The Suicide of My Godson, Age 20, Part 2 of 3

And yet he grew up being known as a laughing, affable dude, and very generous with his skills and his time. We lived a couple of hours apart, but I got to really talk to him when he was age 19. We hung out for about half a day, after I got to see him help put in a lighting or heating system. We agreed about so many things; I thought, perhaps the rigidity had disappeared. But the more we talked, I saw it again, his deep conviction that he understood life and people at an exquisite level of correctness.

In the years between his creation story and his carefully carried out death by hanging, he demonstrated he could be a great escape artist. He once walked home four or five miles from school with no shoes on, convinced the lessons that day were not for him. He slipped out of my grip, ran outside, climbed rapidly through a window in his room, and locked the door a few years later, when he didn’t want to go to school again.

The details of his dyslexia had been kept from me, and I was told not to concern myself, even though I seem to have a touch of it myself. His 3-dimensional skills in seeing a chess board and devastating his opponents came in when he was 14 or 15. He was a classic frustrated genius. Playing chess with me bored him instantly. He would win in several moves, and then look disgusted, exasperated. But there was no balance. He was humiliated when he had trouble reading, or writing and expressing his thoughts and feelings, but contemptuously superior when was sure he was right and others were wrong.

Continued …