The Summer Is A Wonderful Time To Die

When was the last time you really scared yourself? When was the last time you let yourself fall down the rabbit hole, fall so far down that you didn’t  tell anyone about it? You share everything, you tweet everything, you Facebook everything, but this was kept secret. This behavior was so frightening that you wouldn’t dare acknowledge it to anyone. This self-destruction was only meant for you. No one else. How romantic.

Last summer, someone told me that the world was going to end. It was the Rapture, we were all going to fry on this chosen day at the end of May. Ashes to ashes, dust to dust, we all fall down. In order to prepare for this inevitable end, I let myself slowly dissolve into mush. Open the bottle caps and swallow it all down. The bitterness is going to coat the back of my throat but I won’t mind because it means I’m going to be somewhere soon that’s different from where I am now. I hate it here. I like it there. Please, get me there faster.

Are you around? Can you meet up? C’mere.

I woke up on the day of the supposed Rapture already dying. I had been chipping away at my body for the past month, killing its survival instincts, and replacing it with a warm expectancy that the end was near. I was planning on going to Brooklyn to meet up with some girls who had been preparing to die, just like me. I felt a comfort when I was with them, a sense of ease that came from me knowing that they were hurting just as bad as I was.

It was suffocatingly warm out that day. My hands were trembling. I went to the Lower East Side to meet up with a man who would give me the tools necessary to perish, but he wasn’t there so I went to a movie theatre on Houston and sat inside a bathroom stall.

Buzz buzz, my phone vibrates.

I’m in Brooklyn. C’mere. 


I went. I gave him money. I swallowed his medicine. (Why am I giving him money so I can die?) The stuff wasn’t lethal but it gave me a nice push toward the end. My hands were still shaking. I went inside a restaurant and asked to use their bathroom. I threw up in there and I’m not sure why.

(Who am I kidding? I always knew why.)

Leaving the bathroom, I somehow cut my finger on the door and blood started going everywhere. I walked out to the entrance and tried to act calm, like I wasn’t the kind of person who uses a public restroom to puke and bleed all over myself. It worked. They bandaged me up. They gave me a free iced tea. I think they were scared for me, I think they could see that I had been half-asleep for the past month.

I left the restaurant. It was still so hot out. I met up with the dying girls with their bulging eyes and emaciated tummies and felt immediately at home. We lay out on the rooftop eagerly awaiting the moment when it all would go PLOP and we could just go to sleep for real.

They were so far gone. Were they even there? Was I there? I always prided myself on being the one who was most with it but now I was starting to question if that was still true.

We couldn’t poison our bodies fast enough. I watched a tiny girl take too much in. How is she still here?

The sun was going down. My limbs felt like they were detaching, my brain was being hit with pleasurable waves. I imagined myself being at the beach with a boy suntanning and listening to some fuzzy music. I had to pretend because my realty was so far away from this image. I was so far away from experiencing any real euphoria or human connection, it was pathetic.

The end was near. The end was here. The end never happened.

Waking up, we realized that the Earth was just how we left it: taunting us, daring us to do something other than fall asleep.


The Rapture ended up not happening but deep down, I knew a shift had occurred inside of me. It was the beginning of the end. This day would mark my own personal descent into a Rapture, a Rapture of my own design and control. If it wasn’t going to come naturally, I was going to do it myself, force it out, bring it to the surface.

I was going to make it come. TC Mark

Ryan O'Connell

I'm a brat.


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  • Andrew

    I think this is an unbelievably insensitive article in light of recent events. Finally, Thought Catalog publishes an article not about twentysomethings or brunch and it manages to offend, well done.

    • Courtney

      @Andrew get over yourself. “Unbelievably insensitive article in light of recent events” – I’m assuming you’re speaking about the movie theatre shootings? Well, wake up – terrible events happen every day. Every minute, two people are killed in conflicts around the world. Are we meant to stop writing anything at all in fear of being “insensitive?” I think not.

    • GLM

      What are you talking about….

      • Courtney

        Not sure how to be more clear! :/ I liked this article that Ryan wrote, and was eluding to the fact that I’m sick of people calling things too insensitive! …. ?

  • Only L<3Ve @

    […] Thought Catalog » Life Add a comment […]

  • Christina

    Nice, Ryan!

  • Nichole J. (@EarthToNichole)

    This sounds like if Ryan O’Connell and Cat Marnell had a twisted love child.

    (A compliment, in my book.)

    • patrick easton

      cat marnell having a kid scares me

      • Nichole J. (@EarthToNichole)

        a literary lovechild, not a literal one.

    • Mary

      I had exactly the same thought.

  • Gaby Dunn

    Jesus Ryan. This is beautiful.

  • alix sophia

    for an odd reason i wiki’d jim morrison this morning around 6:20 am. i’m not one of ‘those’ types, but the other night my SO and i consumed a lot of whiskey drinks, played Wii Winter Olympics, and listened to classic rock rather loudly trying to drown out the horrible homemade hip hop from below that shakes our upstairs apartment. so, i wiki’d him because it seemed relevant and because i knew nothing. this led me to Pamela Courson, then the ’27 club’ page, then to click on ‘speed balling’ which was listed under ’cause of death’ for several young persons, and then to click on ‘river phoenix’… and then i just read about river phoenix for many, many minutes while ‘working.’ an eluvium track (from under the water it glowed) came on and i just re-read all of this endless river phoenix information. all the projects he was to work on, but didn’t. roles that had been given away (many a time to Leo DiCaprio…). how johnny depp would close the club he had a share in every year on the anniversary. all of that… it’s interested and strange and it made me feel uncomfortable to have see what he ‘could have done’ and shake my head at the loss. who am i to judge? i administered a few federal Family and Medical Leave Act claims and then came here, to unknowingly read this and it made everything okay. it made things fall into place and become illuminated. thank you.

    and big whatever to andrew. you’re insensitive for not understanding that people feel this way every. day. in spite of any recent event or any event at all. things are gross everywhere all the time. (we are lucky though, right?)

  • laurahapper

    I’d love to take Ryan’s brain in my hands and give it a kiss.

  • jeveuxtout

    Ryan O’Connell, you have saved my life over and over. Thanks for doing it again. Clap clap, this is fantastic.

  • Jackie

    Gosh this is sad and beautifully written.

  • P. Stevens

    holy shit i love you

  • Olive

    Ryan <3 <3 <3 <3

  • alicia

    this one totally captured me. love it.

  • duncansomerside

    gur, you cray.

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