I don’t usually fantasize about death.
I don’t want to die but to see my body collapse system by system, organ by organ, tissue by tissue, cell by cell, atom by atom, day by day makes me want to think otherwise.
I don’t usually think about killing myself either because I’ve always believed it’s better to have someone else do it for you. I’d convinced myself to gather the apparatus and surround myself with the suasion yet could not incline towards the effort of execution.
But tonight is going to be the night I finally get to lay my hands on myself.
This is supposed to be the last time, the last hit
the last call, the last trip, the last letter.
That’s what I always tell myself.
This is supposed to be the last one, the last two
the last drag, the last you, the last me, the last night.
“This time it’s gonna be different,” I always say, “This time it’s the real me.”
My speech is pressured, erratic, loud, confusing, and brilliant. I don’t recognize myself.
“I don’t want to be that guy with PTSD. Fuck, I don’t want that to be my identity.”
Dear agony, I’m hanging halfway off the balcony, pondering over the triviality of life, awaiting to announce my extinction, with the concerned rationale already mentioned on a piece of paper kept at the center of my desk.
Maybe someone will scream from the sidewalk in front of the school, one hand to their sternum or mouth, the other fixed in an accusatory point.
Maybe a laborer or an administrator will look up at the sky through a slow sigh and see.
Maybe someone will flip out their phone and start recording the next viral video.
Maybe there will be no one, and I’ll be disappointed.
Too often you put on a display for the world, wear a smile till it smothers you and yet smirk your way to the grave.
The mystery of such a departure is art, I thought to myself, for if the living are to know the reason for one’s felo de se by way of a note, then they will first disdain and scorn before they mourn. But dear agony, I would not let them have that pleasure. I would go quietly and orphically.
Within those moments of dangling my feet on the ledge, one step away from obsolescence, I could feel time slipping. My heartbeat rhythmic to each shuffle of thought in my head, moving back and forth between the idea of life and the idea of afterlife.
Time is something we all experience together at a rate of one second per second. But every once in a while you are put in a situation that removes you from the communal passing of time . Your second is not the same as my second. In some fitful moments of clarity, the mind is sharpened and shines a harsh light on the loneliness, on the singularity of your perspective of the world.
Perhaps I was still a stillbirth whose body survived parturition but whose spirit had not made it out of the uterine tomb from which birth is ordinarily the resurrection. I assayed to draw air into my lungs but my throat was already tightly shut out of action. Neither would sound come out nor air stream in. I ripped apart every page in sight and locked down the doors and windows, clenched my eyelids and crumpled myself in the middle of the room, unable to look eye-to-eye with my reflection.
I opened my eyes and gasped in a breath, but nothing came in and I choked on my own dry tongue. There was no air in this obscure room, the lack of oxygen descended on my mind through panic, in desperation I sucked in another breath, burning my lungs with the ferocity that was consuming me.
How one readies for death and yet when it arrives, one moves into self-preservation is an everlasting mystery.
The faint and erratic gashes across my wrist had only been a test to see if I was even there anymore, if I was still subsisting or just extant. I was partly convinced that I would scrape the surface of my skin and nothing would come out. But for the love of Bayes, I decided to attempt the prospect one last time.
Did I still bleed?
Could I really feel anything through the suffocating ache of my loneliness?
A handful of Tylenol PM went down quickly after that. Now sure that I was alive, all I could think about was falling back asleep. The count of days is getting on my nerve because of my inability to find the things I can’t remember losing and sleep seems like a distant reverie.
It seems to be the only thing that can numb the searing emptiness in my chest, that cold hammered stake splitting my soul in two. If I manage to find it, then maybe I could at least dream about being happy again.
Suicide is just another luxury I can not afford.
Death stays with the living.