Pretending to Die


Paul O’Leary was the best at dying. We all did a pretty decent job at dying ( some better than others), but everyone agreed that Paul was the best of us all. The game went like this:

One person was “it”. His job (and girls never played this game, so it is “his”) was to cock aim and fire an air rifle as each of us, in turn, charged him. (Now this air rifle shot only compressed air. It was a BB gun that had the barrel altered so it could no longer shoot BBs. But the sound of the compressed air - a whhhoop kind of sound - was rather cool, and didn’t cost anything, like caps did.) As soon as the rifle discharged, the charging boy had the responsibility of dying. Fortunately, this game was played on dirt and grass, not cement or asphalt, so dying was not TOO painful. Most of us, when shot, would straighten up, grab our chests, twist, let out an “ahhhh” and fall to the ground, much of it defined by the saturday morning westerns on TV. Paul on the other hand used the law of physics - a body in motion tends to stay in motion unless acted upon by an outside force. The outside force? - Gravity and the frictional impact of the ground. When Paul died, you could see the impact of the bullet, the loss of locomotion, his body going limp, his body still moving forward, hitting the ground, sometimes rolling, coming to a lifeless stop. He was the Maestro of Dying.


Pretending to Die 2


When did the movie HELP come out? 1966? Anyway, that was the first soundtrack that I ever owned. I was quite amazed by it and since it was orchestral in some places, in my mind, it gave additional importance to rock and roll and The Beatles.

While playing one of the tracks, in my mind, I saw a scene (as in movie or stage); a drug addict overdosing on heroin.

I would play the music and create the scene. Although the syringe was imaginary, the belt was real, and as I tightened it around my upper arm - the music swelling - my veins would pop. I'd push the spike into my arm - music - music - loosen the belt. Feel the rush swirling with the music, relaxing, relaxing, dying, dead.


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