It’s just a story
You tell a story. You tell a story enough times and you think, that’s it. That’s the last time I’ll tell that particular version of the story. Your story. You think to yourself that maybe you’ll change it a bit next time. That’s right. You’ll embellish. Add to it. Add some grime. Make it real. Make it honest. Gritty. You won’t dance around the topic. Suicide should be confronted face on. You won’t tell the same old, same old. You’ll add all the angry details. All the tearful moments, or the empty moments. The moments that you relive as you write and you think to yourself, how do I go on? How have I managed? Because I am strong. I am powerful. I am a man. You’ll say things like, “Yes, and then he hung himself,” and “I was only twelve, but now the man of the house.” You’ll say all of this without much emotion on display, because you are wrought iron. You are steel and pragmatism.
But in all honesty, I am not. I am weak. I do not change the story. I don’t change the story, because I never actually tell the story. At least not in any decent way. I don’t tell the story because the story hurts. It is painful. It is far too real for other people’s gentle ears. It’s too brutal and ugly. Then they get sympathetic. They don’t know what to say. They don’t know how to act moving forward. They would stammer, then hope upon hopes that they can find a way to change the subject. End the topic. Kill the topic. Hang the topic. I would laugh it off. Then they, sad eyes, laugh with me. Hugs. Condolences. “What’s for lunch? Want to go to lunch? Let me buy you lunch.”
It’s not just a story. It’s a damned tragedy.
Have you ever looked at yourself in the mirror like the face you see is a stranger. Touch it. Poke and prod. Inspect closely with morbid curiosity as a cadaver. But it’s you. Death mask. Walking, talking, smiling and full of pep. Who is that person? What does he want? Why is he staring back. Doe eyes? No. Devilish. Vacant. Empty and wanting. Yearning for a voice. But he is silent. The mirror is silent. The mirror is a member of the voiceless many. He stands and stares, backwards. Reversed. Numb.
I open a small rusted tin. I keep special things inside it. Hidden. Old diskettes, untold treasures in there. A computer refrigerator magnet. It still works. It says ‘You’ve got mail’ when you touch the tiny, fake keyboard. A picture of a girl I knew in high school. Her dad died too. Some coins. They’re memories. Oddly cobbled memories that mix like paint over my canvas.
There were moments, not many, but a few, when I thought it might all just be a ruse. A plot. A sick and twisted game. Faked death. I saw his body in the casket, but I was young. I was naive. Maybe I was fooled. I was certainly not paying attention to anything. Ignorance is the cure for sadness.
The fortune of the innocent is a wealth of naivety. The more burdened and worldly you become, suddenly your stench precedes you. The more you know, the more you will hunger for foolishness or crave knowledge with the fruitless hope that eventually, someday, somehow…in some small way, that void will be filled with intellect.
Just another day in the life. A breathtaking and gorgeous sunset, or a beautiful woman. A child laughing or maybe a cool breeze at the perfect moment. No matter, it’s all overshadowed by your punishing depression. Painful and heavy. Your heart hurts. Sleepy. Your stomach churns. Eye lids heavy. You feel empty or like you have to take a shit, but you don’t. Is your asshole about to fall out? It feels like that. Or maybe you feel like you’re useless or that everything is for naught. These are the dangerous depths, and treading water only works for a short, short time. So tired. Your legs will give out. So tired. Your muscles will ache. So tired. Your breath will quicken and then slow. Sleep is the only answer. Sleep.
I’m not him.
I’m floating. I think? Is it free-falling or floating? Honestly, I can’t tell. There’s a weightlessness. A sinking sensation followed by a bobbing, with a dash of gravity and a pinch of stomach butterflies. It’s nice. Pleasant? It’s tolerable. Yes, tolerable. I’ll live. And no, I’m not suicidal, if that’s what you’re thinking. I’m not him. I’m different. My mind chooses the idle over the action. Indifference over anxiety. I’m not him. I seek the pleasant. The tolerable. I avoid the chaos at all costs, including socializing.
I. Am. Not. Him.
There are days. Times. There are moments and micro-moments. There are nano-seconds of uncertainty. Indecision about my state. Hesitation about my stature. Pauses where I find silent and curious. I am not him, but perhaps, just maybe, I should be.