Way To Go

Successful  film director ,Tony Scott was 68 when he climbed the fence of the 200 feet high Vincent Thomas Bridge,LA. I am 66, so belong to the same age cohort. Scott was not making any cry for help,he was doing the real thing, he was fast forwarding the  way of all flesh.

So why would a  much loved man  who had  status,wealth ,a happy marriage,12 year old twin sons, do such a thing? Because he loved his family. He had been told he had inoperable brain cancer. This meant that between now and his death in the next year or so , certain things would happen. Severe headaches,nausea, vomiting,memory loss,that’s how it starts. It graduates to difficulties with speech,coordination and eye movement. And guess what, all this can lead to severe depression.

On the web sites carers are advised to get the house fitted with handrails,move the  patient to the ground floor,get a portable toilet and get a seat in the shower. This is not life in the fast lane. Where Scott lived

Anyone who has had to look after or even observe someone  going through such a decline knows ,whatever the Catholic church says,  how sublimely unrewarding and depressing is the experience . Scott knew that. He didnt want to go though the humiliation for him and the pitiful wait  by his loved ones as they watch a vital man  lose his marbles, one by precious one.

So he drove his Prius. It had to be an eco friendly car for one of the Hollywood aristocracy. He parks it  neatly near the  bridge. Climbs the ten feet fence and without hesitation jumps. Not for him a trip to boring Zurich, the gamble of drugs,the mess of a shot gun,the fiddling about with the gas filled car,as befits the director of Top Gun he showed he had the right stuff and went for a trophy suicide. There are suicide spots around the world where those interested make for, often ignoring equally suitable venues  en route.

One of the  bits of piffle in the press was the suggestion that somehow the higher profile of his brother Ridley had something to do with his death. Fuck off. I have a sister  and brother ,Barbara and Nick,who in their fields  of  jazz and family law have achieved considerable fame. Of course there is a touch of envy but there is also a pleasure in the  reflected glory and a recognition of how hard each has worked for their position. They do not provide suicidal thoughts but  some of the many reasons that I want to live.

Scott was a show man to the end. He hit the water only a few yards from a tour boat. Apparently, it was a clumsy entry and there was no degree of difficulty in the dive. As Mae West said,”We only have one life,but if you live it right,that’s enough.” Way to Go,Tony.

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