic sets in now. A rare feeling in my world. I pray to god for help but we all know that I put myself here and my pride was going to be the fatal sin that I report to my maker.
Quickly circling, the largest of the sharks bumps the worn Ski-doo testing out the defenses of its’ floating meal. My heart is racing, pounding out of my chest and into my throat.
Flailing at the ignition, the speakers that kept me humming all afternoon had drained enough battery to disallow the starting mechanism in the engine to turn over.
The irony that I have killed myself listening to JAY Z’s 4:44 is not lost on me.
The water breaking right beside me splashes and 2 more hard bumps hit the front of the ski. BAP BAP. I almost fall off straining my shoulder so badly holding on to the seat that pain rips through my body. Grabbing at the ore fastened to the side of the boat stowed in case of emergency I realize it is dishearteningly small and useless for even the task of rowing, let alone the defense of nature’s most efficient predators.
I wanted this fight. I had bragged about it all night over pillow talk and sweet desserts. Now, WAS my moment and it was an aching feeling to know that it entailed 4 Mako sharks darting around the bloody meal I provided for them toying for something more.
The moment the engine came alive and I felt the propeller start to chug, a jarring SMASH launched me into the water.
Frantically I lurched upward with stinging salt choking out my lungs. I refused to open my eyes, for I knew what was waiting.
The first bite felt almost fake and cut through my flesh easily. Like slicing premium steak with a very sharp knife serrated for your pleasure. The wounds opened and my body became warm. Then I felt pressure on my chest so intense for a split second that I almost passed out from pure shock. I lost feeling in my left side and before my eyes could open in a basic fight or flight response my right arm was rammed so forcefully it broke 3 ribs immediately.
My eyes shot open but all I managed to see were oxygenated bubbles escaping to the surface and my own blood diluting the scene unfolding in front of me. I screamed under water as the largest, MOST dead and dark eyes you can imagine attached to an amphitheater of razors’ edged teeth swam directly at me.
These great beasts were GOING to tear me apart and drag me to oblivion. I AM going to die facing this final fear after all.
As the lead shark approached with increasing velocity I became calm and everything slowed down to the cinematic degree in which they tell you the last moments in your life tend to reel off.
This WAS it. My moment. Bleeding out. Suffocating under water. No mercy. No escape. I relinquished life then and there.
“What an odd feeling and strange ending this all is,” was the last thought I had before peace came over me….
Then. I woke.
Not from a dream.
But to a blinding flash of light. I felt my body whisking across water and I could not understand what was going on around me.
I was strapped down. Securely. Unable to move and completely numb.
The last sound I heard was the blaring of sirens and horns. Exhausted. Confused. I relinquished control a final time and faded to black once more.
It took a few weeks for me to wake up from the induced coma and even longer before I was allowed to eat solid food. The bag hanging off my side was now functioning as makeshift lower intestines and the necrotic seep that spilled out of my thoracic cavity made the nurses wince upon its’ cleaning.
The first time I had smiled in nearly two months since that exotic night in Aruba was looking at my Grandson, Lou a 10th generation Costa. He was brought in by his Dad and laid with his Pap snuggled in joy.
I felt his love.
The boys explained to me that when they received my letters they collectively panicked and searched out my location from the scant details I divulged to each of them seperately.
The police report filed by the front desk attendant at the boat rental company triggered an international coast guard alert and the hidden GPS on the Jet Ski stayed alive JUST long enough to alert the authorities to my whereabouts.
Unbeknownst to me, there are strong contingency plans in place for things of this recourse.
The rescue team that saved my life said I had been found floating, helplessly bleeding to death tangled in the safety line that was dragging underneath my vessel.
Apparently I had surfaced after some struggle and clung to life the few precious moments they needed to clear the massive sharks via high sonar pings and caustic ink blotters shocking their senses, a new technique devised by innovative artificial intelligence oceanic research divers.
The authorities could only surmise that the blood concentration of tequila and vinegar from the boozed up 2 bags of binged kettle cooked chips I had eaten the night before dissuaded the sharks interest from actually devouring my body.
I looked at my dominant hand spliced back together and felt the large masses of muscle missing from across my body. Gaping holes of flesh torn from bone GONE and I took a disenchanted look at an organism freshly back from field surgery.
“It’s going to take a while for you to regain the ability to walk. To write again. You will never be able to lift heavy weights due to the extensive wounds you’ve sustained by your … attempt at … whatever you were trying to accomplish.” The stoic doctor carefully spoke.
I sobbed, deeply at the thought of my family losing me and was ashamed at the mess I had caused once more from such a stupid idea.
I sputtered out, “Doc, what am I SUPPOSED to do now?”
The surgeon looked at me. Long. Intensely. Sternly.
She looked at my boys. Each one in a row. Directly staring at them one by one as their tears fell off blushed cheeks. Then, forcefully stared back into my gaze.
“You have one choice as far as I see it.”
“You heal yourself. You heal these wounds. You heal with your children and your family.”