It was the Ides of March when Eddy Jacks, Jr. began contemplating suicide, which is something that a lot of people have thought about during these turbulent times. His life had taken a turn for the worst and he believed it might be best to end it all.
“I’ve just about had it,” he told his friend “Toe” Beans when they went out drinking together. Jacks and Beans had known one another since their days on the State University football team over a decade ago. Jacks figured if his premature demise affected anyone, Beans would be the guy.
“Yeah, it’s rough out there,” Beans said. Beans had lost both of his parents during a horrific boyhood and he couldn’t care less about Jacks’ problems. In fact, he couldn’t bring himself to care less about anything except getting off. On account of how it made his life worth living, he cared a heck of a lot about getting off.
“You don’t know what it’s like, what I’m up against,” Jacks said. He was up against it, that was for sure. His dad was a big shot in the wrestling business, and Jacks hadn’t measured up.
Beans downed his boilermaker and motioned to the bartender for another. “Make it two shots of whiskey this time,” he said. “And a highball for my friend, heavy on the ice and ginger ale.”
“I can’t believe the company is letting me go,” Jacks said. “I worked so hard for them. I gave them everything I had. I can’t help it that I’m not my father. Is it my fault that he’s such a hard act to follow?”
“It’s a bad break, no doubt about it,” Beans said. His life had been nothing but bad breaks, yet that was all right with him. He was trying to focus on getting drunk and couldn’t devote much attention to what Jacks was saying.
“I tried. When they asked me to retool and redesign my character, I did it. I spent hours perfecting my ring persona.”
Beans nodded. He would have nodded at anything Jacks said, because that’s what he needed to do. Beans couldn’t afford another DUI and Jacks was his designated driver. “They just don’t get it, man.”
“When is anybody going to get it? Remember Emily? Remember her?”
Of course Beans remembered her: He had slept with her three times while Jacks was engaged to her. “She just wasn’t any good for you. Never could figure out what she wanted.”
“Not to mention she was pudgy. You know how I feel about chubby chicks.”
Beans knew about Jacks felt about every kind of chick, since his friend had spent hours talking to him about his problems with women. He also had it on good authority that Jacks was poorly endowed and something of a bore in the sack. “Yeah, you’re better off without her.”
Jacks took a sip of his highball and smiled at Beans. “I’m glad you’re here for me, ‘Toe.’ You’re like a brother to me,” he said.
“Uh-huh,” Beans said.
“You really are.”
Beans wondered if they sold lottery tickets on holidays. He remembered that they didn’t sell them on Sundays. Did it work the same way on holidays? “I hear that,” he said.
“I love you,” Jacks said. Right after saying that, he realized he wanted to live forever. But it was a case of too little, too late: He had already ceased to exist. No, I don’t mean to say that he somehow managed to kill himself, because that would have demanded courage and commitment. He just wasn’t himself anymore, wasn’t at home inside himself, wasn’t really alive at all.