I’m in enough of a funk as it is, for several reasons, and haven’t been able to get a bit of work done today. So I’ve been screwing around online, faking my way through the day. I just read an article that disturbs me a great deal.
According to cnn.com, a ten year old kid died playing something called the ‘pass out game.’ Apparently like he choked himself, hoping to get a high from it, but instead killed himself. Of course, this sounds like something you’d find in the Darwin awards, but after doing some poking around, I learned that this is a pretty common game—something kids call Space Monkey (one of many names for the so-called ‘game’). Kids choke one another. They get high from doing it. They call it a game.
I’ve been thinking a lot lately of June (no, I’m not writing these days, but I’m at least thinking about it, which is something), of how innocent she is, and of the dangers in her world—sex; faith (more specifically the confusion that stems from the notion of faith); growth and age; cultural, social and regional self-awareness—the things that steer us away from our childhood and turn us into adults. And I’ve thought of how sweet and simple childhood is, how wonderful it’d be to return to that space and time. And, in dealing with my own life stuff, I’ve begun to realize how terrifying childhood can be, too.
But no matter what angle I approach all this from, I cannot comprehend what would cause a child to want to do such a thing. Is it because innocence is fading at an earlier point in life, or is it that danger seems like a manageable thing, like something children can control? It could be, I suppose, that kids do what they think is cool, that they are naive, that death is a far away, nearly incomprehensible thing.
I don’t know. But I’m terribly disturbed. And sad, just plain sad.