I am a man; I am self-aware

Written by

Vic Chesnutt – Flirted With You All My Life

On December 25, 2009, Vic Chesnutt killed himself. Left partially paralyzed from a car accident, he faced thousands of dollars of debt for hospital bills and other health-related fees. Knowing he could never pay it off as a musician, he overdosed on muscle relaxants on Christmas day.

The only time I saw Vic Chesnutt live, he told a hilarious, self-deprecating story about a complete stranger holding him up as he used a urinal in some bar. I think that works as an excellent analogy for a more ideal health-care system: those able to stand holding the crippled aloft as they piss.

I’ve been listening to this song a lot lately. I find it cathartic; it trivializes my problems. Here’s Chesnutt’s take in an interview with NPR less than a month before he killed himself:

CHESNUTT: Right. Well, this song is a love song. It’s a suicide’s breakup song with death. You know, I’ve attempted suicide three or four times. It didn’t take. And this is really a breakup song with death. You know, it’s talking about flirting with, you know, flirting – I had flirted with death my whole life, you know. Even as a young kid, I was sick and almost died a few times. And then suicide attempts – it’s a kind of – you know, it’s a breakup song.

NPR: Did you try to kill yourself even before the accident?

CHESNUTT: I did, yeah.

NPR: And after the accident?

CHESNUTT: I did, yeah.

David Bazan – Flirted With You All My Life (American Songwriter Sessions)

[Buy At The Cut, with Thee Silver Mt. Zion as the backing band.]
[Listen to Bazan’s American Songwriter Sessions.]

Got something to say?