DESPERATE MEASURE

desperate measure

image courtesy of photobucket.com

I chatted with him occasionally, maybe twice a week or so. He was always quick with witty banter, fairly young, probably early thirties. I know him through my friend Johnny whom he rides to work with. The guy – I’ll call him Zeke – left me a little confused when I talked to him. He had one of those types of eyes where one would look at you and the other kinda off to the side.

I always try to figure out which one of those eyes is the best one to look into while we’re talking. We joke in a friendly manner, throwing sarcastic barbs in good fun. A person couldn’t have too many conversations with Zeke before the conversation turned to guns. That’s one of the pastimes Johnny and Zeke would share.

You’d think they would have gotten tired of each other; working together, riding to work together, shooting guns, and just hanging out; I guess good friends don’t tire of each other so fast. Johnny told me that Zeke was having some issues with his girl… That can cause some stress. Zeke and I talked about stress a few days ago and shared our remedies on the subject. I told ┬áZeke that my secret remedy was to work out in order to get rid of some stress. He laughed at me a little, said he didn’t get it, thought it didn’t make sense and added, “That’s what shootin’ guns are for”!

I knew something was wrong when I saw Johnny today… Johnny is from New York, mid to late thirties, big personality, fun company, works some days up to 16 hours, he’s no pansy I can tell ya’ that much. “Hey Johnny”! I said in a pleasant way, our typical greeting. He didn’t answer with his normal energetic response, he sounded flat, in a monotone, “I just wanted to let you know that Zeke is dead”…

“WHAT”!!! I almost yelled in disbelief. “Yeah, they found him in his apartment – he killed himself” … “He was really stressed out about his ex-girlfriend,” Johnny explained, fighting to hold back his emotion over the loss of his constant companion’s death.

I was deeply saddened as well… shocked, caught completely off guard. My mind raced trying to catch up with reality… I never shared the truth of God’s word with Zeke, I didn’t avoid it, I just never spent that kind of time… I wish I had… I assumed there would be plenty more of it…

The stress of life can be overwhelming sometimes, too much for those that don’t know the real truth of this life. A person can’t understand how much value they have in this world if they’re willing to take their life.

If I was that close to a person the day before he took his life and didn’t see or sense it, how many others do we pass on a daily basis that might be hurting just as bad as Zeke was? I suspect more than we can imagine…Maybe we should pay, or at least I should pay closer attention to details…

When Zeke told me guns were the answer to his stress…

I never imagined it was the desperate measure of turning one on himself…