A few days later, we met for lunch at a sidewalk cafe. Schechner looked depressed, even for Schechner. He mentions suicide at least once a month; flippantly, but still -- I get the idea he seriously considers it at least . . . annually. I asked him how the brief threat of prostate cancer had affected his desire to kill himself.
“No effect,” he replied. “I know I talk about suicide a lot, but it’s just out of, you know, loneliness. Desire for empathy. The only time I really feel like checking out is whenever I‘m driving behind a fucking SUV so I can’t see a fucking thing, and then the radio announces the next batch of terrorist bombings.” Schechner downed the last of his highly evolved coffee. “Murder,” he added, “is just suicide turned outward.”
“Fucking morons,” I added, though I wasn‘t sure to what.
Across the street, at a similar sidewalk cafe, the next terrorist bomb detonated, filling the air with Home Depot nails, glass and stucco; fire and blood blasted chaos; inhuman sounds coming from humans; a small child’s coarsely severed head landed on our table to stare up at us, one eye each.
Before we could fully react, the second blast arrived; Schechner and I were ripped to shreds. Good luck with the dental records.
“See what I mean?” said Schechner, as we rode the brimstone escalator to hell. “It‘s nice not to have cancer, but there’s always plenty to go around.”