Why Did He Kill Himself?

1/17/08 at 11:05 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Yes, I’m still alive. A discussion of “Comanche Moon” to follow after excuses.


Rumors of the death of this blog were not exaggerated, since nobody was making any rumors. Over the five years on the blogosphere I’ve seen ’em come and go, and it has been interesting to watch the life and course of various blogs. For a few years we (Axis of Weevil) had a great community, but after the axle (PossumPapa) snapped and left, the community has not been the same.

If you have the time blogs can be great fun as you build a group of like-minded bloggers, and if you have a boring job and internet access it can be a mind saver. I had been in that situation the last few years, but starting this year I am working for a new company that does not seem to tolerate “loose surfin'”. I have also been extremely busy the last few weeks as most of the computers in my location have been changed, and the yoho’s who set up the system screwed it up to begin with. After two weeks I’m getting to the point where I can at least re-build a computer to their “standards”. I still have much work to do in getting our file/folder setup switched over to the new server.

Anywhozitz, what I’m trying to say is that posts will be less frequent, particularly those about my everyday life. I’d love to have the time to relate the joys and frustrations that come raising three young’uns with a stay-at-home mom and a very limited budget. I still plan to use this site as a repository for TUG, my lessons for the almost ten year old boy, as I try to steer him towards responsible teenage/manhood behavior. Who knows what the future may hold …


Kristal and I are big “Lonesome Dove” fans. We have the three-pack DVD collection (Lonesome Dove/Streets of Laredo/Dead Man’s Walk)¬†and will occasionally watch one. The original is the best, and when I think “cowboy” it’s Robert Duvall’s version of Augustus McCrae that comes to my mind. I still tear-up on some of the scenes after all of these years, and after watching “Comanche Moon” this week I’m looking forward to seeing “Lonesome Dove” again. It’s the role he was meant to play (he almost played Capt. Call when the project first started) and it’s a shame he only played the part once.

I would rate “Comanche Moon” somewhere in the middle of the 5 Lonesome Dove tales (“Return to Lonesome Dove” being the fifth title). They’re all pretty good, though I’d rate “Streets of Laredo” a little below “Lonesome Dove” but ahead of the others. We unfortunately had to excuse the almost-ten year old boy out of the room, as his 9:30 bedtime would have given him 30 minutes to watch some of “Comanche Moon”, and I’m not comfortable with him watching it or the others until he’s probably a teen, as some of the scenes can get mature.

But that was life out in the Old West. It amazes me (as a “modern” man) how people not only survived but thrived in such conditions and conquered the land west of the Mississippi. Which brings me to the post title. In the second night the Comanches raided Austin and raped Pearl. Her husband, Long Bill Coleman, rushes home to see if she’s OK. While he’s happy to see her alive, she starts getting defensive and in a round-about way blaming him for not being there when she needed him (he was out rangering).

As he’s trying to process the guilt and show his love for her, she later springs her plan: he should become a preacher so he won’t have to leave town. Long Bill is just a simple cowboy/ranger, has no Bible knowledge, can’t read, and knows he’d never make it having to get up in front of people every week. He’s so tired before bed that he can’t even get his boots off.

In the morning Pearl wakes up alone, and then finds him hanging from a tree as he committed suicide. At the commercial break Kristal asked me “Why did he kill himself?”, and I just mumbled a response about how you never know what goes through someone’s mind. This question has haunted me this week, though, as I consider my own life and where I’m at (yeah, typical middle-age crap!).

Long Bill had two things that propped up his life: he was a good Ranger and he loved Pearl. In one night he was looking at the prospect of losing both and didn’t know what else to do. Why did Buffalo Hump go on his spirit journey, knowing he’d be killed? How did Captain Scoll keep alive in conditions that broke and killed most other men? Did Maggie let herself get sick and die over Capt. Call’s lack of love?

I suppose I should read the book and have more time to reflect on possible answers. For now I’m wrestling with answers for my own life. Am I just treading water and not accomplishing what I should be capable of? Do I use the kids as an excuse to not make the extra effort for a “career”? Am I even spending enough quality time with them? Sorry to end on a negative note, but the last few weeks have been h-e-double toothpicks, yet I realize in about a month or less things will die down and I’ll be contemplating my navel again in front of a computer screen. Am I killing myself slowly? Why? Do I have it in me for one last big drive? Am I more than a conqueror? God help me.

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