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The Suicide Slut Salesman (rewrite) c. 2023 by Saintorr


It's been "one of those days", er-weeks. Actually, it's been a shit month. And whenever that happens, it's then that he comes calling, my own personal Suicide Slut Salesman. Suicide Slut Salesman or SSS for short is part angel demon, part haunting, hungry ghost, and part king of abandoned hopes and lost causes. He’s the dark side of Saint Jude but who’s praying anyway? He just appears, visiting me several times a year when things get seriously out of whack; there’s a health scare, or a few months of dwindling income as I watch my checking account shrink like The Incredible Shrinking Man. (Being homeless is my big, hairy, nasty nightmare spider), but beyond that drama is the sheer mediocrity, anonymity and monotony of day-to-day living. I fear him but I know his presence is as inexorable as the sun rising, leaves falling, and rain kissing the earth with its breath smelling of worms and dog shit. If I lived somewhere else, the air would be cleaner and I wouldn’t have to deal with all the endless mediocrity of days and the negativity of too many people living in too small a space and all their shit. I think that’s why everyone’s always complaining here. So many people, so much shit. What’s the first word out of any native downtown New Yorker’s mouth? Shit. What's the second word? Fuck. So many things to aggravate you and complain about. Sometimes, it's a weird kinda fuel, actually. And, on the other hand, the health benefits of New York when you’re poor are phenomenal. Well, until the low-income co-op slowly becomes the middle-to-high income co-op (how the fuck did that happen? LOL) And then there’s the men. When you’re a cocksucker, ain’t no place like Mad Mad MANhattan. Well, when you're young that is. When you're old it's kvetching in the old ladies choir, tricking with the occasional boy with a Daddy fixation or watching the three old men in their walkers doing endless loops around the Village View playground until they get tired when they sit on the bench, gesturing intensely and solving all the world's problem. You Go Team Walker! Sometimes they look like a slow-motion turtle race. Bless them. So I guess it all evens out in the laundry. Anyway, I digress. We’re talking about the tap root of the natural downward spiral (a familiar East Village trope) or the predicament of being a low-income. fixed income senior citizen here, with its accompanying slow burning traumas, depression and isolation. Is this a black comedy monologue? More like doing an Open Mic; after the punchline, the sound of crickets LOL.

 

Speaking of sounds, there’s the sound of my buzzer. I buzz him in. I hear the door open downstairs. I hear his slow, plodding tread up that first flight. It reminds me of that scene from The Mummy when Boris Karloff wakes and emerges from his sarcophagus for the first time and drags himself into the next room to strangle some towel-headed poor devil. There’s a knock on my door. I open it, and there he stands. Triumphant. Like a curmudgeonly, milquetoast, nondescript, failure of a Fuller-brush-salesman. SSS has a flaking, greasy, skinhead, and yellowish, rheumy eyes staring out from behind thick, dirty, cracked, tortoiseshell glasses. His grey suit is rumpled, stained and torn in places like he was just riding a string of box cars across the Great dusty Great Plains, circa 1930s depression era. And the smell, oye. So musty...

 

"Well, halo! Are you ready to go yet?" He asks with forced, sugar sweetness and a fake smile. "Because if you are, you know I'm here to gladly supply the means to the end, that final little push!" His warming smile freezes then, revealing grey teeth with food particles stuck between. "Let's have a seat, shall we?" He gently pushes pass me, walks to my table, pulls out a chair and sits, gesturing toward the other chair for me to join him. Feeling powerless, I do.


"Like all my previous visits, again I strongly recommend water" Interlocking his hands as if in prayer and placing them on the table in front of him, he leans in for effect. "The ocean-the Atlantic-it's so close. Ft. Tilden by Rockaway Beach, late autumn when the water's warm, and the undertow's strong. Just swim out as far as humanly possible, way beyond anyone's sight line. Go under and take a nice, deep gulp of water." (He makes sounds of gurgling-in-distress, face contorting as if he's drowning, gasping for breath, then, as if he's recovering, he continues) "Ahh, that wasn't so bad, now, was it?” He giggles. “That's right. No need for those overpriced New York City funerals cremations, questions, or curious gossip. Just instant buried at sea. How Zen! You're already there with a minimum of muss and fuss. The perfect ending to a waning, unfulfilled life. Wouldn't you agree?"


I stare back dumbly wondering why SSS couldn't be a big, voluptuous, well-hung, tanned, cut, beefed up and roided out bodybuilder, preferably competitive grade, wearing a thin metallic blue thong, instead of this heinous, greasy, pale, prick of a troll looking like cat puke. He continues his schpiel.


"Then there's always Plan B. The perfect ménage-a-tois. Just you, a soothing, hot, warm, sudsy bath with Epsom salts (eucalyptus-scented if you please) and that trusty companion, a rusty, single-edge razor blade. Hmm, we'll have to do a bit more research on that one. But, ah, I believe you slice deep, (demonstrating) parallel to and up toward the elbow on the inner forearm, starting from the wrist, allowing that gorgeous "Hemo the Magnificent" to flow out in wispy, psychedelic clouds making the water a deep, rich, wine red, or at least a sweet, pomegranate pink. Well, it will be that color for a few hours. Or at least until rigor mortis sets in when a slight brownish film on the water will begin to form. And your skin, will slowly begin turning a grey-yellowish to pond green. Your face too, with those lovely, blue eyes (already slightly yellowed with age), will begin drying, fogging over and sinking in. And your lips now a deep, brown, purple, will shrivel back exposing even more of your long-in-the-tooth rictus smile.”


"Make sure you provide for the loving cat too. Best to set her up with a new owner, or better yet just put her down yourself so she won't suffer, and won't be rubbing the legs of the hot firemen who've broken your door down to gain access. Nothing as bad as a body decomposing in the summer. Oh, and don't bother with a note. Police onsite will confiscate that and stick it in a box. No one will be able to read your “Letter to the World.” Sad. Oh, and worse yet if you're body sits undiscovered for a few days, quite likely the cat will begin to scratch, bite and devour parts of your arms, ears, face and hands out of sheer, desperate hunger-if you don’t take care of her first. (Pause) On second thought the ocean definitely is better. I mean really. Offing yourself in your own pitiful man-cave is just plain mediocre and mundane. Imagine committing hari-kari while listening to the BOOM BOOM BOOM of the heavy tread of the water buffalo neighbor upstairs. How simply gauche. Or worse yet, hearing to the 20 minute nose-blowing sessions of the coked out next-door-neighbor whose bathroom adjoins yours. Moreover, how painful will it be just listening to all the drunken fun of him and his bandmates partying, while there you lie, all alone, trying to focus on getting your wrist cuts just right.”


"What's that you say? No, not yet?! Ok. No worries." He stands up from the chair. "You'll see me again. Ringing your buzzer and paying the expected visit the next dark day, or evening, week, month or year when you fall on deeply depressed times and your Soul tank is running on empty. Yup. I'll see you again, Mister. When your eyes begin looking through the veil of the senses to the ultimate feeling of fakery and emptiness that lies beneath all.” He he, he laughs, standing up and moving towards the door. “When all of life's lushness isn't enough and the parasitic leeches of living have sucked you dry. When all the no's, all the bills and all the thankless days of eating, sexing and watching movies get to you; sticking under your nails like red-hot needles. Then I'll be back. And when you say now--I'll be right here to offer assistance leading you by the hand, taking your first step to the final release; the big, happy ending!" He looks askance, as if in doubt. "Well, (a-hem), I guess that's a rather relative phrase at best" he says smirking. Then, leaning in and in a lower voice "Let's just call your final exit, the transitioning into another place. Or would you prefer going into the light? Whatever... a rose is a rose is a rose...Adios for now amigo."


With a snap of the fingers, POOFTA! He disappears. Until next time.


 

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