He’s on his 30’s, a harsh time. Everything on his plate seemed foul and rancid–job, marriage,career, friendship,family, life, and future.
Ironic that he was a volunteer at the time on a 24-hour answering service for a crisis center. Desperate people called in the middle of the night and said they were considering suicide. He resigned his post when he begin to think they were on the right track.
Getting dead began to seem like a good idea, he thought.
One morning—He just ran away from home. Got in his car, drove to the airport, and caught the next plane leaving. It was going to Texas, the place he had in mind, where he grew up. Probably the place he unconsciously wanted to be—back to the beginning— to complete the circle or find where things started going wrong–or something–he doesn’t know…”
Option#1 — He tried to buy a gun, but there was a waiting period if you were from out of state. So shooting himself was out. Which is OK because he didn’t really want to shoot himself and make a mess.
Option#2 — He looked for something to jump off of, but there wasn’t anyplace high enough in that part of Texas, and then there was the mess factor again.
Two days had gone by. While he was working out the technical problems of getting dead, he was driving around in a rented car looking at the scenery of his childhood.
Option#3 — He bought a vacuum-cleaner hose and some wide masking tape. That night he drove out in the plains for a couple of hundred miles turned off on a dirt road, and drove farther. He parked. Tried taping the hose to the exhaust pipe and then in through a wing window of the car.
“WHAT WAS GOING ON IN HIS MIND?”
He felt like a contest between three people.
One wanted to get it over with. Another seemed to think it was funny, and the third was obsessed with the taping problems.
The problem was that the hose was round and the exhaust pipe was oval, and he had to make the connection by using lots of tape.
It was funny. Too dumb to do something so simple. He was protected from himself by his own incompetence, he began to laugh. He couldn’t even kill himself. He laughed to the point of hysteria, turned into sobbing grief, which turned into silence broken by renewed laughter.
“Man too dumb to live–that’s him.”
But what if he succeeded?
He had the vision of his corpse sitting up at the wheel of this rented car out here in the bushes in the middle of nowhere–and the world going on without HIM—and it seemed like such a meaningless thing to do.
And he began to think of his ancestors—considering that he was alive now because a lot of men and women before him had been able to take whatever life threw at them and go on.
He began to laugh again. Death isn’t what he wanted. It wasn’t LESS life he wanted, but MORE life — life with MEANING.
And he never felt better in his life than at that moment. from the book , MAYBE (MAYBE NOT)