Fare thee well, Tim Thomas: a thymomenology

(WARNING: If you don’t want to read my at-times constructive criticism of Tim’s attitudes and actions, then DO NOT read this!!!)

I met Tim Thomas during my freshman year at Pitzer College. We hung out in separate, though intersecting, circles, so I didn’t know him well, but I liked him and found him interesting. We got to know each other better during sophomore year as those circles intersected a bit more, and then, during that summer, we became quite close once we roomed together.

That summer was a good one. Tim and I bonded over video games, drinking (he poured me my first double-shot of Jack), and being dis-invited to a mutual friend’s (the woman who’s the subject of my article “Keeping Religious Friends“) wedding. I’d go so far to say that, at the time, Tim was one of my closest friends.

With junior year came even more hanging out as Tim introduced me to some friends who to this day remain close.

With all this happy-happy, joy-joy, I did notice early on that Tim seemed to lean towards depression. More so even than my self-pitying pathetic ass. For a while, it was cool and funny, but I do remember at times thinking, “Okay, Tim, we get it.”

Tim and I stayed close as I went to grad school. Then, abruptly in my second year there, I got an e-mail (which I no longer have), that basically stated: “Because you know about the events, I’m not talking to you anymore.”

What events?

I won’t go into the details, but there was an incident involving Tim and a then-mutual friend that caused a major falling out between them. Tim was declaring that because I knew about the incident and its details, and because Tim wanted to move away and on, he couldn’t face me. I wasn’t offended by this; In fact, I kind of understood where he was coming from. Had I suffered the kind of shame he did, I probably would’ve done something similar. So, with that, our friendship effectively ended.

I didn’t see Tim again for a few years after that. I was visiting a mutual friend and he showed up. Yep, pretty much just like that. It’s not that he didn’t have the right to do so. It’s just that I hadn’t any idea he was going to. Because I’m sentimental and nostalgic and other sometimes silly things, I expected a bit of a reunion. I thought maybe Tim and I could sit down, catch up, maybe even exchange information. Though he’d done something shameful years earlier, I was willing to at least try with him. Our reunion, however, was more of a union. No “re.” He treated me as a stranger with whom he was interacting solely because I happened to be there. I could’ve been anyone.

Fine, Tim. Have it your way.

Many years later, I heard that Tim moved out to Arizona. I was a little relieved. His streak of depression-leaning had continued and it sounded like he’d needed a change of venue. I also heard he’d gotten involved with someone and I was happy to hear that as well. I don’t know how she dealt with his depressive streak, but I sincerely wished them the best.

The last time I heard from Tim was years after that, after tragedy struck my family. It was easily the most difficult point in my life. During the temporary tempest of good wishes from friends and acquaintances, I got a message from Tim accompanying a bit of support from him and other friends. He basically offered his thoughts and lamented the fact that he couldn’t offer advice. Here was my (partial) reply:

“No offense, but I’m not looking for anyone’s advice. Now is not the time for advice. … I hope Phoenix is treating you well. I’d say I’d come to visit, but I have no desire to hang out in the south west. At least not now…”

–Me

A little dickish. I know. Remember: tragedy had just struck. I wasn’t all there. That was our last exchange.

Fast forward to years after this and I’m on my honeymoon. I get this message from one of Tim’s and my mutual friends:

“Dear Friends,

“It is with a heavy, heavy heart that I must relay that earlier this week, Tim lost his battle with his internal demons and took his life. His cousin only receive confirmation of this, on Wednesday, after a visit from him this passed weekend, and has been trying to connect with everyone that we believed would want to be updated. “

Motherfucker.

I was at once sad, disappointed, and fucking furious. “Who the fuck does he think he is?!!” I thought. “How dare he?!!” “Demons?? Demons?? I’ll show you motherfucking demons!”

I don’t know what was going on with Tim. It had been more than two years since we’d last corresponded. I don’t know if it was chemical, situational, or what. What I do know, though, is that suicide, like most other things, is a choice. A fucking choice.

And I’ve faced it myself. Remember that low point in my life I alluded to above? Yeah, I thought about it. A lot. I stared directly into the fucking abyss and, boy, it sneered right back. But as bad as things got, as hopeless as all seemed, as much as fucking medication didn’t work, I found joy. It took a hell of a lot of work, patience, and understanding, much from a number of people, but it happened.

Internal demons, my ass. What, did he owe money to the mob? Did he kill a hooker and bury her in the desert? Whatever it was, I’m confident that had he chosen, he could’ve figured it out. Maybe therapy wouldn’t have been the cure. Maybe not drugs. Maybe not a relationship. But he could’ve figured it out.

And here’s the real pisser. And why this post is here. Why it’s the opposite of a eulogy. Death is permanent. Once your brain activity ceases, so do you. That’s it. End of story. Full stop. There is no soul. There is no afterlife. There is no Heaven. There is no Hell. There is no Grand Reward. There is no Eternal Punishment. There is life and there is death nipping at its heels. Yes, we’ll all eventually face it, but to choose it… To CHOOSE it…

Tim Thomas no longer exists. He gave up on his life and now there’s no going back. He gave up just as many of us are getting started. And I hate him for that.

Fuck Tim for giving up. Fuck Tim for depriving his loved ones of himself. Fuck Tim for not sucking up and dealing. Fuck Tim for being such a fucking wimp. Fuck Tim for thinking his shit stank any worse than anyone else’s.

So long, Monkey Boy.

4 Responses to “Fare thee well, Tim Thomas: a thymomenology”

  1. maybe your friend Tim (God rest his soul) needed a useless ranting blog like this to give him. also, the illusion of self importance to banish his “demons”.

    From your writing; some friend you were…..

    the internet trash heap yet propagates on

    • Anton A. Hill Says:

      Hi Insipid Man,

      What I absolutely love about this is that you voluntarily wasted your time reading the post, then voluntarily wasted even more of your time whining about the fact that you voluntarily wasted your time reading the post. ;D

      Best,

      Anton.

  2. […] older than I am, she still seemed far too young to die. Sort of in the middle of my former friend Tim who committed suicide last year and my late grandmother who died of natural causes a few years ago. […]

  3. […] When I wrote about my late friend Joo Hee the other day, I immediately afterwards wondered why. This isn’t called Joo Hee Kim Memorial Asshole. But then I remembered writing about my late godmother Bonnie and my late friend Tim. […]

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