Thomas Wictor

Dead son rising

Dead son rising

I belong to a very small club. A one-man club.

Actually, I belong to several: I’m the only person to be screwed by five Web designers in a row when creating one Website; I’m the only person to have had a spontaneous recovery from total hepatic failure; and I’m the only person in the world who has three kidneys, three cowlicks, Meniere’s disease, and one baby tooth still in place.

The most important one-man club to which I belong is those who’ve experienced three suicides and who were forced against their will to cause the deaths.

It’s permanently changed my mind about suicide. Chasing the Last Whale describes what it’s like to have someone force you to become involved in their suicide. I’m very proud of my novel. Though the subject matter sounds awful, it’s actually a very funny book. It’s also very uplifting. Really!

I wasn’t able to get any blurbs for it. Everyone I’ve known who I wrote about in my career either turned me down or didn’t respond. That’s fine. I made up a meaningless blurb attributed to an imaginary person for the book cover. On the blurb page of my Website, I’ll just reproduce the rejections for blurbing I got. Not sure yet if I’ll redact the names. Probably. Revealing their names seems a little petty; concealing them adds to the mystery. Who are these people who refused to provide a couple of words to someone who wrote extensively about them?

Yesterday was the worst day of my life. But I survived it. Now I’m almost back to normal.

What helped me immensely was the music of Gary Numan. Though I’d always been a fan, I’d never really listened to the lyrics of his songs. I liked his passion, melodies, the dynamics of his tunes, and the instrumentation. Yesterday I wondered where Saint Micheal the Archangel was. If there was ever a day when I needed him, October 28, 2023 was it.

Then I realized that I had to feel everything I was feeling. Sparing me from it wouldn’t have been merciful. The indescribable agony had to be felt. So I spent about eighteen hours listening to Gary Numan and writing. When I was done writing, I deleted it all. I won’t publish a book about my parents’ suicides. But I’ll keep posting about Mom and Dad. In time the posts will evolve. For now I must banish in order to live.

Yesterday I found the song “Dead Sun Rising,” from the album Dead Son Rising.

All the lyrics posted online appear to be inaccurate. In the end I decided that it’s not important for me to know exactly what Numan is singing. I hear what I want to hear. As I’ve said many times, I love ambiguity. In an interview, Numan explained the genesis of the album:

[I]f I’m working on a song and it doesn’t happen or I don’t think it works, I erase it. To me, it’s been a sign. If that’s not good enough, then don’t shelve it; erase it and start again. But I decided that was perhaps a bit stupid. One day I wrote a song and thought it was great, then two hours later I thought it was the worst thing I had ever done. I thought it can’t be like that, a track being the worst and best thing I’ve ever done within a two-hour gap! It’s all down to the mood you’re in. So I realized 25 years too late that what I had been doing was very stupid and I had deleted any number of songs that were quite good!

So I stopped erasing everything. I played Ade [Fenton] these older tracks, and he was going, ‘That’s brilliant. That’s great. We should do something around these shelved songs.’ And that’s the reason why I thought Resurrection [the original title for Dead Son Rising] was a good title to it, because these were songs that had been dead and buried being brought back again.

What I’ve discovered about suicide is that it kills the survivors too, especially if the departed made those left behind responsible for the mors voluntaria.

But today this dead son is rising.

Thank you, Gary Numan. Your art helped me through the worst moments of my existence. You played a large part in my resurrection.


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