Colony of Losers- Fuck Stigma and Mental Illness, I'm like 25

Surviving your Quarter Life Crisis and becoming an adult

Momentous Bullshit: QI: PROLOGUE

Posted on | July 10, 2017 | No Comments

Shortly after I refused to accept her collect call my sister killed herself.  It was a particularly busy time of year for me.

Q1.

In my business you can’t afford to get behind.

So while my sister is dying in a bathtub I’m pitching a client about how their android technology could have a real brand story. They weren’t just a cellphone technology company, they were a future company, they were a connection company.

The tagline is, “No one ever has to be too far away again.”

I use an adorable white baby to illustrate my point.

Naturally the client was very impressed. There’s a certain feeling you get when you have an audience in the palm of your hand and you don’t mean a word of what you say. It’s a little like the first lemming must feel before it hits the ground.

So imagine the water in the bath tubs going from translucent to sticky red as a tear trickles down the eyes of an android phone developer.

Handshakes are distributed evenly across the room. The deal is closed in the room.

My sister’s lips are turning blue.

Mine are Pearl’s “Femme Fatale.”

Her blood drips out of the bath tub. She left the water running. When she was a kid she’d always do that.  Which means it goes onto her floor. Which means it goes through her thin ceiling and blood rains on her neighbor’s dining room table. Landing directly on her Thanksgiving diner.

Someone goes to my office and grabs champagne bottles that we keep specifically chilled for moments exactly like this one. I popped it. With my fingers. I learned a trick in Paris when I was a kid.

This tastes like God let you into his private stock.

Girlish laughter in tones I long ago crafted for moments like this.

Come with me to my perfectly organized desk. It’s a stand up. I rarely sit down during the day and nothing is more ergonomic than standing. I have an ellipitical bike in my office to make sure that I don’t become sedentary and energy-less.

Anyways I got two phone calls in about five minutes.

The first was from the president of my company. He’s escstatic. Handsome, useless and rich.

My cheeks blush as I listen to his British accent formulate as many big words as he can to give me the impression he’s my teacher and I’m his student.

The condescension doesn’t matter.

All my hard work is going to pay off.

He uses the word Creative Director.

I don’t feel prideful. I feel proud of him.

He finally realizes that I’m the best employee he’s likely to ever have. I don’t have to wait for him to have a heart attack to get a promotion my company doesn’t typically give to women.

And for the briefest of moments the anger that animates my everyday life disappears. Just for a few seconds. My life is about to begin. And strangely I feel happy tears sliding down my cheek.

You earned it. I’m very proud of you.

Goodbye, sir. Thank you, sir.

I hang up the landline.

I put in my wireless headphones.

I put on Beethoven’s Fifth.

I turn up the music all the way. So it gets into every part of my brain. So I feel as calm and happy as a person can possibly feel.

I turn on my office fan to make sure that no one can hear me sobbing. I feel the most intense sense of relief. And I can’t stop sobbing. It feels too good.

There’s been this knot in my stomach that the doctor recently diagnosed as an ulcer. This tension that I won’t be able to provide an equal sign between all the hours of suffering I’ve had to put into get this far.

The equal sign exists.

It was all worth it.

I receive the second phone call. Directly to my wireless headphones. Beethoven’s Fifth disappears.

A detective appears, shakey, awkward, unprofessional.

It’s about your sister. You were her Emergency Contact.

And here lies the mystery.

I stop crying.

You’d think it was shock. But it isn’t. I waited for weeks, months and years and it didn’t come.

That was the last time I can remember feeling anything.

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    Michael Kimber is a 26-year-old journalist who suffered a nervous breakdown on November 3rd, 2009. On March 28th, 2010 when he recovered from mental illness, he began writing a blog called Colony-of-losers. About falling on your face to figure out who you are and the hilarious antics of a blond jew. What began with a few friends and his mother reading has become a cult phenomenon, averaging 10,000 views a week, receiving praise from Commonwealth Award Winner Shandi Mitchell and many others. On, November 3rd, 2010, the one year anniversary of his mental breakdown he signed with Anne McDermid and Associates, the largest literary agency in Canada. In a year he went from wearing pajamas, making his couch depression HQ to leaving his hometown for the Toronto, where he exclusively wears business suits and the armor of ancient Greeks. Don't worry, he's still choking on the feet he contently sticks in his mouth and making moments awkward just by being part of them. During these struggles he met other talented bastards and drew them into his circle. Peter Diamond became his illustrator. Patrick Campbell his video editor and part time photographer. He recently added the incredibly talented John Packman as Colony of Losers Toronto photographer. Without the support of the Colony of Losers, Michael Kimber would be nothing. Welcome to the losers and the success that comes from utter and complete failure. You aren’t alone. Follow him on twitter.com/colonyoflosersand twitter.com/quimbo. If you’d like to hire him for a public speaking engagement for mental health events in Toronto, like to arrange an interview, offer millions to publish his book or for another reason contact Michael please email him. And join his facebook Colony of Losers.

    Really obvious disclaimer:
    I’m not a trained psychologist. Just a fellow traveler. If you need help seek it from the professionals. The Canadian Mental Health Association provides a help locator. You can find crisis resources provided by the Canadian Association for Suicide Prevention. If you are in the states check here. It will give you services by zip code. I’d also recommend checking out Mindyourmind.ca. I think they do great work and have been a help to me personally.

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