Suicide and Fight Club…(II)

So, here I was, on medical leave for a couple of months because my right hand got caught and burned (not crushed, happily!) in a 27 tones rubber molding press… It hurt like hell but, in a way, I was happy: no more evenings and nights spent in squalor, heat and heavy noises (we had ear plugs and all but still it was tiring loud). I was a member of the Metalos trade union and I hoped to get some help. Or some compensation. But, as before, when I was due promotion and wasn’t given any (after 2 years you were supposed to get a change to become a foreman with the subsequent salary increase…) the union representative gave me some empty “sympathetic” words and that was about all… I was loathing the thought of returning to work, THAT kind of work for which I was too old and I had neither the vocation nor the desire to do. All I ever wanted to do,  was to draw and to paint (with a little writing and photographing on the side…) For the moment, healing my hand, I was ok. But when thinking that the leave will end and I had to go back and waste my precious God given time on Earth making stinking rubber things for Chrysler and Ford I got pretty much desperate… It was in one of those desperate moments that I’ve drawn the “Suicide in the locker room” sketch (I show it again, in case you didnt read my first post…)

The suicide in the locker room sketch

And then an idea crossed my mind…as a David Fincher’s fan, I did remembered well the classical scene of getting fired with benefits, whatever the cost, where Edward Norton beats himself in order to end his employment more favorably…

When the time came I asked for a meeting with Thona’s management (my rep was there too but I doubt very much it represented me…I use him (yes, I use people! when I am desperate to draw and paint!) to pass a message and stir up at least management’s curiosity if not anguish… I was sufficiently confused and incoherent to saw the seed of doubt concerning my mental capacity but clear enough so they understood I wanted compensation (the fault for the accident was theirs – they put me to work on a a press suposedly safe, blah-blah)…

And the big meeting came… I was invited in the conference room with the director (which was a she, a new one) and some other big cheeses (my foreman and the Union representative also)… I have to say I’ve prepared myself well, drinking enough coffee to be jittery and skittish like hell (didn’t piss either!), did not sleep but 1-2 hours the night before (knowing it will give me long, black pouches under the eyes…), in a word, I was a wreak…and the sketch book with my suicide drawing was at hand… I was determined to get my way, whatever the cost (I was keeping beating myself to a pulp in reserve…)

Not very honest, quite devious, little Danu, eh?

Well, as I said, I was desperate. Then, I believed everything I said and if I acted a bit (Scorsese, where were you to see me?) it was a classical weak versus powerful tactic. It was a lot easier than I thought. I didn’t have to beat me up and eventually they gave me what I wanted, a full year payed medical leave. They were, in fact, relieved because (I understood that later) they were fearing pursuit and serious monetary compensation. So, when I’ve asked for one year medical leave (with the clause that I was terminated by them at the end – so that I can get my unemployment benefice) they thought they got it easy. And maybe that is true.

But I just wanted a very simple thing: to draw, to paint, perchance to write… To be or not to be an artist…

And here I am, Danu, the visual artist, living the life, drawing, painting, writing, taking photos, making digital art…

Danu, the visual artist, with a smug smile on his old, wrinkled face…

P. S. I won’t bother you with my personal stories for a while… this one, I thought, was significant for how far I would go to draw and paint…


5 responses to “Suicide and Fight Club…(II)

  1. Wow, amazing story, Danu, and really the works of sheer despair. Whatever it takes to stick with art…

  2. Yes, Erika, whatever it takes…

  3. Boring stories?!
    It was really exciting! (painful for you, yes, but exciting!)
    And there you are, with that sweet smile on your face! No price can pay it!
    Hope your hand doesn’t complain much… Have you talked to her lately? Or is it entirely safe and cured?

    Nice pi this one of yours!



  4. P.S. Above I meant “nice pic this one of yours!” (not nice pi…)



  5. The painful stories in the past are sometimes exciting in the present, yes, C! and thank you for your kind words. They do me good… My right hand has still some nasty scars but I consider them as ”war” wounds and decorations… I understood ”pi’ no problem! (sometimes I try to decipher what my daughter or my sons are writing on Facebook and that’s a pretty good trainig for deciphering anything…)

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