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Lock 7
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I had recently begun my first school counseling job at a junior high school.
By far, the most disturbing part of the job was suicide. When a 12 year old tells you he is thinking about killing himself or a student tells you that her friend is thinking about killing herself , it resonates.
This was a pervasive problem so the state was offering a two day workshop in Seattle dealing with the issue. The program was spearheaded by Curt Cobain’s Aunt who is a therapist and knows a thing or two about suicide.
In one exercise I was paired with a gay guy who was a counselor at Roosevelt High School in Seattle. We were to share our own personal thoughts of suicide with our partner. He started and had many such experiences as a gay kid growing up in Seattle in the seventies. I didn’t think I had anything to share and then remembered hunting by Lock 7.
The Erie Canal/Mohawk River system has many locks which allow boats to change elevation in the canal.
Lock 7 was near my childhood home and in high school it was a place we went to party, which consisted of drinking and meeting girls.
Many years later after being in the Navy during Vietnam and experiencing failures and disappointments in my life, I would hunt Grouse along the river because I loved bird hunting and it was something to do in the snowy fall.
There was one time I was walking the abandoned railroad track, looking for Grouse, contemplating my life, that I stopped and put that cold steel barrel in my mouth. I then removed it and continued walking down the tracks.


Love the title. Geographic titles always provoke exploration of what the ambience is, and how that lends to the greater context of a psychological state. This story stands on its own, well. You have set a good past and present in an almost anti-climax sort of fashion, which is engaging. As readers, there is much more of this story we would like to hear about. A cogent topic, ever more relevant amongst the dilemmas of the day for all of us, for all whom we love. Thanks for sharing this, ready for more.

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