I sit here, and my mind fills up with incredibly mixed emotions at the news of the suicide of a man that I knew.
During the entire time that I knew him, Jason Batzer was always a hand full. His fiery, manic energy could overwhelm even the most patient of his friends.
When he was up, he would come across like a living, breathing encyclopedia. Any topic that was brought up, Jason would know, deeply, and have a strong opinion about it. He could, and would, talk for hours.
Jason knew about a hell of a lot of things in this world.
Except, perhaps, optimism.
Except, perhaps, love, at least love of self.
Conversations with him would take a bleak turn, and, going forward from that turn, would spiral downward, until an edged point, iron hard and sharp, would shut them off. "Ah, Jason, I'm sorry, I have to go now", uttered from a place of vulnerability, a place of self-preservation, lest the bleakness seep too far into my own psyche, would be my last resort, my last utterance until the next time we spoke, when I'd try again to help, to shed a bit of light into his darkness. If my efforts had any sort of success, Jason never let on.
What must it be like, to feel that the world, in its entirety, is terrible? To feel that there is absolutely nothing left worth living for? These feelings are common to younger people, and they are usually shed, along with other, less helpful views, as youth fades.
I ask, though, for a man in middle age, a man whose prospects have dwindled, a man so terribly, willfully isolated, in a city that's getting tougher and more hardened by the day. What must have that been like? Just as with our increasingly less frequent conversations, I "hang up" on that question. I just can't go to that place.
Jason, I am so sad that you stayed for so long in that place. For God's sake, what could your friends have done, to help pull you away from it?
Should I now feel hopeless at your passing, or relieved that your suffering, both self-inflicted and at the hands of a world that could never understand you, is over?
Jason, I dearly hope that your spirit is now at peace, and far, far away from that terrible place. I dearly hope that your last moments had at least some joy, that you were able to see this world and your life with some kind of love.
Jason, I will miss you. Jason, please rest in peace. Please, Jason, do that for your friends, all of whom I know that you loved.