Allan woke up in a cold sweat, breathing heavily. He stared blankly into the darkness, listening to the whir of his room fan. In his mind’s eye, he imagined a gun, a .357 magnum, and a single hollow-point round. He placed the bullet in the magnum’s chamber, spun it, and flicked the gun to lock it. Cocking it back, he smiled that tired smile. Somewhere, he heard Johnny Cash’s voice singing.
I hurt myself today…
“To see if I still feel,” Allan whispered to himself.
I focus on the pain…
“The only thing that’s real.”
He imagined taking the magnum and lining it up just by the base of his skull, right there where the brain’s subconscious motor functions were. He only had one shot to get this right. Mess up, and he’d end up paralyzed, disabled, and far worse off than he was now.
Gulping, he closed his eyes.
He opened his eyes. He was still in his room. He didn’t think he had it in him for another round of Russian-roulette, so he turned on the light, and pulled out the pocket knife he kept by his bedside. It was high-quality Bohler M390 steel with a carbon fiber folder. Light, corrosion-resistant, relatively easy to hone, and it kept its edge well. He stared at the edge, glinting in the light, trying to make out its sharpness. As he looked at it, he kept imagining slicing it through his arm in clean vertical cuts, repeatedly. He wondered how much it would hurt. Then he’d lie down, and quietly let the light fade out.
He shook his head. “Stop.”
With your feet on the air and your head on the ground
Try this trick and spin it, yeah
Your head will collapse
But there’s nothing in it
And you’ll ask yourself
Where is my mind?
Where is my mind? he heard the song by The Pixies.
There was a familiar dread in his heart. It was going to be one of those days. He didn’t know why things had turned out this way. He didn’t really care. Before he used to think he didn’t deserve it. Truth was, he didn’t think anyone deserved this sort of fate on Earth. Even if he wore it to the best of his ability, even if he dressed up and combed his hair, he still needed an endless stream of mood stabilizing drugs to help him maintain even the slightest resemblance to a normal keel in society.
He didn’t think he could live or function in this world anymore, not in any way that counted. He did it anyways, most of the time looking forward to the day he died. Maybe then he’d be free… but no, he wasn’t even sure about that. He didn’t think God had a place in heaven for someone like him, whose best was to try and take the worst of himself and tuck it away in words and thoughts without taking it out on others. He barely even succeeded at that.
Sometimes he was angry, with the world, with women, with his parents, with his coworkers. Sometimes he just hated everyone. But he didn’t think this was their fault. He wasn’t even sure if it was the collective fault of humanity. It wasn’t the politicians, the drug lords, the dictators, the Christians, the Muslims, the Jews, the Arabs, the Chinese, or anyone else. No one was responsible for this messed up pixel of an Earth, suspended in a sunbeam. It just… was. This is how things were. Some people were miserable. Some people were lucky enough to have something to smile about and come home to.
What was he lucky for, he wondered? He was lucky that God had given him so many chances to fail. He was lucky that God had given him so many talents to succeed, even if he’d mucked it all up. But most of all, he felt like he was lucky to have ever fallen in love, even if it wasn’t real.
Of course, that’s what had brought him to this point in the first place. Love, or his interpretation of it. He could try and bury those emotions as deep as he wanted in his cemetery of a heart, but they would always explode forth, gushing like a super volcano. It would ravage his life, trying to keep such feelings tied up inside. His parents called him a fool for it, it ruined his life and his career multiple times over, and yet… this was the only catharsis he felt. To tell someone else that he loved them, knowing full well they would never say it back. How stupid was that?
It was plain outright retarded. There was a rock in his throat, and water welled up in his eyes. It’s not as if he was alone in any of this. The internet was fettered with countless people in the same boat. His situation was nothing special. Neither was theirs. It was just a tragedy of the human condition, of life, that some people had to suffer like this. He’d tried helping people with his words of support in the past, but often people didn’t even want to be saved. That besides, it’s hard to save someone else when you’re drowning, too.
Getting up, he went downstairs and sat at his laptop. He opened up a blank document and began doing one of the only things that made sense anymore. He wrote.
in darkness dreary, so tired and weary,
weather-worn and cast-aside
rock-like features and leather hide
a beast in all but inside;
his head so leaden, full of dread,
decides ’tis time to die;
no more living among the dead
only to die on the inside.
in twilight eerie, taut and teary,
he sits with gun beside,
for hours at length, brimming fury,
unable to muster to die.
“If only ’twas so easy”, mutters he,
imagining vividly, suicide;
“No more wishing” he breathes succinctly
muzzle-to-eye, peering inside.
With a click, a flash, a bloody splash,
her mind’s insides now reside
across the sheets and red bed-sides.
Still alive, he gently sighs —
“Killing love is true suicide.”