I haven’t been in exactly the best of moods lately… To give the backstory in brief, a good friend of mine went over to Iraq in February. As a parting gift, I gave him a nice large Moleskine journal to take notes in and such. I accidentally gave him the unlined version, which was just a mistake because Matt couldn’t draw to save his life. Anyhow, I found out last month he was caught in an ambush in early July and wound up with some serious post-traumatic stress disorder, and had been at a mental hospital since.
You may be wondering why I’m just rambling about this to an audience of approximately no one on the internet. I’m getting there.
Matt passed away July 30. He apparently killed himself, although I didn’t ask for details, and at this point I don’t think I’d really want them. I found out on August 1st because the hospital gave me a call, since apparently there was something he wanted me to have. I got this in the mail today:
Sure enough, that’s the moleskine I gave him. The staff I spoke too, I’m not really sure what his position was, said I was very welcome to not have it sent to me, since he wasn’t legally bound to in any way. He warned me that it might be somewhat disturbing because of what was inside.
Matt never spoke a single word since the ambush. Apparently he held on to the journal and attempted to use it to communicate, and the hospital staff tried to work it into his therapy. Through a combination of tones and implications I gathered that I was essentially receiving the journal of a madman. But he wasn’t a madman to me, he was just Matt to me. So I said of course I wanted it.
Matt had never written or drawn in the book prior to going to the hospital, but he had apparently used it for something else before then:
I’m 90% sure that if you count each tally as being a week, this would add up to how long he had been away from home before his hospitalization.
That’s the first page. I obviously edited out my full name and address. But as far as I can tell, this is how the doctors knew that he wanted me to have the notebook. After all, what else could tell them that if he never spoke?
I’ve flipped through the book and there are a looooot of sketches and the like, but best as I can tell, this is the only place that he actually wrote anything in any coherent form. There are a few disturbingly ominous statements like “I SAW HIM” and the ilk, but this was the only example of a fully formed thought I could find anywhere.
Anyhow, I find this a combination of incredibly depressing and interesting, so I’m throwing them up on the interweb in hopes that other people might at least find them interesting as well and some good can come out of this, rather than me just sit here and stew over everything. I’ll be adding pics as I have time.