Friday, July 2, 2010

Bloodline - Chapter 5 - "Suicide Is Painless"

Suicide Is Painless

“My name is James Brahms and these are the last words I’ll ever speak.”

I click the tape recorder off as I finish my sentence. A slight smile sneaks it’s way onto my expression.

Curious. Am I happy? Should I not go through with this? No. I never was one to be able to really get a handle on my emotions. What I’m feeling right now is simple contentment. Contentment that this - all this, everything - will soon be over and not only will I be able to rest in peace but I won’t need to feel anything ever again.

No more hurt.
No more terror.
No more rejection.
No more confusion.
No more pain.
No more voices…

The near constant voices. Nothing sinister, at least not yet. Just a raspy voice telling me ominous sounding but vague things like the word “Soon” over and over or my name. Certainly not driving me insane and not, as my therapist suggests, an ‘inner child’ longing to be heard but nonetheless troubling and lately the voice has gotten to be more and more frequent. What will it become in a year? Two years? A decade? Will I be convinced Gods has chosen me as his personal avenger on Earth? Or will I believe the CIA have my teeth embedded with radios? Who can tell. All I know with a decent degree of certainty is: Voices in your head = You’re taking the car pool lane to bat shit crazy.

Looking up at the noose I’ve made myself, hanging from my garage ceiling, the smile that found it’s way into my life quickly vanishes. Regret? No. Simple realization that this is it. The end of time for James Brahms.

“My name is James Brahms and soon I’ll be at rest.”

Second thoughts? Of course. The very fact that I haven’t completely lost my mind is in part why I’d rather go now, while I have all - or at least most of - my faculties. I’ve never looked forward to life out there in society, working away and feeling shittier and shittier with every waking hour. Slowly wasting away into nothing, and for what?

“It’s not so bad”, the adults would plead

“You get used to it.”, my teachers would contest

No. You don’t. You cave. Some people are built to ‘get used to it’, others…
Well, I’ve seen what becomes of people like me ten or twenty years down the line. The lunatics mumbling to themselves on street corners or even simply the countless hundreds of people you see wandering through life every day all sharing that same blank “I should have been someone” glaze in their eyes. Once the hope that one day you’ll be someone turns into the realization that you’ll never really be anyone you get that same glazed over ‘zombie’ look and pretty much, by that point, you’re just waiting to die anyway.

“My name is James Brahms and I don’t want to wait.”

The doors are boarded up. Good enough so that whatever unlucky soul comes around first won’t be able to open the doors. They’ll call the authorities and some random police officer who doesn’t know me will be the one to discover me hanging. It would just be my luck that today would be the day that my parents come visiting.

Thoughts like that are enough to put you off killing yourself.  I know because I’ve been there, all set to go when the image of someone I care about showing up and finding me strewn across the bed with an empty bottle of pain killers or worse with half my brain shotgun-blasted across the bathroom tile pops into my head and I can’t do it. The human brain is wired to survive so at that moment when you’re about to die, even if it’s something you’re trying to do, the electric signals in your head will do anything  to get you out of the situation. The trick to suicide is to go about it as methodically as possible. Set yourself a goal and do everything you can to achieve it.

“My name is James Brahms and my death has been the biggest success story of my life.”

I switch on my mp3 player and skip to a Franz Schubert quartet I’ve had in mind for a while. It’s relaxing, but just a little bit jumpy. Purely for my own benefit, you understand. I’ve heard of people wanting a certain song to be playing as their body is discovered but that isn’t what this is about. The mp3 player isn’t on repeat.

I wonder what song will be playing when the police discover me hanging there?

No. Stop. Thoughts like those are distractions. Even now my brain is trying to keep me alive with thoughts of who is going to find me and what it’s going to look like.

“My name is James Brahms and it’s time to get this over with.”

I climb carefully up onto the stool under the noose. I wouldn’t want to slip and break a leg now. God, that would be awful. I slip my head through the hole in the noose and listen, for the last time, to Franz Schubert’s quartet.

A tear rolls down my cheek. Perfectly natural reaction.

“My name is James Brahms and the voices in my head will be stopping soon.”

“Soon…”, comes that voice I’ve been hearing.

Soon what? Soon nothing. Now certainly isn’t the time to dwell on what the deep meaning behind a voice inside my head might be. The beauty of today is, for the first time ever there really is absolutely 100% no reason whatsoever to dwell on it. 

Soon nothing at all will matter ever again.

I feel the stool below my feet ready to be kicked and as Schubert’s quartet picks up pace I feel a wave of contentment wash over me like nothing I can recall. I smile again and want to stay in this moment forever. For a brief moment I contemplate just spending the rest of my days standing here on this stool with the noose around my neck in complete bliss. The true knowledge that nothing at all is going to matter ever again.

But I know that won’t happen.

I know I have to kick the stool away.

And I do.

The painful jolt around my neck and sudden weight of my entire existence dragging my body down is brief. Much to my disdain my hands grasp up at the rope trying instinctively to free my neck from it’s clutches. Luckily for me, they’re efforts are futile.

My name is James Brahms and I am no more.

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