Thursday, May 27, 2004
I've been way off the back with the blogging. Things at work have been a bit hectic. I partner has gone on vacation for 3 weeks (3 frickin' weeks!! Selfish turd) and the other's brother in law just died of a drug overdose so he's gone to LA for the funeral and general sobbing. So here I am working 10 hour days and waiting patiently for my turn at vacation which begins on June 19th. In addition death related news yet another messenger has killed himself. It's no one that works for me, but I knew him if only from afar. He'd been in the SF messenger scene for a long time, worked for alot of different companies, was one of those familiar faces that I'd always see at the bar on Fridays or at the Wall during the day. He was a drunk and I'm sure he had some trouble with drugs. I suppose the whole long tragedy that is life for some people became too much to bear and he hung himself. Two years ago another troubled soul who was messenger killed himself in the same manner. Things must really bad in order to actually entertain killing yourself much less do it. It's hard for me to envision things being so bad. But who knows, perhaps the act was committed while under the influence and in a sober state it wouldn't have seemed like such a good idea. It's an interesting thing about the messenger community, it's a very accepting home. Many messengers started out with no intention of doing the job for extended period of time but find a group of like minded individuals (over educated, smart, creative) in a unique scene that continues to exist in style as punk rock as punk rock ever was. The scene has artists, writers, photographers all with varying degrees of motivation. A number have successfully published books about the scene (check out: Kyle Shepard or The Immortal Class) or have gone on to sell art works. You often hear about people going from city to city and being messengers, checking out the scene and then moving on. In that way messengering is a lot like being a waiter. It's a skill you can take anywhere and if you're good at it you'll find decent work in any large city. I fell back on it when I moved to San Francisco from Washington DC. The problem with the scene is that it's very forgiving, even accepting or arguably encouraging, of bad habits. There are alot of drinkers, pot smokers, speed users in the scene and there is little that discourages them from using. The messenger scene gives many people who would have a hard time functioning in "normal" society a way to make money and friends who share in their progressive degradation without a word of caution. It's an odd little insular cocoon for some people. Of course I'm speaking in only the largest generalities here. The truth is that most of the long time messengers I know are responsible people, very intelligent and very satisified with the path they have chosen because it provides them with a flexible schedule, a relatively high paying living for what it is and the space to do what they really love. Some are artists, some are bike racers, all are unique. I don't remember exactly where I was going with this except to note that another messenger has taken his own life and while I didn't know him well there are undoubtedly friends and family who did and they will be pondering the questions of why he killed himself.
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