When we still lived in Northern Russia, my sister developed an obsession with a Russian boy band. I’m sure they seemed cute at the time and they had perfectly simple, earwormy songs about being sad and sitting in the rain. (Obviously as I was 6 years younger and thus copied everything she did, I began to love them too even though I wasn’t quite in my emo phase yet at age 8.)
There was one band member in particular who – well, I can’t remember how I felt about him at the time, but looking back today he was certainly the most striking character out of all of them. One guy looked like a goofy Ron Weasley type, not really sure what he was doing there; another looked like your typical underwear model and spent the whole time making sex faces at cameras; and the last – of course he was as idiotic as the rest of them (as boy band members tend to be) – but he had a chameleon-like quality about him, and these other-wordly, cavernous eyes – and the uncanny ability to look like he was experiencing genuine emotion even while singing rhyming cotton-candy crap…
Well, this guy, the one in the middle, with the eyes – he killed himself at age 28. He jumped out of a window.
It’s chilling to re-read accounts of this incident – he was brought into the hospital after being found on the ground, but died in emergency surgery. In that brief stint between ground and surgery, he was asked if someone pushed him out of that window and “he insisted that he had jumped out himself, but he could not explain why”. (Wikipedia)
I remember hearing this from my sister. And at 8 years old I just remember being completely unable to comprehend why, how, someone could (as I imagined it) simply open a window and step out of it. It was probably my first encounter with mortality that I could actually process. I spent many months trying to understand. Imagining what was going through his mind. Imagining what the last moments felt like.
Last night for some reason he re-surfaced again in my mind, probably for the first time since that year. Mortality and helplessness in the face of it have been on my mind. And (frankly) having experienced depression, and witnessed many instances of it far more severe than my own, I feel that now I understand better why, and even perhaps what was going through his mind. But even so, when I think about it now, I still feel the same sense of bewilderment and helpless frustration that I remember feeling at age 8. It’s not fair that depression happens to people. It’s not fair that humans are capable of making and acting on stupid irreversible decisions. It’s not fair that we can’t read each other’s minds when we need it the most.
There is no sense to this post because it’s about a senseless thing. But it’s been going around in my head and I’ve decided to let it out. You can never understand someone fully by looking backward, despite what my English Literature courses might have taught, but that hasn’t stopped me from poring over the videos for the past 3 hours, reading his face, reading their body language, listening, trying to understand. It sucks that he died. That’s all.