Otto W. Lehikoinen

goodbyes are longLauantai 14.06.2008 15:45

You know the saying "life flashes before your eyes" when you realize you'll die in a moment or so?
I've started thinking about this saying but in a different way. You might've heard me talking about "premonitions" or "prophetic dreams" before ('enneunet' in Finnish, translating this into English has its problems as you can see).. anyway.. It's beginning to look like the short eventful "flash movie" one sees in the moment of death is not like that in my case.. to me it seems to be different.. A long time ago when I accepted the fact that I was going to die, I also accepted the fact that in a way I am already dead. You can think about this in alternate realities or just time itself not being a linear process but a cycle which has no ending but a new beginning in another cycle(s).. think of a string of pearls where one pearl is one lifetime.. you can focus on just one life or look at the bigger picture where the whole family is in succession, one after other.

And I'm getting sidetracked.. :) anyway, when one dies their life flashes before their eyes.. and it doesn't take more than mere seconds, if even that.. but in my case, 'cos I have to be special and unique (NB! irony), the life I've lived is caught in repeat and the 'flash movie' is happening right now.. the premonitions I have from time to time are, in fact, mere memories of the life I've already lived.. and the "flash movie" is not eventful - it's slow-paced, tedious and uneventful. The audience isn't sitting at the edge of their seat, they're long gone, on they're way back home via the K-Mart of their choice.

The thing why this kind of freaks me out is.. in the dreams I've seen, I'm not with the girl that I love and live with now. In those dreams I'm with some blonde girl who used to work as a cashier at one of the local grocery stores. When I saw her years ago I had one of those "life flashing before my eyes" moments. I froze up, and the glass bottles in our (shop) trolley clashed together and one exploded into pieces leaving a pool of beer in front of the checkout. You can imagine the look on my face and the puzzled look on hers as well, a kind of "Do we know each other?" mixed with shared embarrassment for the broken bottle incident. Anyway, I never got that girl's number.. asked her out or anything.. I haven't seen her since even though she probably lived/lives in the general area (Espoonlahti). I've even expected with some horror to find her among the newbies each year in the university, but so far she hasn't come up.. but if my bad feeling about next autumn is true, it would mean bad things for me and my present lover which would just completely mess up my brain, 'cos it would verify the 'being dead already' thing and I would eventually have to break a good girl's heart, again. Oh yeah, I need to point this out, I hadn't seen that checkout girl before that day and I haven't seen her since.. which makes me even more confused.. am I to fall for her simply because my dreams tell me so?!

BUT, onto another matter.. and this one will be quite long as well, so bear with me. I've understood why J. took his own life. Shortly before the incident (few weeks or so) he told me that he had met one of our old classmates called Mikko Mäkinen. We started talking about how this guy used to be shorter than J. ..back in elementary school that is.. and now this guy is something like 6'4"-6'5" (190-195cm). He was in the same junior high school with us but on one of the other parallel classes. He went to this well-known high school and ended up in Helsinki University of Technology. I guess he succeeded in his studies both in high school and HUT (that TKK in Finnish) and he now works at Nokia. He's been together with his wife (or at least fiancée) for years.. I guess they met each other in high school or HUT. They have their own apartment (or maybe a mortgage-paying deal or something like that), their family's old car.. probably pets as well.. a regular dream-come-true. Mikko's parents are J's old friends of the family because they used to live in the same house back when both children were in kindergarten. The parents are both highly educated and well-paid professional in their chosen careers and good parents of two kids (M. and his older sister.. who incidentally is the same age as J's sister). J's father does the same kind of work as M's father, but is a bit higher on the social scale (some kind of micromanagement bosses.. heads of divisions or something like that). J's mother teaches music to young children at a local elementary school whereas M's mother is some kind of engineer like the fathers. Both moms are very caring and devoted wives as well as mothers. Well, as J grows up he decides to become like his father.. a well-paid engineer at a construction company. The boy works his way through junior high and high school.. and ends up in the same place as M. Unlike his old friend, J. has had a rough few years in junior high because of a congenital spine problem which had to be surgically fixed and he had to wear a plastic corset or a back support. His classmates used to tease him terribly.. and even his best friend couldn't do anything to stop it.. he probably went along not to be bullied.. but he did anyway, 'cos he was shy and sensitive.. had big ears and a funny fuzzy hairdo. His best friend went to another high school and so they saw each other less and less. The boys went to different places after that and as the time came for the military duty the two best friends and the new best friend of his old friend met at weekends and drank a lot. J lived at home with his parents and liked to eat like a grown man. O. ate too, but did not gain weight much like J's father who was quite thin. J gains weight and the scars from his back operation show a bit more than before.. O. begins college in a different town, so the former best friends see each other on weekends few times a month.. meanwhile J. has problems at school.. a loss of motivation, difficult courses.. anyway.. who cares? his friend lives in a different town, he's not collecting any benefits 'cos he lives at home.. years pass.. studies have to gone to hell? he meets his friends at weekends and tells them things are fine, they don't ask anything, they trust him.. Everything's fine, nobody knows except him.. he feels guilty, but can't express it to anyone. After a few years in the HUT people begin to wonder how his studies are going, he tells them something.. they believe him.. he gets a summer job through his father and so he has enough money to do the things he wants and even help out his two friends who study at college.. those damn humanists.. Finally, it's 2007.. he's asked about summer job through the same firm he's worked for earlier.. he tells his friends he'll get a better pay now 'cos he's so advanced in his studies (which is not true).. his parents decide to move to a neighbouring town which means the commute to HUT will become difficult.. his parents help him get a place which is actually quite close to school and his future workplace. Before the summer he meets Mikko who has succeeded in everything he has not. J feels he hasn't done enough in his life.. he finds out he can't get the place at work he's said to his friends 'cos he hasn't enough credits from school. He can get a job that he has done earlier which still pays well. The pressure mounts.. his parents make him feel more guilty? "no, it's not them.. I should just tell them, they'll understand.. but they wanted me out of the house, they sold it without even asking me!?" The parents probably see each other even now.. they all play golf.. M's parents are so proud of their son who has a fiancée, a house, a steady job with a good income.. J's parents tell their son will soon graduate too, not in record time like M. (it took him 4-5 yrs? and the average is 6 yrs?)..
His best friend has had emotional problems as long as he has known him.. he would just worry himself to death because of him, if he told him and asked for help.. and after all.. they're not that close anymore.. he'll continue his life at college.. in the other town.. far away from him. He loves him too much to ask for help even though he knows that he'd do anything to help him like he had before. God knows, he owes him so much for all the times he pulled him back to surface during his darker moments.

It all falls in place. Like pieces of a puzzle. His dad has a gun for target practice. It has been lying around in his apartment earlier 'cos of the moving's in progress, the new place is being renovated.. it'll be ready to move in soon.. they'll all leave him soon.. he won't make it, not when they find out how his studies have gone to shit years ago.. he's a failure.. the male pattern baldness has started few years earlier, the scars on his stomach disgust him.. they made me move with out my permission.. nobody cares.. I love them too much.. fuck them.. Few days before the actual shooting he talks to his friend's best friend and his friend.. casual chitchat.. we'll see soon.. they don't care.. he's not my friend, we just drink together.. he talks to his mother.. yeah, mom, I'll take care of the rent of your new place.. he drives to the new place, picks up the gun and ends it all.. in one quick sudden blow.
the police find him few days later when his mom calls his best friend.. frantic, worrying.. and she was right..

Few points that I need to _stress_: 1) The events that followed meeting M. were NOT his fault.. M.M. is merely a prime example of what J's dreams were like.. what he was aiming at when he started HUT, what he and our 'generation' see as one of the ideals: a true success story and one of 'us' who were once on the same line.. I have nothing but admiration towards this guy, he was always good to me and J. ..and I'm happy to see he's done well in life :) and I'm just the man who delivered his newspaper last summer. He feels remorse about being one of the last people to have spoken with J. ..even though he shouldn't.. J's eyes brightened up when he talked about M. ..he was proud of him too. 2) The way I wrote this has me putting words into J's mouth.. I last spoke with him online on the weekend before the incident.. and the whole thing is still a bit unclear to me, but the study problems and so on are real.. 3) You should know that on that same year, I did try to "kill" myself by eating all the sleeping pills I had.. and I did make a big deal about it.. which was incredibly stupid in hindsight.. it's just when you battle with depression you don't think straight.. So, with all the problems J. had had before and after the March of 2007 he had to deal with my stuff too..

so, there you see what kind of friend I am..

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