I am not the only one in our family who has found healing through writing after Ron’s suicide. In my last post I wrote about how my son Marty got involved in a Straight Edge hardcore band, for which he has been writing lyrics.
In an online interview at the "Where it Ends" blog, Marty, 21, explains why he wrote this song:
“We had just played [a show], and it was in a Polish Club with a downstairs bar. [This girl] was clearly pretty drunk and was talking to a friend of mine. He said something about us being an edge band and she laughed about [that] and said it was dumb. So I wrote a song about why it isn't dumb to me. I've seen drugs and alcohol do a lot of fucked up shit and I don't want that happening to me.”
Know What I Know
by Marty Williams
You think that straight edge is a joke
That’s what you said last we spoke
I hope you heed the words I said
If you don’t, soon you could be dead
If you only knew the things that I knew
If you could only see the things that I’ve seen
You’d know how drug abuse is wrong
And how my edge has become so strong
The boy down the street with everything in the world
Never would have guessed how his life has unfurled
Found by his family dead in his room,
Heroin introducing him to his tomb
A disgruntled neighbor didn’t like what his life had become
Tried to drown it away in a bottle of rum
That didn’t work, he wrote a suicide note
Then put a bullet in his fucking throat
If you only knew the things that I knew you’d be straight edge too,
And you’d understand why I’ll always stay true
Marty didn’t reference his father in this song. He refers to other events in our neighborhood: seven months after Ron’s death his friend's twenty-year-old brother was found dead from a heroin overdose. The sad irony is that his fundamentalist Christian parents had home-schooled him to keep him away from such influences; later, from his journal, the parents learned the boy had first used cocaine in the basement of a friend’s home while his family was playing a wholesome game of volleyball at a picnic outside. Marty also mentions our neighbor, who in a freakish juxtaposition with the anniversary of Ron's death two years and two days later, died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound in the house next door.
So Marty saw messages all around: Pay attention here. Death was no longer a distant concept; it was an imminent danger. He covered the topic of his own father’s self-destruction in an earlier song, whose title bears Ron’s initials.
RJWby Marty Williams
At 8 years old my eyes were opened up wide.
My father said he loved me and I knew that he lied.
The only love he had was for the bottle.
Got home from work and drank alone
Passed out, slept till three
An alcoholic was all he'd ever be
Cut off from the world sinking into depression.
Blew out his brains to escape this world's oppression.
Suicide's not a way out. It's a way to show you're not a man.
I'll never be you
That's why I have this X on my hand