I was out meeting two friends a couple of weeks ago in Harry Byrne’s in Killester. Midweek, following an evening class I give to advertising students. Quiet couple of pints. I got to telling them the story of a recent loss.
One of my students had ended his life a week earlier. He was 22, and seemed to have everything to live for, but he took things in a different direction. I was baffled, and trying to understand what I could have done, or where I could’ve stepped in and made any kind of difference to the outcome. As I went to the toilet I was, to tell the truth, a bit angry with him. Maybe with myself too, for not spotting what became too obvious too late.
The toilet was empty, and as I stood at the urinal I surprised myself by shouting ‘Fuck you anyway, Mark’ out loud. Then a voice from the cubicle. ‘No need for that language.’ Damn. Not as alone as I thought. I washed my hands and mumbled something back about them not knowing what I really meant. The door opened, and a man in his mid, maybe late twenties stood there. He had Down syndrome.
And he was absolutely right. There was no need for that language.
Rest in peace, Mark.