Since 2004, Portland's Only Bar Trivia That Matters.
I didn't go to the river today, which is weird. Instead I'm sitting in my room with the AC cranked, trying to write. I lied to my friend Jeff Robinson last night for the first time since 1998, when I said I was absolutely sure I didn't wanna fuck him. (Ultimately I actually didn't, but at the time I was really only about 95% on the issue.) Last night I told him I was gonna go to the river right after my dentist's appointment at 9. But I was so scared to go to the dentist I couldn't sleep, and then I rescheduled for next week, and now I'm debating whether to show up or kill myself.
You know what's weird is that English doesn't have a verb for killing yourself. You gotta say "commit suicide." It's especially odd because there's another verb that describes a very specific method of "checking out." Killing yourself with fire is called immolation. Everyone says "self-immolation," but I believe that is redundant because you can't immolate anyone but yourself. There was someone I wanted to set on fire last night at my job, but describing that desire to anyone would require a whole phrase and not just a word.
The Quaker Norman Morris set himself on fire outside the Pentagon in 1965 while Defense Secretary Robert McNamara watched. The great documentarian Errol Morris (no relation) made a film about it a great deal later, but sadly he also failed to set McNamara on fire. They were probably both discouraged by the fact that, if they did, they wouldn't have an appropriate verb with which to boast about it later in life.
Of course I'm not actually contemplating suicide, but maybe I should do it anyway, just to be on the safe side. I bet it would suck to later regret not having killed yourself when you had the opportunity.
You know what's also redundant? "Overzealous". There is no appropriate level of zealotry. Although come to think of it "zeal" isn't necessarily a negative thing. Words are so gay. That means happy.
My friend Eric Rider ingeniously coined "sui" as the verb to fill in that strange gap in what is by most standards the most varied and exhaustive language in history. Did you know Spanish doesn't have a word for "shallow"? You gotta say "less deep" ("menos profundo"). So if you were getting by on "Spanglish" in Panama and you tried to drown yourself but failed because the water was only ankle-deep, afterwards you'd have a hell of a time trying to tell someone about it succinctly.
Anyway, committing suicide blows so don't do it. Also if you go through a whole summer without jumping in a river you should kill yourself.