“Whither goest thou?” rumbled a growly voice, laced with power, if not authority. The sound came from the comforting canopy provided by large, restful trees during a broiling hot summer. The trees were languishing in a suburban park on an isolating cliff adjacent to a somnolescent sea. It was over the genteel burbling sounds of baby waves that the worrisome voice had been heard.
The sojourner seeking solace was sorely discomfited, not so much by the voice, but by its wording. It was Old Testament in tone. Was it a question from ‘on high’? It bothered him, because he planned to jump to oblivion off the cliff; but he did not wish to offend his spirit guide.
With his mind in a whirlpool of confusion, he sat down against a supportive tree trunk. Should he or should he not kill himself? He wanted to; actually, he needed to. In his quandary, he wondered if someone ‘up there’ had read his mind, and did not want his company. While the decision was surely his (under the human rights policy of his country), could he hope to fulfil his plan? That voice, with that intrusive question, was surely challenging him.
What if it was only a warning that he might end up a cripple? That he may not be found for days? That his life would then be worse than now?
Just then, that growly voice disrupted his soliloquy. “Whither goest thou?” rumbled that conscience-cracking voice. While he was pondering that heavenly challenge, two men appeared from behind his tree, one on either side. They sat themselves down in front him, after greeting him warmly.
As he watched them warily, death by desperados not being a preferred option, he said “ I have nothing on me worth stealing.” At that, the men chuckled quietly, thereby worrying him even more. One then said, “Suicide is a sin, don’t you know?” Oh, no, thought the sojourner, not a priest! The other intruder then said, “It is also a crime.” What? A policeman with a priest? was the discomforting mental confusion.
“What do you want from me?” then asked the hitherto solitary sojourner. “Nothing,” said the men together. “Why are you here then?” “Because we are the guardians of this well-known suicide launching-pad.”
As they left him with a friendly smile on both faces, one said, “Do think about how the sea gulls will pick out your eyes, and how other birds will feast on your exposed flesh. Happy landing!”