Monday, March 14, 2016

After

March 5th, his mom contacted me. I had just gone running with the Denver Trail Runners and was heading to dinner with them. I txt'd Scott telling him to call his mom. No response, of course.
For 10 months, I had this creepy feeling that Scott might kill himself. A part of me felt helpless - like it was inevitable.
Someone from DTR asked me where I was and I txt'd that my son was missing - maybe suicide. So before we knew, a part of me suspected.
His body was discovered Friday, March 6th. The police couldn't get hold of his mother, so they called me. At the end of my shift. From my brother's place.

I had the weight of the world on my shoulders. The police refused tot ell me over the phone, but I'd been around the block. I've seen people bleed to death, dismembered bodies, injuries, gallons of blood, burns, all sorts of gore, in my years. I knew how cops operated. I knew my son was dead before they told me.
I told the police that I would tell his mom. Since I was a wreck, I asked my brother to drive me. He drove me to her place. Oddly, she didn't act surprised to see me on Friday night - I never contact her on Friday night. But we had talked about tricking or forcing Scott to see a therapist, so she thought I was there to discuss that.
It was every bit as terrifying to tell her as I thought it would be.

Later, I walked from home to go bar-hopping by myself along Broadway. I got incredibly drunk. I remember when I was going up the 3 stairs to my front door, I lost balance and crashed into the evergreen bush.

I had a date setup for the next morning. When I cancelled that morning, she pretended it was okay, but when I told her without additional details that I was on the way to the coroner, she could tell it wasn't a flimsy excuse.

If you can't stand gore, don't look at the car photos.

Brittany was the coroner. She asked my Ex and I if we wanted Scott's clothes. We said, "no". We regretted that. So if you're in this situation, just take it all. You can throw stuff away later, but you can't throw away what you don't have.
Brittany told us where Scott's Honda Fit was, and that we could pick it up next week. Apparently, this was a mistake. We were supposed to wait for JeffCo Sheriffs to officially release it.

March 9th, we setup the cremation at the mortuary.

March 10, we had to pay hundreds of dollars to get his car out of the impound lot.

I drove it to a car wash. There must've been more than a gallon of dried blood. The impression of the muzzle of the gun was still in the seat between where his legs would have been. There was a hole in the ceiling upholstery, but no hole through. The bullet hadn't gone through the hole, and had fallen behind the driver seat where the Sheriff grabbed in for evidence.

It took a whole gallon of hydrogen peroxide to dissolve the blood. Then I unbolted the seat, removed it, and hosed it down at the car wash. I wasn't about to have a stranger clean up my son. This was personal. NOBODY was going to touch this. I'd had the news that he was dead, I had his car, but I hadn't seen him in a week, still hadn't seen the body. The blood was the only real contact I had with him, at this point. He loved his Honda Fit.

A small part of me breathed a sigh of relief, and I felt guilty about it. I was so scared something might happen, and felt so much stress over it.
I didn't feel much guilt for the first many months. How could I? I wasn't in-the-loop! Neither Scott nor his mother told me a damn thing until it was too late! But after about four months, I started to remember all sorts of things I could have/should have done differently. My parents beat me so incessantly as I grew up, from the time I was about 2 until about 12 or 13, my body was never without purple marks from beatings. My brothers and sister blamed me for everything they did, so that they wouldn't receive these overly harsh punishments. So I was beaten five times more than I should. No, more - They would beat me for doing things I didn't do, then beat me extra for lying that I didn't do them. Scott never had to put up with that. He was a good person, and we treated him with respect, without spoiling him.
He never had the reasons to die that I had, so I couldn't understand how and why he would feel so bad. I did a much better job of raising him than my parents, so I figured that was good enough. I guess it wasn't, huh?

Friday, March 4, 2016

Scott's Last Day

Scott had orientation at Target at 9am.

I took a vacation day and was snowshoeing near Silverthorne with a friend.

The dock job was not a job he wanted, but felt he needed, and it was a desperate source of income until he found something more permanent.
The week before, he showed up at orientation with only his Social Security card and drivers license, not realizing he needed a 2nd photo ID to get started. So Target rescheduled him a week later. So he came in with two photo IDs on March 4th. They turned him away again - this time because he wasn't wearing a Target-red shirt.
At this point, he'd had enough. He'd been at the end of his rope when he quit his job. This 2nd reschedule is when he fell off the end of the rope. He wanted to be a mechanic, but decided from one lousy employer that he couldn't be a mechanic, and there's nothing else in life he wanted to do. Except, maybe, it would be okay if he worked in a used record store. He had tried, and he almost got the job he wanted, but as he called in, he overheard someone else there in-person, getting the job. So he didn't even want this crappy dock job, but was desperate. Yet he felt like he couldn't get anything right!
An other part of it, though, is he hated uniforms, codes, rules, etc. I told him he could have long hair, but to find a good job, he needed to cut it off and look clean-cut. To which he responded that if he has to do that, he doesn't want to work for them. So I also wonder if he wanted to die so bad, he tested Target by purposely wearing the wrong shirt?

From this moment on, he was determined. His mind was made up. He was not asking for help, for anyone to help him. He wasn't going to tell anyone.

He used his phone to search "gun store Denver". The results were "denvergunroom" and "The Gun Room", the same business. It's my son's determination to kill himself that killed him. No one at this store killed him, nor are they responsible. This store has turned away suspicious people before, so they are careful not to sell to shady people. My son knew how to get his gun, how to behave. He made it happen.

9:59am - last personal communication with anyone he knew. His friend, Dio, txt'd him about a car problem. He responded by telling his friend to upload a video to Dropbox so he could look at it - yet at that time, he knew damn well he would be dead and would never look at it. It's an example of how he wouldn't let anyone help him or stop him.
The whole year before, both his parents struggled to get him to go see a therapist. He wouldn't. Twice, he agreed, but then each time, he backed-out.
He wasn't thinking about suicide to garner attention, the way some people do. He really wanted to die, period.

He went home after Target and got online. He transferred $1000 from his savings account to his checking account.

He drove to the gun store in Lakewood, picked out a Glock 19 Gen4 and started a background check. Then he drove further west to the bank and withdrew $600 cash. When he got back, he discovered he still didn't have enough cash, so he had to go back to the bank again (I'm sure this helped solidify in his mind what a fuck-up he was and how necessary his death was.) So he went back and finally took possession of his gun.

He went back to his neighborhood and ate at his favorite restaurant, the original Chipotle, the very first one ever built, near the DU campus, at 1644 E. Evans Ave. He got it to-go and went home.
As he ate, he played with his unloaded new gun (he didn't have any ammo, yet.) He also played online video games.

Just after 1pm, he went to the corner gas station and put in a partial tank of gas, $16.15 on pump #2. So at this point, he knew he wasn't going to drive far enough to use-up a full tank of gas.

He drove way out east to Aurora to buy bullets at Gander Mountain. He bought a box of 1000 Remington jacket hollow points.
He drove around, after that. There's actually no sign of life after that. The sales receipts end at Gander Mountain. He barely used any gas, so he didn't drive a whole lot. But he drove aimlessly enough that he ended up way back west in south Lakewood, at an abandoned Hops Brewery, next to (north of) Johnson Reservoir in Clement Park.
It was a peaceful location. In early March, there was still snow piled up at the edges of the parking lot. There was a nice view of the park. Since the restaurant was out-of-business, only a few park-users were parked there.

He listened to his music for a while - who knows how long. No way to tell. But he didn't eat dinner.
It would take at least 30 minutes to drive to that spot from Gander Mountain, if he had predetermined that spot. So he died no sooner than 2:15pm, March 4th. He loaded four bullets into the magazine, accidentally dropping one. He put his hoody over his head (he loved his Honda Fit and probably didn't want it ruined.) He loaded the Glock, stuck it in his mouth, took time to point it the correct direction, and pulled the trigger.
If you don't like graphic details, stop reading here.

The jacketed hollow point mushroomed, some pieces came off and remained in his head. The main part of the bullet barely had enough energy to punch through his skull and the hoody and make a divot in the ceiling material before falling to the floor behind the driver seat.
More than a gallon of blood gushed from his mouth, nose, and out the back of his head. He died instantly, but heart muscles kind of have a mind of their own and will keep beating for a while. That's why there was so much blood. If someone shoots themselves in the heart, it might not be as bloody.

No one noticed.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Last Time With Scott

The last time I did anything with my son was a year ago. We went to the park and flew my small drones. I sorely wish I'd had a microSD card in the bigger one. It would have been the last and newest images of him. But the microSD had been removed and placed into a camera for one of my many vacations.

Scott had become an automotive mechanic. He was an artist at heart, but somehow wanted to be a mechanic. He didn't take to the demanding, fast-paced work. The pace took all the fun out of it.
He was hired by a place that knew he was fresh out of school, yet they expected him to become a master mechanic within a year. That's crazy, but that's how they were.
He was ridiculed for his long hair, his green streak through it. It certainly wasn't the customary for mechanics.
One day, he screwed-up a new part, trying to get it onto a Jeep. They were so livid. Scott quit. They would have fired him if he hadn't.

He was devastated.

He told me that last time we were together that he "might never turn a wrench again." Well, I started as a factory worker, became a tool-and-die machinist, but dumped that career and headed into technology. I knew it was hard, but it's not the end of the world. The average person goes through 3-4 career changes in their lifetime.

Scott was quiet. He normally was. I was nervous about him. Things didn't seem right. What could I do? He had everything he needed. His parents were his safety net. We had enough money between us, money wasn't a problem. He had his health.

He lined up a temporary job, just to avoid being unemployed, as a dock worker, part-time, 4 hours each weekday morning. It sucked! He'd have to wake at nearly 3am to be at work at 4am.

He waited over a week before telling me he'd quit. I had been wishing he and I could have spent more time together, but I realized it's not easy starting out, and that he didn't get as much time off. As a machinist, I didn't get a single hour of time off until after completing a year of employment. Then I would be awarded a week of vacation and a week of sick leave. So I figured he might be the same. And even then, he might not want to "waste it" with his dad, when he's got several friends to spend it with.

His dock job was at Target department store. He was supposed to attend orientation first. So he went, but forgot a 2nd form of ID. So they rescheduled him for a week later.
That's when he told me he was unemployed.
Then we spent our last day together.
Then he attended his 2nd orientation. This time he was wearing the wrong shirt. He was supposed to wear a red shirt - Target's signature color. So they rescheduled him again, or so I guess.

Sunday, February 21, 2016

My Reason for Everything

Scott gave meaning to everything I did. Hard day at work? Didn't matter, because my life had purpose. No matter what happened, my life had meaning, purpose, direction.

Scott was a handful, but it was all worth it.
In his younger years, he was extremely popular, socially. But when he started middle-school, the jungle years began the change to tribal social sorting. He didn't do so well with that, especially with so many kids bussed in from rough backgrounds. He grew socially more cautious. He and a few select friends hung out together and tried to keep their heads down and not draw attention to themselves.


Scott was always easy to buy gifts for. Nearly everything he like had to do with cars, most especially Hot Wheels.

Yet he was a musician at heart. From an early age, Scott always got a professional-grade musical instrument. My thinking was, if it's pro-grade, and he doesn't like it, it has resale value. If it's crap, it gets sent to the Goodwill store without a refund. Scott loved his keyboard. The electric guitar, not so much. The synth pedals, he rocked them! The mixing board, so complicated my brain imploded, he figured it all out with very little reading of the instructions. Either tracks, each with four tracks. Then his Roland Juno-G synthesizer, portable speakers, computer with $300 master mixing software, he was a genius.
Yet cars are what he dreamed of doing for a living.

He was pretty normal going into high school. He didn't seem to mix well with girls, which is odd, since he was quite popular in elementary school, but after puberty, he became quite shy. A rather neurotic girl announced to everyone that Scott was her boyfriend. Scott was confused but thought it was an awesome surprise. The next day, she seemed to forget he existed, and I guess the whole school noticed. Or at least Scott seemed to feel pretty confused and hurt by the whole thing. That seems to have been the full extent of his foray into the whole boy/girl thing.

He was always the music teacher's aid for other students. A real natural.

Scott never needed prodding to do his homework, ever. He always got virtually straight-A's all through school. Except his senior year. The first semester, he actually had to be reminded that his senior year grades counted, for getting into college or vo-tech schools. His 2nd semester, he almost flunked. That was a huge surprise to his parents. He barely managed to pass without needing to go to summer-school.

He took a year off from school, then at 19, he started automotive school. A year later, he graduated.
He worked at Firestone, then at a private auto shop. He loved the work, but he hated the blue-collar culture. Too many red-necks, too many jerks. Mechanics tended to have no style, and if you showed any tendencies towards anything trendy or "out-there", they were unforgiving with their ridicule. And it was group ridicule where you could be chastised by every single co-worker you see each day. Culturally, you'd be a complete outcast. Starting out in automotive mechanics, he needed lots of mentoring and help. No one would help. Yet they kept giving him harder work, without help or supervision. He enjoyed the challenge, but it was a setup for eventual failure, because he wasn't allowed to make mistakes.

And then he screwed-up a job that ruined part ($100??). He quit one day before they would have fired him.
And with that, he decided he wasn't cut out to be a mechanic. One shop full of assholes. While assholes proliferate in blue-collar shops (I was a machinist for 20 years) if you keep looking, you'll find shops where they aren't assholes. Scott gave up, though.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Hello Scott

The first time I saw Scott was in the operating room at Porter Hospital in Denver. He decided to flip 180deg without telling his mom or anyone. So he was born emergency c-section. His mom passed a massive blood clot. The epidural left her blissfully unaware and I played poker-face to put her at ease. Our luck, two nurses failed to show for work. Little Scotty drowned in amniotic fluid, so I suctioned his airways out while the doctor hooked up tubes in the tiny infant ICU cart.












That was 9-3-93.

He was a pistol. No wonder, he had ADD. I didn't trust that diagnosis because it seemed to be a fad for every sorry-ass parent to blame their horrible parenting on a fictitious disease. But as we found out, not shit, Scott very much did suffer from ADD.

Growing up, Scott was one of the most sociable and popular kids throughout elementary school. He got so many scholastic achievement awards, we got to know the mayor, John Hickenlooper, because he kept presenting at the ceremonies. Then
by coicidence, Scott's mom taught the mayor's son. Mayor Hickenlooper became governor Hickenlooper.







 
Scott loved his Hot Wheels cars






Monday, January 12, 2015