Friday, April 1, 2011

In Memorium: Scott Simpson, Lunchbox Laboratory

One of the skills a P.I. develops when working personal injury or death cases, is remaining detached and steady.
Because the injured person is panicked, paralyzed or traumatized....
the deceased person has a shell-shocked family, with a house packed full of the sobbing or stoic.
And often the means to whetever end  brought me to someone's house, hospital room or roadside cross... is never pretty or pleasant.

Taking pictures of woman's amputated toes recently...
and various others scars from multiple surgeries, some botched, was evidence of my ability to flip my emotional switch.  I just zoomed in and out with my beloved camera, moved my body, switched perspective and thought only about focus and composition.

I have taken my camera lense into an eye socket struck by a bullet.
The eye was gone, the hole remained, and as I moved to an extreme close-up inside the  empty eye cavity.... I will spare you the details of what my camera captured and what will forever remain on the hard-drive in my head.
Some memories can not be erased.

Sometimes I feel I transform from normal human being to detached P.I. as soon as the camera lens touches my eye -- or I walk into a hospital room to meet a broken client; or enter a home with grieving family members and friends.
It's like my skin turns to a hard shell...  my heart beats harder for justice... and my mind processes the case quickly from an emotional perspective to a linear one. The question becomes "how quickly can I get this info to the attonreys so they can help?"
I have photographed the unimaginable because what you see on tv is staged.
I have witnessed the unbelievable, yet accepted the truth.... because it was right in front of me.

Still, something happened yesterday, as I was heading north on the freeway that stopped me in my tracks.
I pulled my car over by the nearest exit, parked it and rested my head on the steering wheel and just  breathed through the waves of confusion, loss and my inability to fathom the truth.
Because I had been listening to the radio moments earlier.
And that's when I heard the news about Seattle Chef Scott Simpson, a man I met when I fist dined at "Lunchbox Laboratory," his awesome burger joint in Seattle.

I had been hearing about the place for a while, so one day, between cases,  I went there and Scott was there.
I ordered the best burger I had in my life, a dork and pork...and struck up a conversation with Scott.
I went one more time with a friend.
Scott was there again. He remembered me (or pretended to).
Such was his nature.... kind, warm, generous in both burgers and conversation.
So the news I heard while driving yesterday up I-5 was like a sucker punch to the head and heart.
Scott took his own life. He was only 38 years old.
I link you at the end of this post to a story about his suicide from the Seattle Times.

And while I begin my day's rounds, crossing the Puget Sound by ferry then navigating my way down the  concrete freeway... I will ponder this equation that still does compute in my head.

Just know I believe this:
Suicide is NO sin.
I also believe, based on your religious upbringing or beliefs, many will disagree with me.
In my opinion, suicide does not correlate with religion.
It doesn't keep you out of heaven or send you down below.
In my opinion, it takes you the big sleep before your time.
Suicide ends a profound pain a person can not bear.
It does not mean they are weak.
It just means the pain of living is too great to face another moment.

I also believe, for many, suicide is not always a choice as much as impulse.
If the impulse can pass, either by intervention or reconsideration, that would be the best possible outcome.
Unfortunately, life doesn't always work the way we all want it to.
Scott is gone, his family and community grieves.

Please take a moment to follow the link at the end of this post.
Then take a moment to look at those around you who may be suffering and need an extra hand.
Some people are too proud to admit they are hurting.
Often their despair can be drawn out  when you are a non-judgmental, willing, open listener.
Maybe you can help.
Maybe you can't.
You can always try.

May Scott Simpson rest in peace.

1 comment:

  1. Such a sad, sad, situation revealed in the pages of our local newspaper. I intended to get to Lunchbox and didn't. May your memories bring comfort to members of his family and his community who loved and admired him...