"It's my belief you hate the sight of the river."

"I--I do not like it, father."

"As if it wasn't your living. As if it wasn't meat and drink to you."

--Our Mutual Friend

The Knife/Columbia City/Mon Jan 17 /5:07 pm: Officer Toman writes: "Officer Biggs and myself were dispatched to Haiwatha Place South to a report of a subject who had stabbed himself in the stomach. When we arrived, I contacted witness one [white, female, age 24] and witness two [white, male, age 25] who told me that their upstairs neighbor, the victim/suspect [white, male, age 46], knocked on their door crying and bleeding with a knife stuck in his stomach. He told witnesses one and two, 'I'm sorry, I want to die.' Witness one called 911.

"After contact with the witnesses, Officer Biggs and I followed a trail of blood to an upstairs apartment where the victim/suspect lived. We opened the apartment's unlocked door and saw the victim/suspect in the living room, sitting on the couch with the stereo blaring. He had both hands on the handle of a 10-inch steak knife that was partially thrusted in the center of his abdomen. He was crying. The music was loud. We persuaded the suspect to pull the knife out of his stomach and Seattle Fire Department rushed into the apartment, treated the wound, and transported the victim/suspect to Harborview Medical Center for treatment.

"…The 10-inch steak knife was submitted into evidence. And five Polaroid photos of the crime scene were taken and sent to the SPD photo lab."

For the sake of sensitivity, we all agree that this is a tragic incident; for the sake of honesty, however, we cannot repress the fact that this image ("[a man] sitting on the couch… the stereo blaring… both hands on the handle of a 10-inch steak knife [that is] partially thrusted in the center of his abdomen") is comic. If you decide to kill yourself then you must think very carefully about how to go about it. If you don't want people to secretly chuckle at the sight of your death, then do not stick a steak knife into your stomach, sit on a couch, and die while loud music (hiphop? rock? reggae? house? jungle?) is playing on your stereo. If you want people to take your death seriously, to feel in their hearts the heaviness of sorrow rather than the lightness of laughter, you should kill yourself in the manner that a University District man killed himself almost 24 hours after the knife man's attempt.

The Belt/University District/Tues Jan 18/4:45 pm: Officer Mohar reports: "In a living-room area we observed a victim/suspect [white, male, age 47] hanging from a ladder that led to a storage loft. A leather belt clenched his neck. The suspect/victim had a crescent-shaped laceration on his forehead and dried blood from [that cut] was just over the bridge of his nose. Spots of blood were found on the floor below where his body hung (about 14-16 inches off the ground) and also on a couch that was on the other side of the living room." This image is 100-percent tragic. When you see "a leather belt [clenching] his neck" (instead of a "knife stuck in his stomach") nothing in your heart is repressed or blocked; the sorrow flows up and out like the river Styx.

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