It’s the Fourth of July and my left hand wears a glove of blood. I’ve been sitting on the living room floor for hours, getting up only once to find something to end it all with, settling on a serrated steak knife from a kitchen drawer.
This moment has been steadfast in my mind for over a month. On April 23rd, Angelyn had put a gun to her head and pulled the trigger. We’d had plans to get married, but to quote Ross Geller from Friends, “We were on a break.”
Blood drips onto the carpet and I feel fleeting guilt that someone’s gonna have to clean it up, but fuck it.
My laptop is on the floor with me, but I’m not looking at it, nor am I looking at the TV, which is also on.
It’s still light outside, but in the distance I’m vaguely aware that folks are already setting off fireworks. It’s very hot and very humid—Southern Florida, Pine Island, in July. I’m also fairly drunk, though not as drunk as I would like to be.
I’ve had a few false starts. Tiny nicks and scratches with the blade, though little to no blood. My mind and heart are telling me I’m worthless, no good to anybody. The world would definitely be a better place without me in it, all I do is hurt people, I am the sole reason for Angelyn killing herself. That responsibility is completely on me. I’m the reason she blew her brains out.
I’ve waited this long to snuff myself only because, right after her death, my mind fucked every which way, I was invited to Seattle to accept my father’s induction into the Science Fiction Hall of Fame. I had to stay alive long enough for that. It was one meaningful thing I could do before vacating this damn world. It also allowed me to see my son Corwin, and my mom and sister, one last time.
I know I wasn’t any fun to be around in Seattle. I was too fixated on joining Angelyn and getting the hell out of here. I could’ve been nicer to my family, even if I felt as though they didn’t give a rat’s ass about Angelyn’s death (it had only been a few weeks). I mentioned that suicidal ideation was plaguing my thoughts, though it didn’t generate much of a response. Really, though, what do you say to someone who tells you that?
I didn’t drink at all for the few days I was in Seattle, though it was never far from my mind. I’d already made the decision to take my life just as soon as I got back to Florida. Everything that had happened in Florida was more than enough to convince me that I was merely taking up space, existing in a place where a real life should be, breathing air that should be someone else’s.
Florida is hell for me, but for the most part it is I who has turned Florida into hell. From the moment I moved here, each day I’ve taken another step down a dark, deadly path. I’ve slept in alleys, passed out in swamps (finding new shoes was a trial), slummed it in flophouses and in beyond shitty motel rooms. I had a chance to make a new life for myself and blew it the very second I arrived. Many people won’t talk to me anymore; bridges have been burned.
More blood drips onto the carpet (I’m sorry, landlord); there is blood everywhere. My T-shirt and jeans are ruined. After the few false starts I’d finally mustered the strength, raised the blade and swung it down hard, cutting myself all the way to the bone.
Red gushes from my wrist and forearm, but there is no pain. There is no relief, no fear, just blood spilling over everything, and an inky mental blackness pushing its way in from all sides. Black and crimson dominate my vision. My family, my son, my friends are all bouncing around in my head, but they are muted, distant, and seem artificial.
It isn’t just the last month or so. I’ve had suicidal ideation since grammar school. It’s as though my whole life has been waiting, anticipating this very moment. Angelyn’s suicide is just the final straw.
And now I’ve done it.
There is no feeling in my arm. There is no feeling in any part of my body. It’s getting darker even though the sun is still out, and there are red filters over my corneas. I’m dripping. The shirt is red but the blood is redder, the leg of my pants has darkened but has a shiny blood-red hue to it.
Slowly, painlessly, I am dying. Every minute I feel weaker, sleepier. Before too long it should all be over.
A voice pops into my head, asks me if this is really what I want.
I don’t just want it. I feel obligated—to the world; I owe the world my absence. And I owe it to myself to stop the pain and agony of simply existing. Really, it’s a win-win.
As my mind considers shutting down, the thoughts running through it are millions at once, hiccupping, jittering, flickering in and out like single movie frames. There are so many that a pile builds up into a mountain somewhere in the lower back of my brain. For whatever reason I’m able to feel what part of my brain is being used… it’s weird.
I’ve gotten blood all over myself. That heavy thwack has brought about an awful lot of the red stuff. I feel bad about the carpet, but really, soon I’ll be dead, and the landlord can only shout at a ghost, so no sense worrying too much about it. I have the last thirty-three years or so to contend with, and it’s all scrolling so quickly by and piling up so fast that my life up to this point is now just unhappy gobbledygook.
While everything inside me is muffled, I can still feel traces of sadness, as well as anger—at a lot of things. I’m mad at Angelyn. She checked out, left me, and I’m angry at her for killing herself, even angrier at myself for causing her to do it. This is what I believe, in my heart of hearts, I drove someone to suicide, and the anger of it reflects right back onto me, because I am the cause of her death, and the cause of so many other people’s misery.
Alcohol is a big part of it. I know that. Drinking has been a problem for a while now—I’d been arrested in February for a DUI—but when Angelyn left, this problem exploded, going way beyond what I could’ve imagined. With the exception of Seattle, I’m averaging between a fifth and a handle of Captain Morgan spiced rum, as well as a six- or twelve-pack of beer, pretty much every day, along with some Sutter Home wine. Drink until I pass out and when I wake up, drink until I pass out again. Too much pain, it’s the only way I know how to cope with things now, and it’s what I spend the little money I have on. If you hurt, and you find something that helps take the pain away, there’s a good chance you’ll do it, consequences be damned.
Basketball season is over. It had been the one thing kind of keeping me going. For a couple of hours each night I hardly drank, and was even able to enjoy a few little experiences. But now it’s all over, and again I have nothing. More importantly, I am nothing.
It’s just a matter of waiting now. The life is draining from my body. As long as I can be patient, it’ll happen.
More blood. The black has become much deeper, thicker. Still light outside, but my world is a black world tinted with red.
Soon. Soon it will all be over. Finally, I’m on my way out. Thank God!
Then my cell phone rings.
That's it for now. Some other pieces may or may not find their way onto Bloggety Blog. Only time will tell, I guess.
Until next time...