It used to snow for days. There was nothing interesting to do, except trying to translate the writing on my mother’s toiletries or watching the same cartoons day in and day out. But then, one morning right after I woke up, I realized I hadn’t chosen to wake up. That immediately got me thinking that I hadn’t chosen to exist either. As it were, I already knew I didn’t really care to live before my teenage years had even started.
One year later, I was moved to a school for rich kids. In a bigger city. As a girl, you expect other girls to talk friendly nonsense to you and not to be bullied around. I was constantly bullied around. Every day I left school and got into my mother’s car, in which she constantly insisted on picking me up, with a single thought on my mind: if only my grandma knew what ugly things I kept hearing every lunch break. That little girl, who used to eat cheap candy from the liquor store down the block, was now hating each minute given to her. If I had to go to the toilet, someone would smear the butter from a sandwich all over the pages of my notebooks or unscrew the cap on my water bottle inside my schoolbag, with the bottle obviously turned upside down.
November was always the hardest month – I had to adapt to the dreary vibration of the brutal grey sky, while at the same time trying to keep up with the daily routine. A single, simple thought would cross my mind almost every night: could I just not be? Could I stop being?
I was constantly so disappointed with what other people told me I should be happy for, that I had to focus my frustration on something specific and personal. I was the opposite of creative and my context had narrowed me down to being nothing more than an excellent student, a proud tool of robotic learning. Meanwhile, I started letting a couple of mistakes sneak into each Kontrollarbeit on purpose, but that didn’t work. I was better than them and they knew it. Education in its formal parameters came to destroy the very frame, which could have maybe determined me to grow up into a more positive person. Sadly, what we generally like to call teen age brought up a rather gloomy perspective for me. Now it was more than just a case of maybe one day having the privilege to stop being.
I came to realize that other people had also discovered the same thing for themselves.
I started seeing the art of taking one’s life in a very attractive light, right before Christmas, at the age of 11.
The first time I actually realized I could, in fact, kill myself, for fuck’s sake, I got shit scared. The idea was very appealing, but several questions bothered me: what if I failed? What if I hurt a whole lot before it all ended? What would mommy and daddy do, all alone in a town full of foreigners, intimidated by the ghost of a disturbed child, who hadn’t even revealed her pessimism?
I couldn’t stop thinking about it. My birthday was coming up early on in the New Year and I fantasized about getting hit by a car with every street I crossed recklessly. I experienced two earthquakes and cheerfully hoped that one of them would do the dirty work for me, right as they were happening. None of the fuckers did. The thought that life was generally not supposed to be this way amused me. I even started to think that I would soon definitely start liking some boy, which would only make everything worse. Yet worse with a reason is smoother than some tragedy you create out of boredom or horror by default.
I think winter was already over by the time I concluded I could not live like this anymore. I decided to give myself the luxury of biding my time: suddenly, my perspective would only drive to the end of the coming weeks, instead of to the end of forever. In all honesty, I wanted to wait until Easter had come to pass. For someone who hated life as much as I did, I had some pretty firm moral codes at the age of 12. So I set a deadline. It was April 30. A decent time to disappear. By the end of February, my plan had started to sound achievable in my mind. On the day right before March 1st, two of the girls who used to bully me found out I had a dark crush on a boy one year older than me. They thought it was a good idea to run up to him and share the news. That’s when I immediately decided to move my deadline up from May 1st to March 1st, to avoid having to deal with the shame. To everyone’s shock and my delight, the boy took the gossip with a big smile on his face and claimed he had liked me all along. The day after that, he brought me a bunch of spring flowers. Shit – he asked me to be his girlfriend and the next week he brought me a wood-carved tulip. He took me on a date, we ate donuts, and one week before his birthday, I kissed him in the school yard, right in front of the Principal’s office. His mouth was relaxed. He released a hot breath on my cheek right after I removed my extremely anxious lips from his. Shit – I liked him and he definitely liked me. His shaky hand tried to grab mine, but he simply could not coordinate himself properly. 15 years later, he still has the keychain I gave him as a birthday present that spring, when his brother laughed at me for minutes on end. I came out of his room at the party to grab an imaginary cookie from the living room and my face was red like a fucking balloon from an extended, 20-minute long sort of kiss.
I got bored with the nice cute guy and realized I couldn’t yet do grown-up stuff with him, so we broke up. I broke up with him. I was very upset with myself that I had let my plan simply slip through my fingers. I chose to deliberately ignore that May 1st had been my deadline, which had passed me because I’d been too busy with realizing my vagina had the property to lubricate itself. Another delay.
The following winter was much crueler to me. I fell in love with a poor boy from my hometown, with a scar on one his arches. We used to kiss in ways that would make you believe it’s possible to lose yourself in someone else’s body. Who the fuck was I, Angelina Jolie to force-move him into my parents’ house? I grew up into a sorry-ass geek, who let everyone believe she enjoyed studying, as she was too scared to put herself out there with her intentions and needs. I remember I told him how I’d prefer non-existence to “happiness”, up to the point where he was so intrigued with my lack of enthusiasm for life that he wanted to do it with me.
See, most of you would think I’m talking about sex. But, no, I mean killing ourselves.
But we didn’t. Mom forbade me from seeing him, so I hoped he would do it for himself, and I for myself. Before the Internet, it was not at all easy for a 13 year-old to learn how to slash some wrists. I only managed to scar my arm a little bit and the poor guy is still alive today as well – I saw him at a party last year, but was too tipsy to say more than hi. The tiny scissors I’d tried to pull the stunt with was not at all efficient! And, anyway, the second I saw two little blood stains on the floor, I nearly fainted and tried to clean it up so I wouldn’t get punished.
Once you’ve tried something, you know it won’t be the last time you do it. My next episode of suicidal failure was at 13, on a cold December night. I couldn’t see any point in putting off something that had been planned for years. I tried to strangle myself, up to the moment where my face turned all purple and swollen, which is when I stopped, with utmost stupidity. When I looked at myself in the mirror, I realized how weak I was. I’d wished for something since I was about 8 and just failed at each attempt.
Then I found out it wasn’t my fault, it was only this silly instinct us humans have, to try and stay alive. Sleeping pills and alcohol were something I could consider using for recreation, since they only seemed to induce a temporary feeling of carelessness, nothing more. Either that or vomiting, depending on whether or not they were past their expiration date.
Later that year I managed to make a friend. Together, we tried to put some positivist theories into practice naturally, which, however didn’t have that much of an effect in the long-run. I also had to proceed to changing my music. My natural leaning for the anti- suddenly propelled me towards partial and selective rebellion. But the geek in me could only try to be a party time fake rebel, so that didn’t really work out for me.
After that time, I was only left with an urge to cause scandals and contradict, some moralistic aberrations and a relatively confusing set of values. By this point I was already dreaming of framing my own death and running off to another city for a do-over, by getting rid of all the predictable pressure of family and society at large. That’s how I ended up living with an august cyclothymia throughout high-school, because I never managed to go more than two or three weeks at a time without a reason for wanting to die. Although several sources were informing me that it’s normal to be tormented by such thoughts during one’s teenage years, I was kind of hard-pressed to notice any symptoms of it in those around me. When the first boy I slept with left me because he decided I was kind of fat, I resolved to leave all the men ever, before they got to do that. I’ve kept my word, but didn’t solve much with it. I want to kill myself after every breakup anyway, but I’ve gotten used to this, the same way I want to do it after each dinner with my parents, whom I love tremendously, or after any good moment in my life, when I feel that I’m soon going to want to die again. What I’m saying is that it’s a sort of logic fail anyway, since I don’t really want to live anymore.
I haven’t managed to leave the country, finish any form of higher learning or get married either, so as I was lying about attending the classes of some tin-can for future slaves, I started to work. The misfortunate cumulus of stress, social confusion, a bizarre entourage, and a continuous inner sense of failure drove me towards a handful of pills, which has at least managed to teach me to hate failure. I was bed-ridden for some 6 or 7 hours, my whole body paralyzed and my mind more active than ever. I was thinking of that embarrassing Veronika, by that embarassing Coehlo, and about how lame it is that you can’t manage to achieve something that so many other people do with such ease. That’s what happens when you’re silly and you don’t have enough courage either.
Two years later, I had my first actual depression. I’d wake up in the morning and couldn’t sleep, I’d damn each new day, hoping it would be the last one, by the time I’d go back to bed. I’d developed a new inner theory, according to which I didn’t have much longer to live, since I was feeling so torn up inside. So I stopped doing anything whatsoever and waited around for my heart to go bust every day. I even told my mom my battery was running low and wondered why other people who want to live end up dying and I can’t get a break. If I went to the kitchen to pour myself a lousy glass of water, I couldn’t manage to bring it to my lips, because I felt it was pointless, because maybe I’d faint and cease to exist in two minutes’ time – which, to my great dismay, never happened. So I’d sit down on my ass before the balcony door, empty glass by my side, stare straight into the appalling tiles on the floor and scrape at the stale putty between the tiles with my nail. Each time I heard of some friend who, rest his soul, had died, jaded me would project a lot of hatred at that imaginary wicked Demiurge and envy those who’d escaped life.
Although various crap would sometimes distract me for a couple of days, I never did manage to build a solid, healthy, or normal attitude. Any disappointment or failure would turn into yet another opportunity to add another cookie to the jar of sinister sweets. That’s how my hierarchy of memories was being built. I once smoked so much pot that I fell into a sort of fainting spell, but it only took me a little while until I realized I wasn’t dying and went to throw up, upset at the delusion.
At one point I thought drugs would open up my mind and used them to understand some things, but they didn’t feed my will to live whatsoever. They would rouse my creativity and sometimes kill off some of the procrastination, because I was using them intentionally and pointedly, never accidentally, but they did not annul the will to die. I also used sex as a stimulus for being alive and for kicks, but it wasn’t really cutting it. At best, I wanted to fuck again, right after I’d just fucked, and that was only because I really enjoy having sex and I’m also good at it, but it wouldn’t take me anywhere, except to the point of exhaustion and soreness.
The hairdryer in the bathtub, the train, the subway, the tall buildings – they really don’t work. I have a decent past, I’m an apparently reasonable person, with an acceptable history, but, you see, my limited intellectual resources only go to show, one more time, that man is such a primitive species. I want to die and I can’t. I want to stop living and I’m not able to.
By accident and strictly due to mutually shared tastes, I have a good friend. He’s more intelligent than me. He says that if you want something, you can do it, that nothing is holding you back anyway: and afterwards, you’re scot-free. So why do I never go through with it? I’m ashamed because of all the things I’ve got. If there was a way for someone to shut down my facebook account, so that no one gets to write “such a shame she’s gone, I loved her”, or “with great pain in our hearts, we announce the passing”, or “we’ll always miss you”, without experiencing remorse or the hope that maybe things don’t have to end this way, if I could go throw myself into a ravine, so that everyone thinks I’ve gone missing, if I could be sure no one will ever dig up lame gossip I’ve peddled over instant messaging, if I could erase my parents’ memory, who have no reason to live embittered to the end of their days, I’d up and do it in the bat of an eye. But to think how I’d be survived by my clothes, my make-up, my phone charger, plugged in just as I’d used it that last time, the mug I got as a birthday present, that pillow, that lamp, that book, my perfume, all the texts I’ve ever written and will never get to publish anywhere, all the boys who are going to remember fucking that chick who died and who was a freak anyway, all the girls who thought I was lame – who would now be all mellowed out by the fact that I’m gone, and so on. And the voice of my old friend, who would joke around singing “if you die, who’s gonna look after me?”, arguing that it would at least be ok for us together.
Besides, what would I write in the letter? Because if I did it and no one got the fact that I never wanted to live, it would be lame and absurd. It wouldn’t be a gesture of despair or an alarm signal, but I would want people to understand that I didn’t feel like living in these circumstances anymore and didn’t have enough determination to lock in on the impetus and the enthusiasm of living normally, with perseverance, patience, and constancy. Why don’t more of us kill ourselves? I’m talking about us lot, who don’t see the meaning in existence, without having some major failure or objective shortcomings. I work my ass off, in spite of the fact that my suicide-loving prototype would contradict my hyperactive lifestyle. In theory, if you cancel out everything you know about life, in any other form than the one you have right now, in this body, it really doesn’t make sense to struggle for anything, because it’s only others that end up enjoying your work. Coming back to the letter, it would be too long. It would be too pessimistic, though I’m not a pessimist. But to lay down on paper all the dirt, the fights, the contradictions, the gossip, and the disappointments – it’s impossible. Especially since I wouldn’t want some people to know their shit took that big of a toll on me. So then I’m left with a blank piece of paper on which everything I lay down becomes irrelevant and stupid compared to the pain of people with real problems. That’s what people say. That I don’t have real problems? Then what do I have? Maybe this is a new syndrome that doctors should make note of: I don’t want to live and don’t much care if I do or not.
I could, yes, try to pay a therapist to tell me some things that I can now, of course, read on the Internet, to delay some of the incessant noise my brain makes. This is what I’m going to do after menopause anyway, when these tits that have seen me through life will start sagging, my child is going to think I’m a shitty mother for having been what he/she never wanted (but what I would’ve wanted from my mother – in exchange for her mediocre platitude), some guy who will have put up with me back when I brimmed with contradicting energy would be long gone, chasing some young, cheerful vagina, and the only thing I’d be left with would be the thought of what killing myself would be like again – and then the hallucinating mechanism of failures past would step in, you aren’t even able to do this, because you tried to so many times, and ended up a soft, unmotivated loser, you idiot.
Now that I’ve reviewed all the aspects to this endeavor, I think I could hire someone to kill me, but then I’d have to create (another) doppelganger personality – the one who orders the murder and the victim. How can I have the criminal not knowing it’s me and where do I find him anyway? Why is it so complicated for me to die? Why couldn’t I fill in some questionnaire somewhere and be euthanized? I didn’t ask to be brought into this world and don’t feel like going into the intentional theories of the Universe’s energies, about how each soul chooses to become a being, etc.. I don’t give a shit about all that. I don’t want to pay for toothpaste, I know for a fact I’m going to get cancer, I don’t want to pay the phone bill and I wouldn’t want to have a phone at all, because I don’t want to talk at all, the same way I don’t want to eat anything. I’m done with produce “from the country”, too, ever since I saw Mrs. Luci take out tomatoes she’d bought at Metro from the trunk of her car, to sell them by outside her gate.
What the hell kind of sense do the things I do make and why do I have to put up relating to so many people and living up to so many standards. How effortless it would be to cease to exist already, without getting anyone upset, without having anyone think I was unwell in the head – I’m only mentally over-functional: I’ve easily caught onto the fact that being alive bites.
As I’m writing this right now, I’d like to set a new deadline for myself. It’s too hard to choose. I would like a symbolic date, but symbolic just for myself. I can’t pick anything, because they’re all correlated with something or someone. Any date close to a holiday has a failed connotation. It’s cheap to kill myself on my birthday, and, besides, I’d kind of have to wait around until Aquarius’s turn comes… What original recipes for suicide are out there? Okay, let’s say it’s going to be some random date, which isn’t close to the birthday of anyone close, and it’s in summer, so that the people who come to the chapel aren’t cold. I want to be cremated anyway, I obviously don’t feel like having throngs of people visit my grave, especially since, after my folks die, there aren’t going to be too many people left to take care of the grave; my friends will have gotten stoned on enough substances or corporations to die young. I’m taking up space for no good reason.
Fine. Let’s call it July 9. On the birthday of Courtney Love, Patrice, and Tom Hanks. Now I have to start throwing out some of my stuff, so that no one gets attached to it, steal my papers from my parents’ home and destroy them, throw out all the pictures I’m in, tear up the Internet deleting everything it’s got on me, find a safe, foul-proof way to do it, and hope not to fall in love harder than I am right now, when I love a boy who’s not right in his head, and with whom I’d have a horrible relationship anyway. If I suddenly got a windfall of cash, that wouldn’t be cool either, ‘cause I’d have fun with it and forget I’m going to end up wanting to die again anyway.
Hell, now I can’t even die on July 9, because they’ll know who I was. Basically, I’m always going to live with the thought that I won’t even be able to kill myself and I’m not even a sad, mysterious, and interesting girl. I’m just some incapable misfit, condemned to vacillate for life between how lame it is to exist living this life and factual paralysis.