What's it about?
A boy named Marcus takes his own life by committing suicide, and the audience is transported through his memories.
What'd I experience?
I made my way into the theater and excitedly stood around with other audience members waiting. This was probably the most excited I’ve been for a show because it addressed the topics of suicide and loss. Sounds odd - but that topic was something unique for me, and I was curious to see what it would be about.
Walking in, I noticed the vast amounts of shelves that created the walls of the room. That peaked my interest. I was curious how they were going to utilize it or if it was going to be utilized at all. I sat in the front row.
The show opened with Marcus talking about how he took his life. In the first few minutes, he said a quote that I felt impacted by. He said that he won’t be forgotten because he lived in the memories of others and that he would die when they were all gone. You got me man. Right. In. The. Feels.
I was getting ready for the water works and a very somber/serious show, but I was gladly mistaken. The show transitioned to his memories and I went from being sad to laughing. I felt nostalgia when they mentioned walkmans or when I saw sibling fights I knew all too well. In those memories, I forgot that he died. I just embraced the memories for what they were, and I felt happy, even though his death loomed in the back of my mind.
I fell in love with Marcus. He had the curiosity and freedom of a child. Free from insecurity and judgment. The willingness to stand out. Be silly. Be himself. Something I related to - I have the heart of a child but the mind of an adult, similar to Marcus. He also had the love and happiness of a child. That bliss of a childhood free from responsibilities. One I envied. He was funny, childish, and I would totally be his best friend.
In that same respect though, he had this sadness that I understood. On the outside, he seemed like a well put together, happy person, but he was full of uncertainty and felt lost. In one of the scenes, he spoke to his brother, Frederick, about life and “the end.” He compared how he felt to Mario, from SuperMario, trying to jump to the other side but falling in the space. He expressed his fear of falling off, but when he felt misunderstood, he went back to that exterior of a well put together, happy person. That shift broke my heart. In another scene, he spoke to his girlfriend about how he didn’t see a future and how he didn’t dream. Cue another heartbreak. I just wanted somehow make my way into the play and make it all better. I was definitely not okay.
My favorite scene, which made me okay again, was the balcony scene between Frederick and Marcus. The two got locked out of Frederick’s flat and decided to try and get in through the balcony. They climbed a rail pipe, and Marcus decided to make the jump first. He jumped onto the balcony, and whispered happily,”Spidermaaaannn.” That put a huge grin on my face. I was happy to see that the child in him never died and that I wasn’t alone.
The show circled back to his suicide at the end. Cue the tears. I even saw some parents crying, and I felt like we were weeping together. I felt like the memories became my own and that I lost him all over again. It was hard to accept, so I just tried reminding myself of the memories and how he would want us to be happy.
There was one scene that made my head spin though. When his brother, Frederick, found out about Marcus's death, he told the audience that he wasn't surprised. That he might have even knew and ignored the signs, but his confusion and uncertainty on why he wasn't surprised made it hard to tell. I was conflicted between being angry at Frederick for not trying to help him and empathizing with him because Marcus seemed like a happy, well put together guy. I was emotionally confused, and I honestly still am.
There were so many unanswered questions. I just kept asking myself, why did he do it? Why did he feel the way he felt? Was there anything anyone could have done to help? His family? His friends? Someone? Anyone? I understood, however, that I wouldn't be getting any answers, and part of me was okay with that. In situations like this, there are so many unanswered questions that those around him are filled with, and no matter how desperate or angry they are to find the answers, they rarely find them. That didn't stop me from trying to figure out the answers or making up something so that it made sense. I refuse to have this show end this way. I'm choosing to rewrite the ending.
The walls, then, became an exhibit. I went through a bunch of the drawers, but one caught my attention. It was a drawer full of memories from around the world. I couldn’t understand most of them, since they were in a different language, but I read some of them. Some were about someone who passed away and others were memories people didn’t want to forget. I placed one of my own, and waited for the talkback that followed. It ended 15 minutes later, and I walked away, becoming a memory.
I could talk about this show for days, and I probably will for some time. They addressed the topics of loss and suicide, opening the conversation, which is something I’ve wanted more of lately. It took me on a rollercoaster ride of emotions. I went from laughing to crying to a bit of both. I’m speechless. It will always be a show I’ll never forget because it’ll always be in my memories.