Remember earlier when I said I took steps backwards, and bigger steps forward? Well, these times are the steps backwards.
One night in late July, near the end of my visit, Dustin and I were sitting in his bed at around 2 a.m. We both had this angst building up for quite a while, so we were both feeling like total shit. I mean, we had done so much, yet so little with our lives. Every day is like trudging through thick mud. Living life is impossible when you don’t want to be alive. Getting sick of it, sicker sicker sicker, terminal. All that I’ve been through, all that’s happened to me, and there’s nothing worth remembering. I just can’t take it anymore. I’ve taken it for 16 years and all I’ve gotten is rejected. I’m worth nothing, nothing matters, no one will remember me and no one loves me. The one I love is the same as me and we are going to die together, right now. We are going to disappear together and go wherever death takes us, as long as it’s not here.
We cracked. We gulped down blood thinners and slit our wrists. It sounds like a cowards way out, quietly falling asleep like that, but that’s how we always imagined it. Quiet and peaceful. There were no regrets. He and I lay in his bed in each other’s arms, bleeding out. Our eyes closed together, at the same time like in some sort of stupid drama, and we were gone.
Then I woke up. There was a woman in what looked like hospital clothes standing next to me. I was in a bed. I remember asking her something dumb like “Am I dead?” but she just looked at me with a sort of face that said she was happy and sad at the same time. Then some more important looking people came in, and some guy handed me a phone, and it was my mother.
She sounded like she was freaking out. I don’t remember it too clearly, since I was probably loopy from blood loss and meds, but I do remember that I really, really didn’t want to talk to her. I said some really mean things to her. (It’s kind of painful, revisiting all this as I write it down here…) She sounded pretty concerned about me for once, but I spat it back out at her because I didn’t want to hear it. Because I was still bitter towards her and hadn’t really thought of her as a person.
The phone call ended. I learned that Dustin was in the room across the hall from me. We weren’t dead.
Wait hold on. We’re not dead. How did we not die? What happened to us falling asleep forever in each other’s embrace? Why am I alive right now?
Dustin’s sister, his poor sister, had walked into his room just as we were falling asleep. How traumatizing to see your big brother and his best friend bleeding out together at 2 a.m. She came in because she couldn’t sleep and thought we would probably be still awake. Well we almost were. So she got his mom, and next thing we knew, we were in the hospital. So that’s how it happened.
Once we were back at Dustin’s house, we were thinking about suicide again. I was pretty much already dead inside, and ready to die on the outside. So was Dustin.
He wrote a more detailed suicide note than his previous “I’m sorry” and handed the paper to me so I could write something too. I didn’t have anything to say though, since Dustin was still the only person I really cared about. I didn’t write my note to my mother. I wrote it to “whoever it may concern,” and added some really short message. It’s kind of sad, really. When you don’t even have someone to say goodbye to.
We were crying, sitting in his bed, in the afternoon with the curtains opened. Then he looked at me with one of those really serious looks that go right past your eyes and into your person. I don’t really know how to describe it, it was just one of those really intense, meaningful looks.
Then he went and turned around on me. I was frustrated for a while. We were going to slip away together, and then he decides he wants to stick around. He put it something like this:
I haven’t done anything yet. We’re just kids. We haven’t even seen the real world yet, we’re still in school, we’re still living in our parents’ houses. I haven’t lived. I’ve suffered, but I haven’t lived… The world is so huge, and I’ve only tasted one teeny tiny part of it, and I’m giving up. I mean, we’re going to die one day anyway. We will die. That’s comforting for now, so why don’t we just sit back and see what happens until then? Why do we have to go now? If I’m going to die… maybe I should at least see what else is out there, you know? I want to know just what I’m leaving behind. I don’t want to waste anything in a moment of sorrow. I’m going to wait a while, I think. I’m going to try even harder. I think I’m going to try medication. Maybe that will help.
He shredded up the suicide note and threw the pieces in the trash, his face covered in tears.
We talked about it. It was sort of hard to talk about, and neither of us really wanted to talk about it, but it just sort of had to happen I guess. I was telling him I was frustrated because now I’m just kind of fucked because if he’s not going to die then that means that I have to not die too and that sucked because I really wanted to die.
His sort of revelation got me thinking though. Since I analyze my thoughts and emotions a lot, this was something that really hung in my mind. The stupid little gears in my brain started to really turn on this one. I will die. I don’t want to be here though. Why should I bother staying? I’m not happy. What if I could be happy? Or at least just not be so miserable? Maybe medicine, like he said. But that would mean counseling and I hate counseling. But if it’s for my life… I don’t know…
Days passed and my visit ended. I flew back to that city, and back to that house, with that woman that was my mother. My mother was worried I guess. She cried and tried to talk to me but I just couldn’t even look at her anymore. I was just so tired.
I was getting counseling. I didn’t really want it though, and I was reluctant to even peek my face out from behind my bed sheets. I was always in bed. I was always just… sort of breathing. Nothing else. Just being visited by random thoughts as the days passed and blurred into one another. Sometimes I thought about my past, and other times my future. Sometimes it was the present. What am I gonna do about this thing? I haven’t eaten in awhile. I have to pee. I don’t want to get out of bed. Why? Because that means I have to leave my nest. I just want to disappear. I want to dissolve into my sheets. Mmmmmgh.
So you’ve stuck with me through my steps backward. I think it’s about goddamn time for some steps forward, right? Good. Because it gets a little better from here.
(Part Five End. To be continued.)