Okay, so I’ve mentioned before just how much I love music. Well, more than that, just how much music affects and informs my writing. Yes, there is a soundtrack in my head to the scenes I write. And, yes, I need music in order to write…especially, music that fits the mood and tone of what I’m writing.
I’m not going to go back and link to the posts where I’ve talked before about that – but it is something I’ve talked about before. And will talk about again, I might add.
But…sometimes the songs take on more power. Sometimes they connect, far deeper than they should. Sometimes they speak to me as much as they do my characters and my story.
An example of that: “C’mon Kid” by Dave Hause. This is not really a song that applies directly to Connor & Oz, in either of the two books. No, rather, it is a song that helps to define my own feelings toward the boys…the feelings and thoughts (from other parts of my life) that gave “life” to these particular ghosts.
Honestly, there ain’t many songs that break that 4th wall, and “cross the streams”.
But another one came up…and, hooh boy, is it a doozy.
It cuts to the core of the stories I am writing, and – more importantly – why I am writing them.
I’ve talked before about the ghosts of stories & characters in the back of my head. I’ve also talked of my own experience with death, and with suicide…and that Oz is, for me, the “face” of that particular demon.
I’ve written before about some of the deaths in my life (one here and the other here), but two have special power: two friends I lost to suicide….two seventeen year old boys who had everything ahead of them.
Two boys who lost their way, and their hope…and, in the end, everything else.
And so did those of us left behind.
I will not tell their stories here – they are not my stories to tell. But I feel those stories, still. And the loss. You didn’t know Mike or Trevor…and you never will. And that is the worst of it all.
Hindsight, to those who have lived through suicide, is the biggest bitch in the universe. All the things you should have said…all the things you could have done.
What if someone – anyone – had said the right thing at the right time?
Why the fuck didn’t I?
The problems were there to see…and the inevitable result if those problems were not addressed. And that, my friends, is what survivor’s guilt is all about: why the hell couldn’t I save them?
I do my best to give time and money to charity, and to various causes. But there is one that really matters to me: suicide prevention.
Both of these boys, separated by twenty years as they were, shared the same problems…and the same despair. I don’t go hat-in-hand often, but if you want to understand, and to help, go spend some time with the “You Can Play” and “It Gets Better” projects.
Those weren’t around to help those I lost, but they very well could be that one right voice at the right time for someone else…
The song that generated this post? “Missing You” by All Time Low.
An excerpt for you:
I heard that you’ve been
Self-medicating in the quiet of your room
Your sweet suburban tomb
And if you need a friend
I’ll help you stitch up your wounds
I heard that you’ve been
Having some trouble finding your place in the world
I know how much that hurts
But if you need a friend
Then please just say the word
You’ve come this far
You’re all cleaned up
You’ve made a mess again
There’s no more trying time
To sort yourself out
Hold on tight
This ride is a wild one
Make no mistake
The day will come when you can’t cover up what you’ve done
Now don’t lose your fight, kid
It only takes a little push to pull on through
With so much left to do
You’ll be missing out
And we’ll be missing you