On the night after the Heaven's Gate UFO cultists were discovered dead by mass suicide in a San Diego suburban McMansion, I was standing in a dark patch of the Presidio, watching the Hale-Bopp comet and its forked tail over the Marin Headlands. Someone passed around binoculars, somebody else passed a little pipe around, and after a half hour everyone was cold and bored and we drifted back to the battleship-gray Victorian on Haight Street that I shared with a rotating group of five or six pals.
My bedroom was just a large closet on the upper floor, with enough room for a narrow mattress and a chest [...]
"The more money your neighbors make, the more likely you are to take your own life. These findings come from a new paper published at the San Francisco Federal Reserve titled 'Relative Status and Well-Being: Evidence from U.S. Suicide Deaths.' According to the results, your risk of suicide increases by 4.5 percent if your own paycheck is less than 10 percent of your county’s average income." —Also there is this: "Moving on up to the West Side could mean you’re increasing your risk of suicide," which makes me want to end it all in and of itself. Anyway, it's a rough, rough world out there. Good luck.
The six steps of the escape theory, or the stages a person goes through leading up to suicide. You might want to keep this one handy for future reference.
Say what you will about the Italians, at least they're-wait, what? "The fact that thousands of Italian families leave their pets to mope around at home while they go on holiday has been a scandal for years. The problem is said to be in decline, with only 7,000 dogs left behind today compared to 9,000 three years ago, but that is still a lot of miserable animals. This year concern at the problem flared up again on account of the new phenomenon of alleged dog suicides: two temporarily abandoned dogs, one in Rome and one in Bolzano in the far north, were apparently so distraught at being left alone [...]
"I thought maybe he was taking notes. So I asked: 'Are you taking notes?' I could hear his heavy breathing before he woke up. He stayed awake for just a few more minutes before slipping off again into slumber." -A despondent man in Sweden phoned a suicide hotline hoping for guidance only to be answered by an exhausted cleric who fell asleep during the call. The suicidal Swede was so irate that he decided against taking his own life so that he could complain about the somnolent pastor.