The night I tried to take my life.
|There was a time in which I alternated my nights between the kitchen and the bathroom floor, one with a knife the other with a razor blade. Always with a bottle of tequila. Sometimes, on good days, the drink burned enough that my skin would have another day to heal. One night was different. One night my fingers were closed around something else. Hours I sat, in pain that cut through the intoxication so harshly that, despite my best attempts, my mind remained clear. At three my fingers unfurled, and like pearls in an oyster they sat innocently on my sweaty palm. White smears stuck them to my skin as I pinched one between finger and thumb. Funny that a child of passion should choose this way.
Maybe I was a coward, at least when it came to pain in departure. When I sliced my skin it didn't hurt, I could watch the blood bubble to the surface and feel such release when it did. But surely death would be agonising in any manner but this. I thought about it enough. A morbid fascination with the possibilities. A speeding car I could throw myself before, a bridge I could pitch myself from, and teeter for moments between this life and the next.
But no, I was afraid. And so I'd give myself over to this clinical end. No blazing glory, no tragedy. I wanted simply to slip into one existence into the next. If there was a next. I no longer spoke to God, whoever He is. I was no longer sure he was there, and if he was, why should he listen? So jaded was my view that I could only see the pain of my species, the the pain we cause.
One, first. Just the one. I placed it on my tongue gently, as if it mattered. It was large and the taste was immediate. Chemical and bitter it made my eyes water. I tried to bring the bottle to my lips and wash it away. But I could not, nor could I swallow it unaided. The world was still. I was terrified and elated and everything in between. Never had I felt so close to the universe that created me. And then, a thought. The pink and white face of my youngest sibling. Only four, her eyes were wide and brown and even in her youth so intelligent. How would they tell her? Tell her that I was gone and not coming back? She'd ask questions, she was too clever to be comforted by such analogies. She'd understand. One day, when she was older, she'd be the girl who's sister had taken her own life at only fifteen. A sister she'd barely remember.
In a second I had thrown myself across the floor and spat the muderous medicine into the toilet bowl. My mind had retreated and I was moving as if on autopilot, and though my body shook my hands were steady. Quickly, methodicly, I opened my clutched hand and the rest of the large oval pills splashed into the water. Then the liquor flushed away with them. I was too tired to move, and slept on the cold tiled floor.
I woke only three hours later, and returned to my bed with all the weariness of a solider returning from war, victorious but wounded.
One day, when she's old enough, when she understands, I'll tell her. When a moment comes when she doubts herself, I'll tell her that I love her so much it saved my life.