|The heart with a mind of its own.(Be present.)||The mind with a heart of its own.(It's past.)||The dream that is your waking life.(Go there now.)|
We were in a motel room in Las Vegas when Dave told me that one of his coworkers had committed suicide. I didnít feel much about it; I had never met the guy. I asked Dave about his and his coworkersí reactions. They were shocked by it but not terribly surprised, if you know what I mean.
The guyís name was Stan. He was a bit famous around the office for his strange habits. He always wore flip-flops, for example, even in winter. Someone claimed toíve once seen him pull some dead skin from his foot and eat it. He was suspected by his office mates of being the culprit in a series of nasty toilet-related incidents. He was married and had several children. They all lived in a two-story house. He claimed that neither he nor his wife had been upstairs in several years. Upstairs was where the childrensí rooms were.
I think he took a fatal overdose, but of what, I have no idea.
Like I said, I never met the guy, but I think of him from time to time. Like when I see people wearing flip-flops at inappropriate times or, more ocassionally, when I think about killing myself.
I donít mean that I think about killing myself ocassionally. In fact, I think about killing myself at least once a day or more. Whenever I have a still moment, I imagine slicing up my wrists or where I would go to take a fatal overdose of some drug and not have someone I loved find my body. I donít think Iíd leave a note. What could I possibly say to explain myself? What more would need to be said?
I think of Stan sometimes when I try to think of how it is that I painted myself into this corner without anyone saying something like, ďHey, donít paint yourself into a corner.Ē I mean, hasnít anyone noticed? Didnít anyone know that Stan had painted himself into a corner, too? I mean, itís not a quick process. He lived with people. Just as I do.
I live with David. We donít talk. I think he loves me but he doesnít like me too much, if you know what I mean. I tried to tell him once, a little more than a year ago, that I felt suicidal and he got very very angry at me and I could see in his anger a lot of fear and a lot of denial and a lot of wanting me to just shut the fuck up and not bother him with my problems. Iím not trying to say that he doesnít care about me, because he does. But heís just not interested in getting involved, if you know what I mean.
Heís spent almost as many years living with my depression as I have. I know that canít be an easy thing.
When my mind gets quiet, I think about using my right hand to flay the skin from my left arm, my inner arm, from wrist to midway up to my elbow. I donít know what Iíd use to achieve this. A very sharp knife, I think. Intellectually, I think it would be painful, but in my fantasy, it is not. I know it would be bloody, but in my fantasy, there is little. I wouldnít die right away. Fantasy and reality agree on that one thing. So I know that probably an overdose would be better than slicing myself open.