Welcome to TRB Lounge. Today, I’d like to welcome author M. Price who’ll be sharing an excerpt from his latest release Please Feel Bad I’m Dead.
About the Book
Please Feel Bad I’m Dead
Jhaegar Holdburn is a forlorn teenage edgelord who constantly attempts suicide and finds himself continually failing due to last second blunders. His desire for death comes from his often frazzled, often incoherent mind and how it fuels the way he’s ostracized by his peers as well as how he’s been made a pariah in the current social climate. At last the opportunity arises, Jhaegar manages to commit suicide using a foolproof method, and after years of despair he finally dies…
But not quite…
Jhaegar is instead resurrected…as he will always be resurrected. He finds the one thing standing in the way of sweet death is his uncanny inability to truly die and that his suicides result in increasingly stranger and psychedelic realities, irreversibly made worse by his ever deteriorating mind. He discovers the only way to break this cycle of death and rebirth is to uncover the real root of his problems and find his own personal sense of happiness, as well as to unravel the esoteric tangle of his own repressed psyche.
But, with his grasp of reality slipping away by the minute, will Jhaegar have time to save himself from his own self-destruction?
You can find Please Feel Bad I’m Dead here:
Amazon | Goodreads | Barnes & Noble
Intro to Insanity
Jumpin’ Christ, this is too much work. How do people even get these things loaded?
I’m on nine, but there’s still room for seven more. What? How? Who’s this strong? It’s—ya know, it’s not even about strength, it’s dexterity—but how do others have this dexterity? They’re strong, yeah, but they can’t be that good with their hands. And why do I even care? I only need one. Guess it’s just unrealistic, uh, something standards.
And my thumbs! Already swollen up to shit now. What’s really stupid is people would see this and be like, “Oh, what a loser, he can’t even load it all the way, what a scrawny whi—” —ya know, it’s not always about strength—just not as practiced as others may be in this field and that’s nothing to hold against me. I’m certainly trying something new and isn’t that what everyone wants? What they keep telling me to do? Whatever.
Durkheim posits that neurasthenia has no definite correlation to suicide. Jhaegar Holdburn posits that Durkheim’s a rustic country asshole who doesn’t know anything about me and I’m gonna do whatever I want. Stupid sociology, telling me how to think. Or psychology. Phycology. Something. They’re all the same. Bunch of old white people (which I’m definitely not, by the way).
Oh, my jumpi—forget it. We’re sticking with nine. I don’t have time for this, it’s all just a waste—they’re not gonna check it anyway. Nobody but me has standards in the first place and if they’re all gonna be degenerates, I may as well be, too.
But yeah, I set the gun (pistol?) on my desk. My nerves assault me as I do. What if I miss? I should’ve got the shotgun—I mean, it’ll be Visa’s problem, not mine. Sigh. I never think. This website I saw (name forgotten already) listed all the best (best) ways to (I gotta stop using parenthesis) kill yourself and they listed shotguns with a 99% success rate (“success” and I sure feel bad for that remaining 1%). Gun/pistol was set at I think number three right after cyanide, but it’s like, who has cyanide? And I feel it’s more classical or something this way with a gun/pistol. I’m a man of aesthetics.
I’m just afraid I’ll jerk my head at the last moment and shoot my face off. Or shoot below my brain and just sever my eye connector things—orbiter deals. Or shoot myself in the forehead and hit the wrong lobe. According to that website, it’s actually a lot more difficult than it may initially appear. I really should’ve got the shotgun, but it’s fine. It’s all fine.
Whatever. Step two: Music. I turn on my radio cuz I’m also a rustic country asshole and still own one and put in The Sleepy Jackson’s Personality (One Was a Spider, One Was a Bird). It’s my favorite album and the second track, “Devil in my Yard,” is one of my favorite songs and should queue up by the time I’ve completed the other steps. Their album title also has parenthesis. Double also: I enjoy, “You Won’t Bring People Down in My Town,” but it’s farther down the track list. I was gonna use it in a movie I never made—it was for the part when Mico’s at the dance with all the girls and he dances with all of them in turn during the “na na bu dah” parts but he doesn’t really feel it until the big “na na bu dah” part comes in while Luke’s like—ya know? I’d use the real lyrics, but I’m sure they’d sue my corpse—fine me while I’m in Hell or something—but then the right girl comes on to dance with him even though she’s not actually real and all the lights switch to a new color and they dance and as they dance the camera does this neat thing where it changes the central filmic lens and the girl then becomes the main character of the movie to help illustrate the man having a sexual identity crisis and longing to be a woman but then he dies and like I said she’s the main character until of course she dies and he’s reborn out of her dead body. It was a pretty wild movie. “How Was I Supposed to Know?” is also a great song, but it’s the last one.
Step three: Use the bathroom.
Step four: The Note. One must (wait, isn’t THIS the note?) be careful creating The Note as this’ll be the final messa—well, I’m just trying to get out of a going to a party tonight. Is this worth it at the moment?
Shut up! Yes, yes it is—I was gonna do it anyway, it’s just a convenient coincidence. But The Note, or lack thereof, is important cuz it’s your last chance to blame others—or leave an extreme, yet ambiguous, trail of breadcrumbs about your death to forev—
—A dog just took a shit outside. Is that alright? And she just left! Pick up after your dog, people live here!
Benny’s back of course. Squirrely little squirrel asshole. Always mocking me.
“Dear Benny: Fuck you.”
No, that won’t work. All wrong. How could I put “Dear” in my note? Do I really hold anyone dear? Not really. But what else would I put? Do I have to put anything? “Devil in My Yard” is playing so I don’t have time to lollygag.
Ya know, I’ll put “Deer” instead. The detectives won’t understand cuz Benny’s a squirrel. We’re doing it.
I fucking hate writing. Waste of time—goofy I even have to do this. I rather say nothing, but then people’ll call me selfish. Need a drink of water.
I get said water from the bathroom sink like a real American. An unfortunate side effect of this is that I see myself in the mirror. I’m, uh, six even, hundred eighty pounds of muscle cuz I’m in basketball. Yeah. I’m smokin’. And I’m black…I mean, Black. Well, brown (Brown). Definitely not white. Never white. I’m a woman, too. Latin-American is offensive to me, just letting you know. I’m Chilean Second Generation.
The “Welcome to Chili’s” meme gets stuck in my head. Great. This is what I wanted to think about right now.
“Deer: I hope you’re all doing fine. As you can see by the body in this room: I am not fine.”
Ehh, I can’t use that. That’s stealing from George Carlin…well, the whole idea of this note is stealing from George Carlin, but they won’t know. They don’t listen. I’ll use it and they’ll never see. And if they did, they wouldn’t care. Maybe they like him, too? Maybe it’d make them admire me, they’d find in me a kindred spirit. Plus, what are they gonna do, write me up? I’m dead.
“Deer: I hope you’re all doing fine. As you can see by the body in this room: I am not fine. I’m penning you this notice regarding my death in hopes of bringing to light my decisions (not that you could ever hope to understand HahHahHahHahHah). Luke Steele’s an underrated singer who—”
—Piss! My thoughts interrupted my writing again! Gotta start over. Do I have enough paper for this? Oh well, I’ll quick get this thought out before I write again: Luke Steele, the main singer guy, has his other band, Empire of the Sun, right? They rushed their third album, like SO hard. That kind of stuff disappoints people. You get these expectations and
This is my fault
Shut up! It’s fine. Just get the note, get the note, get the note, get the—
—I sneeze. I have a cold, I guess. It’s not ideal, but it’ll have to do. We all make the best of our situations. See? I’m always told I’m not very positive. Clearly wrong. I am quite positive (double meaning!).
When one leaves behind a suicide note, the detective people take it in and examine it to see if I was murdered. Nirvana fans still think Cobain was murdered—not all Nirvana fans, I understand this, just some—but he wasn’t murdered. Kurt definitely killed himself. I wonder if it’s better that he did? The whole message they were giving wouldn’t have really worked with a band of forty-year-olds…and at least he knew commercialization with appeal to a larger audience ultimately kills true art…or maybe he wanted to die. Doesn’t matter thinking about it now, he’s dead and—
—He used a shotgun! I should’ve got the shotgun!
Christine Chubbuck lived for like fifteen hours after she shot herself. I don’t want that, that’s nuts! She severed the eye thingy—the orbiter!—she shot too low. I won’t make that mistake. Have to learn from others. Thanks Christine, for all you did for us. Is it alright if I call you “Christine?”
I ditch the note. Simply not practical. I’ve been writing (attempting) for a time now, so long in fact I’m actually approaching, “You Won’t Bring People Down in My Town.” This is either an unforeseen boon, a, uh, or—people always wanna do things in threes. There’s actually only one in this situation. You won’t see a false second and third from me. Terrorists don’t win this time.
But yeah, people’ll just have to deal with it. They don’t care anyway. I reset the album back to the beginning. I take my gun/pistol off my desk, slip into bed, a
Jhaegar! Stop! Just do it already!
I prime or whatever-it-is the gun/pistol. Harder than it looks. Daniel Craig just snaps it back like a badass. It’s more of a strained yank for me. I always wanted to make a James Bond movie cuz I have an old ex-friend who loved James Bond and I know he’d go nuts. He ruins my friendship, I ruin his movie. It’s the least I could do.
I sneeze again. Man, this cold. Suddenly, I get the impression I’m a Manchurian candidate. What? What even is that? Does that relate to my cold?
“Devil in My Yard” comes on. Now’s my chance. I decide to leave a mental suicide note. Wait, weren’t there more steps? Never mind. “Deer everyone: it’s my life and I love it, I will never live for the sake of another man, nor ask, uh…I won’t ever ask…or tell, I guess.” It’s alright to copy that, people too busy playing Bioshock instead.
I hold the barrel underneath my chin. Sigh, too unreliable…I hold it to my temples. The eye thingies! I raise it higher. I don’t know how much is right! I try my forehead! It’s hard to aim this way! Do I have sufficient finger strength?! Finger dexterity?!?!
Luke’s almost done! Piss on it all, I hold the gun/pistol back underneath my chin and pull the—
I wake up in the hospital.
Or maybe it’s just a hospital-like Heaven or Hell? Whether this is worse or better, I cannot yet determine.
If Charlie Kaufman directed this scene from my life and/or death, the lights would be flickering and there’d be cockroaches everywhere. That’s called Expressionism, ya know? Expressionist filmmaking. Not about how something is, but how something feels. But Kaufman didn’t direct this, some dime a dozen studio “Filmmaker” did. And no, I’m not gonna attack Marvel right now (though I should). Rather, I must investigate.
My mystery finds itself quickly solved. I discover several thick bandages covering my right ear—this is the same moment I realize I can no longer hear anything out of my right ear.
I sigh just a bit harder as I sneak back inside my house. God knows what would happen if my Mom saw this. The Doctor told me she’d (cuz not all doctors are men mind you!) let me off with a warning which I found rather strange. An attendant at the door then told me to, “Please come visit us again!” Real, real strange.
Some blood trickles past my bandages. A soft pang (right word?) in my heart gives me a tad of insight into what it must be like being a woman. At least maybe? I’m a woman sometimes—but not at the moment, so my prior knowledge is null. I wipe the trickle with a store brand facial tissue and remind myself to never wear white again and then chastise myself for reminding me now cuz it won’t really matter unless I remind myself at the next instance I’ll be pressured to wear white. No barnyard weddings in the coming weeks I can think of so I should be fine. I can’t stand those barnyard girls. Quirky culture’s dead.
I get a drink of water and, well, you know me, it leads me to the bathroom sink and I see my new reflection. These bandages put a damper on my appearance. Jumpin’ Christ, they’re gonna call me “Hijab Holdburn” now. I take off the bandages.
I see my NEW new look.
I put the bandages back on.
“Hijab Holdburn” isn’t that bad. Maybe it’ll make people think I’m Middle Eastern? But Middle Eastern is the one that hasn’t really risen up the social tiers yet, they’re still kinda open season. Not like Black. Black is set. Black is good to go. Is there a Black sounding nickname I could get from this? I only see Middle Eastern or Latinx—Latino—Latin—La—whatever. I don’t know, I just have to stop being white.
The “Suicide Checklist” I keep on my wall mocks me (it’s the several items already crossed out). Jumping off the roof just hurt my legs and apparently I have a preternatural immunity to sleeping pills, et cetera, et cetera. I grab a pen and cross out, “Fucking shoot yourself.” You got me this time, Life, but next time I swear I’ll win. This pride dissipates as there’s nothing left on my list to try.
I recall that party is still on tonight and I, quite well alive, must attend.
Super sigh. I regret not putting all sixteen bullets in the clip. That probably would’ve added the required weight to stop the gun from jerking so hard.
About The Author
M. Price may or may not live in the American Midwest. If one should find Price walking alone in the park, please feel free to leave Price alone. Some people say Price is something, but others say Price is definitely not (but defiantly yes), and whether it can really be known, who can know? All we know now is that you will never get this time back.
M. Price’s favorite pizza is pineapple (not Hawaiian as Canadian bacon is for the Goys (Hilary Hahn’s favorite pizza is pepperoni (or so I’ve been informed))).
You can find author M. Price` here:
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