On Friday I was browsing SFGate and saw a headline, "Caltrain hits man near Mountain View." It gave me a familiar cold and hollow feeling...Paul lived in Mountain View. Paul took the Caltrain a lot. It's easy for me to visualize Paul waiting for a train in Mountain View, or getting on one, or getting off one. Or me getting off a Caltrain in Mountain View, met by Paul, hugged tight, my long day transformed into a wonderful moment reunited with my best friend, High Priest, and lifemate.
"A spokeswoman says a man described as 'trespasser' was hit by a northbound train around 5:15 a.m. near the Highway 85 overpass," reads the SFGate article.
Within two days I found out that I have a friend who knew the Trespasser. He and I were only three degrees apart. The Trespasser walked deliberately in front of the train, and he is now dead.
In one moment the Trespasser sentenced my friend, his parents, his own circle of friends and family, his ex-girlfriend, his fellow graduate students, the train engineer and the train passengers, and any passersby to a lifetime living with what he did. Judge, jury and executioner of all these innocent people, to say nothing of himself.
Maybe he thought all his loved ones would be better off without him. They aren't. They didn't sign up for their new existence without him. They didn't sign up for a lifetime of nightmares about his body crushed by a train. They didn't deserve the months and years of unbearable anguish, the rage, the confusion, the guilt, the insomnia, the momths or years of medication and its side effects, and the months or years of therapy (if they're fortunate enough to have those last two).
But it's possible the Trespasser wasn't thinking of his loved ones. It's possible his pain was so intolerable he could sense nothing else. It was 5:15 in the morning. He probably hadn't slept. A tunnel formed around him and he could see no way out but the train tracks.
I humbly ask anyone reading this to think of the Trespasser before acting on intolerable pain. I humbly ask you not to believe the demon that tells you that no one can help you, and no one has ever felt the way you do. I suggest you tell that demon that there are people in your life who would do anything, at any time, for any period of time, to save you. And there are people who know a lot more than your loved ones about how to save you and they're ready, willing, and able. I cannot state strongly enough that your loved ones are NOT better off without you. I cannot scream it loudly enough.
Please, no more Trespassers.