Sunday, April 12, 2015


I eyeball the top of the closet door — about 80 inches. Tall enough.

The sash of my robe is blue flannel cotton. Strong enough.

I know how to make a bowline. Or maybe a double figure-of-eight loop would be sturdier. Sturdy enough, at least.

The knot should be in back for a short drop suspension. And the noose must be just under the jawline so it constricts the arteries. Anything lower on the neck and the airway gets blocked and that's when there's a lot of thrashing about. The body doesn't like it when it can't get air. It fights to stay alive.

They say you should put a towel between the noose and the neck to make sure it doesn't cut into the skin, but that seems a bit frivolous. I mean, if the only worry is leaving behind an unmarked corpse, carbon monoxide would be the way to go.

Or pills. Pills don't leave a mark. The only problem with pills is ... well, there are a couple problems. The wrong dose can leave you permanently fucked-up but alive. Not cool. And besides, pills are supposed to be about fun and frolic. It would be a shame to waste a palmful of painkillers or sedatives on something so stupid as suicide.

A stupid shame, yes ... but stupid ideas can make a lot of sense at 4 in the morning, when the rest of the world is dead and your soul feels the same way. At 4 a.m. there is no shame in holding the bathrobe sash and looking at the closet door and thinking yeah, this would work.

Because it all seems futile in the middle of the night — "it" being the push forward to another day, another challenge, another experience that usually ends in disappointment. The ocean of life is teeming with it.

And I am tired. So tired of the endless cycle of waking up, surviving, then collapsing. As the rest of the world sleeps there is an almost-irresistible urge to stop swimming against the current. To just be still. To rest. No one would notice. The ocean is huge and I am exhausted. I don't think I can swim another stroke.

Monty the cat pounces onto my chest. He is named after the Count of Monte Cristo, and as I put down the sash to pet him I hear the words of Edmond Dantès:

"Only a man who has felt ultimate despair is capable of feeling ultimate bliss. It is necessary to have wished for death in order to know how good it is to live ... the sum of all human wisdom will be contained in these two words: Wait and Hope.”

Monty stares at me with his kaleidoscope eyes. In them I see a thousand galaxies, all of them flecked with gold.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing this with me. I've needed some good reading. There will be a cloud of guilt that will follow me for the days I don't genuinely read or write. That's the nightmare I signed up for with the ole school studies (blah blah blah). More importantly, I'm really glad you have a cat with a killer name. I think your cat must have better eyes than my cat; I think his are only magical because they're made of unicorn blood.

I think we all fall short of realizing how valuable we are to others, although that doesn't necessarily make life easier just by knowing that people care. The day to day grind can leave us all feeling smaller than we actually are. I think there really is promise in those last two words "wait and hope." It's when we lose hope that we're in trouble -- even though hope is lumped together with all the chaotic things in Pandora's Box.

Perhaps life is a huge buffet of evil, and there's only a fraction of tater tots doused in hope. I find that we have to make room for hope and room to accept it. There's a million possibilities before us every day, many of which are meaningless, but if we develop a sense of patience and hope, I think it makes the journey that's riddled with suffering, trials, and red herrings easier to take on (or at least manageable.) And there's joys that will come up at any point in life that would be a nightmare if we passed them by.

You're a bright star even if everything around is dark and gloomy. Whenever your time here on the big blue and green comes to an end, there will be a black hole felt for all those that observed your light. Don't get too lost in the trapdoors that lead to Wonderland, no more than a diver shouldn't stay too long underneath the ocean. There's beautiful things to see in both (I'm jealous of those who have a submarine -- even more of those who have two!) but fresh air is more valuable than twenty million years under the ocean.

And I read somewhere that you shoudn't dance -- I disagree entirely. Life is too short not to dance. According to Friedrich Nietzsche, "We should consider every day lost in which we have not danced at least once."

I hope this message greets you well. I know it's all over the place and then some. I've only just begun in my journey with my radioactive sense of humor, and I think you can help me to bring it out more, and also call me out for my absurd grammar decisions.

I also wanted you to receive a genuine message that you know is definitely meant for you and not just copy and pasted from the ether of the Internet.

Several years back, I read something similar to this post. The person also used the same Count of Monte Cristo quote. It was a dark time for him, but he was on the cusp of coming across some of the greatest parts of his life. Don't let the dragons smoking cheaply made cigars get to you. I really feel confident that dragons smoking cheaply made cigars are something you can fight -- but I am a friend, so if they ever find a rather obscene stash of cigars -- know you can talk with me.