I am sitting drowning in my own self pity, and the only option I have is to kill myself. I have a plan. It is very specific, very doable, I could be gone by morning. I am a bit too fascinated with this idea. I could really do it, and it would work, and no one would find me for weeks, maybe months. I am frozen with fear because the idea is tangible. I closed this site so no one can access it so I can talk about this deep, dark secret of mine.
I thought very seriously about suicide nearly 30 years ago. I was very drunk, and after my usual routine of trying to pick up a woman, I ended up befriending a couple of lesbian women who basically laughed at my antics, but let me spout on about how I was going to jump off the Washington bridge. It was the dead of winter, a heavy snowstorm. After giving my goodbyes, I grabbed a cab and headed to the bridge. I told the driver the entire way my intentions. He didn’t care. I walked onto the bridge, stood on the rail, put my arms behind a light post and dangled myself over the river. All I had to do was let go. I just needed to let go. I didn’t. I crawled off the rail and started walking home.
I reached Hennepin Avenue and walked into the seedy donut shop next to the former Moby Dicks. It was a rough part of town and I needed a cab home. The street was filled with snow, no cars were going through. A guy was on the pay phone. I glared at him and gave him shit until he finally hung up and said, ‘you are crazy man.’ I called a cab and was on my way. My only conclusion to that moment is I wanted him to shoot me or stab me or do something to kill me. All part of the plan. But it didn’t work. I made it home around 4 in the morning and passed out on my futon. Psychosis over.
So here we are almost 40 years later after that telling moment. I’m 60 now and still every day I wonder if taking my own life would be the solution to all of my pain. I’m in a different place than I was in my early 20s. Oh I knew people, and certainly there would have been pain and confusion with my departure, but now, that would seem to be a much deeper level. I’ve touched far too many more lives. I wonder about that. What would they say? What would they care? Once the memorial was over, lives would go on. How much do we really know about the missing part of ourselves when we depart from those we are closest to in our every day lives.
The other day, I was sitting in a coffee shop imagining my world, and I reflected about sitting at the top of our gravel hill in my hometown as a child. I could overlook a certain part of the city. I could see the public middle school down in the valley, the municipal park, the general activity that existed beyond the highway that cut between myself and the neighborhood beyond. It was forest in between at the time so I couldn’t just walk it without some effort. Now it is is all built up to a degree, I don’t even think I could recognize the hill anymore. I remember though, I would walk up there by myself, a long trail of gravel to the peak, wasn’t high enough to hurt myself, just a place to find some peace without anyone around to judge me. I remember sitting there for hours until the sun began to set, just wondering, trying to figure out who I was, and what mattered in my life. I was twelve years old, and my cousin had just died the winter before.
(to be continued)