fatman Find the clues!

Monday, October 15, 2007

Brief Lives

The phone conversation was unexpected. It was like getting slapped in the face with a fish- it stung my eyes and left a bad taste in my mouth.

'He did what?', I ask, befuddled.

Rupert repeats the story, slowly so that I can digest the information.

The phone call started innocently enough. I'd got hold of Rupert to inform him of when the Deadliest Catch was on. Also, I hadn't spoken to him since the birth of his child a few months back. We ranted on for a while, pleasantly banal tales exchanged like football cards, when he mentioned Shaun Kratzer, from school.

A blink. A pause. A blurry face in the recesses of my brain coming slowly into focus.

'Sure. Kratz. What's happening with him these days?'

'He...died earlier this year. In February.'

The last I'd seen of Kratz was at school and, since I was in the year grade above him, I had taken it upon myself to shove him into walls and trip him over when we passed each other in the corridor.

'Wow.'

'Yeah.'

'Wow,' I said again, for emphasis.

'I know,' agreed Rupert.

'How did he die?'

Rupert then sums up the last decade of Shaun Kratzer's life. He changed a lot, informs Rupert. He had a lot more facial hair for starters. This was because he was too busy doing real things that mattered. He was a photographer, he skied, was an avid climber and was loved by all who met him. Shaving didn't fit into his busy schedule.

On the 7th of February fate - in the form of an avalanche on Gulmarg mountain in the Himalayas - killed him.

My mind wanders.

Morbidly obese people feel that they are trapped in their own lives. For some this is a literal thing since their ample frames will physically not fit through the door frames of their own apartments and these sacks of organs will not leave their filthy rooms littered with chip packets and empty drums of root beer until several weeks after their death, when Emergency Services will have to knock down a wall in order to remove the bloated carcass from the premises. Others blame bad luck, unloving parents, misleading burger commercials, a tragic reincarnation that landed their souls in the body of a slob and not into Matthew Mcconaughey's.

I can only imagine at how scared Kratz would have been in his final moments on this planet of ours. How helpless and lost and utterly fucked he would have felt before being engulfed by a white fist belonging to some mountain god, terrible and without an ounce of passion. Still. No matter how sad it was that he left the stage so early he is truly one of the lucky ones since he probably lived more in a single day than many of us do in our lifetimes.

7 Comments:

Blogger Fatman said...

There was a whole bunch of touching articles about Shaun's death. But this one - by Gary Tippet - had a lovely quote by Alexander Pope so I'll squeeze it in before Yawn pastes in jokes about molesting Mexicans.

(Snip)
The day after Shaun dies, the friend decides his discovery has a strange, sad serendipity. The poem is a perfect fit for Shaun and the circumstances of his passing and he asks to read it at a memorial service on the snowfield:

"With pleasure too refined to please,

With too much spirit to e'er be at ease,

With too much quickness ever to be taught,

With too much thinking to have common thought,

You purchase pain with all that joy can give,

And die of nothing but a rage to liveā€¦"

10:51 pm  
Blogger Gorilla Bananas said...

Each to his own, I suppose. Some people can find meaning from sitting cross-legged under a fig tree. That might be more your style, Fatman. Although you did shift your butt around Eastern Europe, as I recall.

1:54 am  
Blogger kyknoord said...

So true. It boils down to a choice between killing time or killing yourself.

4:57 pm  
Blogger SassyAssy said...

I hope I go out of this world in the midst of something I enjoy doing.

If you need a bright moment--Deep Cleavage Friday is here.

11:59 pm  
Blogger Yawn said...

Shit coon, mi amigo. No Mexican jokes today. What irks me is my Mexican wife wants to watch the Texas Tech vs. Oklahomo game rather than check out the Navajo documentary on PBS. In my head I'm speaking Spanish to this hottie on TV who probably doesn't speak Spanish, but she knows Navajo and English. Still would slather her snizz, provided the Nahuatlmama wasn't watchin. That'd git me in some trouble. But I'm still bettin' that Navajo snizz is some hardcore action.

4:20 pm  
Blogger Yawn said...

"Between her legs she felt sloppy and raw."

You ever seen that movie...what's it called? Star Wars?

http://www.asstr.org/files/Authors/grmrape/Padmie%20and%20the%20sandmen.txt

6:07 pm  
Blogger Fatman said...

GB- More like sitting cross-legged on a bean bag munching on packets of chips and watching midget wrestling but I hear ya.

Kyknoord- It's a Chuck Palahniuk thing (cliched, I know)but in a long enough time line your rate of survival drops to zero. So, some people decide to fling themselves out of planes every Sunday with a parachute strapped to their backs, others sit cross-legged on a bean bag munching on packets of chips and watching midget wrestling. It all amounts to the same thing: your eventual demise*.

Sassyassy- I'm a sucker for big boobies.

Yawn- The link wasn't working when I tried. A blessing in disguise I think. Money on right now that it would have been a page where animals had intercourse with people dressed up as Askajian dancers or a Jawa or some other minor Star Wars character.

*ps- not YOUR specific demise Kyknoord. I mean all of us mortals, to a one.

5:16 pm  

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