|Working titles: Francis, Bury Me in My Suit, Prey for Death, Tick Tock
5th August 2006
My name is Francis, and I’m going to kill myself on the 16th of October 2006.
Why that insignificant date? I don’t want people to think my suicide is meaningful, or poetic. It’s not even a big deal, just the next step i’ve decided to take. 16/10/06- a dull number. Two 0s, two 6s, two 1s. Interesting in its own right, perhaps even friendly or aesthetically pleasing. Nevertheless, when the time is up, it gives up the ghost and we move on. Why the suicide? Perhaps a little background on my life will be needed.
I enjoy my job and it pays well. Designing computer algorithms is obscurely satisfying- everything is a sequence of small, logical steps that individually are near useless but together, a complex being that extracts meaning from opaque puddles of data. Job, check.
I’m also good with people, which is not so common in my field. The ability to simply get along with everyone has helped me a long way up the career ladder, and now I get paid to tell people what to do. Yeah, I have friends. We go out for a drink and a chat now and then, we discuss our hobbies and interests, then we go home. I’ve had relationships. We go out for a drink and a chat now and then, we discuss our hobbies and interests, we say I love you and we have sex. Mates, love, check.
As you can see, everything is in order. The conjectures that make me have been rigorously proved through application of the fundamental axioms of livelihood.
DISCLAIMER: For starters, the way in which i’m writing this, like any diary, will not allow me to record every nuance and line of dialogue that occurs. I will try and keep things as accurate as possible, but certain sections are filled with educated guesses to plug gaps in my memory. During the course of events, at no point will I change my mind. Even if I find something I’m truly passionate about, maybe a person whom I might be able to connect with, my corpse will have turned cold by the 17th of October. I’ve felt that fluttery feeling when you see somebody you like, babbled nauseating nonsense to objects of my affection, but it all just gets old after a while. Like blunt trauma, the pain numbs and the swelling reduces. This isn’t a quest for the meaning of life, just a quick peek round the door to make sure there’s nothing left to take with me before I leave. Whether I find anything or not, I’m still going.
6th August 2006
I’m writing this entry on a journey whose destination is unknown to me. It’s far more difficult to take a random train journey than you think, you know. If you book online, even if you were to close your eyes while selecting your options, the barrage of confirmation screens would soon betray your secret. It’s almost as if life prefers the safe option, everybody wants to see the future as much as they can. You can’t exactly say to the ticket seller “surprise me”, can you? I know because that’s exactly what I did; the confusion on her face sickened me.
I quelled the remnants of my rage and disappointment from the cool debate with her supervisor whilst some bagpipes screeched in my ear. Partially to omit pesky things such as train announcements from my journey, I had spent hours scouring the depths of the musical abyss in preparation. My taste had always been lukewarm, and the sort which enabled me to strike common ground with the majority of people, but not so much that it appears to people that way. I like music. I’m sick of the well crafted and emotional subtleties of Radiohead and Rush, tired of the technical progression and musical landscapes of Led Zeppelin, and have travelled too far for the Rolling Stones to catch up with me. I revelled in the oxymoronic virtues between soft violin tones, and the gratings of a raspy voice backed by production that probably cost less than the headphones I’m listening to it on, as a new track clicked into place. For the first time, my hundred-gigabyte music collection was on shuffle.
As I have a lot of time to sit on this train and type my thoughts and feelings, I’d better explain what the point of all this is. I’m going on an adventure of sorts, to see new places, to experience things I haven’t experienced before. Cheesy I know, but I just want to...see what’s left. I’m carrying my laptop everywhere to write this diary for my personal use, to chronicle events, analyse my feelings and learn from them.
I’ve never kept a diary before, and I’m glad. Nothing has been worth writing down- but hopefully this will change. I am writing it as a novel of sorts, because, although I have not decided yet, in the next few months I may release this in a form that will be read by others. Those who know me, and those who don’t, may understand my reasoning and beliefs. People shouldn’t read this and follow in my footsteps. If anything, they should read this and realise that they are not like me at all. I’m a statistical anomaly.
The framework is simple, I am to try new things, write the diary and then die. Have you ever played a video game that you began to realise was dull, but you’re so close to the end you just want to complete it? You continue with side quests, you collect things, but you don’t really care anymore. I don’t quite know all of my reasons for embarking on this adventure, people aren’t always fully aware of all of their reasons for doing something. This makes me uncomfortable, but the point of this journey is to venture outside my comfort zone.
Speaking of discomfort, my random method of choosing train tickets had selected economy seating. Surprisingly, the seating was bearable and the legroom sufficient. It’s just a chair, after all. Then the screeching warble of a woman on the phone lifted itself over the sound of my music, which I had kept at a reasonable level out of courtesy for the other passengers, reminding me why I always rode in First Class.
She’s making me mad. I can’t concentrate on writing anymore, that vile noise is distracting me. This is Francis, clocking out.
“Shut up SHUT UP SHUT THE FUCK UP!” I screamed, tiny flecks of spittle firing out of my mouth, a globule of liquid matter colliding with her third chin. I watched with fascination as it tried desperately to pull away from her as the face moved up and down, up and down. She was shouting animatedly without pause, there was little I could do in response. Well, verbally anyway. I grabbed what I assumed was her luggage from the overhead compartment above and smashed it down upon her head, then walked away as she uttered one solitary expletive.
While typing this in my dank, sweaty hellhole I lavish how satisfying that would have been. But I had just sat there. I didn’t move; that would make her win. Somehow enduring it for another hour and twenty-two minutes was a consolation.
I don’t care right now. Just this second I looked at my window and thought about jumping out, leaving just one message behind “Dave, this is YOUR fault”, (I don’t even know any Dave) but it’s against my rules, and this place doesn’t even have a third floor, and I have to be assured that suicide will work; unequivocally and inarguably contributing to my uneventful death. In a bad mood when I got off the train, I wanted to forget about everything until tomorrow, order Jameson, the best-selling Irish Whisky in the world, off room service and watch Friends on my gratuitously large television. All I could find was a whitewashed hovel, constricted by thick, green vines, offering sustenance and a resting place. In this room there’s nothing to do but sleep.
It’s the first day of the most exciting time of my life, and I’m going to bed at 7:37.
I can’t sleep. Lying in bed awake at night is the epitome of my motives for self-destruction. Laying there, trying to force yourself into a state in which you are unaware of existence, like trying to forget something shameful. And why? So you can feel better the next morning, only to eliminate that day when you fall asleep again? Packed into time frames. Sleep, do this. Sleep, do that. Everybody has their own blank canvas of time, and somebody has been scrawling pictures across mine with no regard for their connection or symbolism. I have to go. Now.
I wish to make a roller-coaster ride for the reader as he jumps around doing lots of different things, feeling great anger, excitement and dissapointment at different points. He is calm and calculated but sometimes flies off the handle (hopefully, the writing should reflect this). I wanted to establish the logical, calm person at the beginning but is it boring?
Do you want him to die?
I enjoy writing in diary form, have written quite a bit more of this and am looking for an tips on this style. He writes on his laptop that he carries with him. It sometimes leads to problems with tense as he thinks something while writing about things that have happened previously. How might you deal with this?
Are the extended metaphors a bit childish? Canvas of time, video games etc
Is my writing style enjoyable? Too much description, not enough?
Thanks for your time, all comments are appreciated!