The Literary and Arts Magazine of Lehman College

Jumpers: You’re Not the Only One


Kat’s Music and Comics Corner (Issue #9)

Today was not a good day. I’m a chronic procrastinator, which really speaks for itself. I’m overwhelmed with homework and the stress of living in an overcrowded home is slowly driving me insane. I was thinking of covering the Talking Heads’ “Psycho Killer”, but I thought I should take a different approach to my troubles. Instead of highlighting the anger I’m feeling, I am bringing out the melancholy of the dark, invisible burden called depression.

I always liked the way Sleater-Kinney’s “Jumpers” sounded. In the same way when you hear a catchy pop song or bumping rap, but don’t know the lyrics, I was smitten by Carrie Brownstein and Corin Tucker vocals and the sick guitars and drums, but didn’t take in the substance of the song’s power. The song is basically an ode to people who have attempted or successfully committed suicide. The lyrics really set the stage of the life of someone who is suffering from severe depression. The line “Don’t push me, I am not okay” especially brings to mind the anger and volatility that can be coupled with depression. “Lonely as a cloud in the Golden State/The longest winter that I ever saw/Was the summer that I spent” is a line that I really relate to, because it makes me remember the summer, when I was still in high school, I spent staying indoors lost in the internet world, not doing much of anything at all. It was a sad, lonely time for me, which was around the time I would soon be hospitalized for my depression. “Four seconds was the longest wait” refers to the accounts of people who have jumped off the Golden Gate Bridge and survived and who recall having experienced a long fall before impact. I’m glad I never jumped from a bridge or, as I would constantly think about in my high school days, onto the tracks of the train, but that feeling of the wanting to end it all is something that resides deeply within me from the past.

I think the most telling line of the whole song is “You’re not the only one, let’s go”, which is the jumper’s way of acknowledging that they know that other people are suffering the same as them, but this brings no comfort to them and they’re ready to let go of the bridge and stop the pain, forever. It’s heartbreaking when someone decides to enter the eternal silence of suicide before death comes knocking. There are moments in life when it can feel like no one can help you and that it doesn’t matter if someone else in the world is in pain, because your pain is the only pain you feel and it’s real. Sometimes the best thing to do is let the pain pass in waves and seek help from therapists and psychiatrists and try to build a strong support system. We must try and seek even the tiniest sliver of light in the dark, because it can be the hand that pulls you back and the arms that hold you from the edge and the voice that tells you, “You’re not the only one, don’t let go.”

– Kathryn Fornier