P.10 the Red Letters

        All of these things continued to flash through my mind, as I was still listening to my mother tell me all else the cardiologist said about grandma’s heart, the countless other health issues she was going through, and everything my parents had been doing to try and fix up grandma’s house- a job that could never go anywhere- but anything to try and help improve her spirits. It seemed to strengthen her tone of speaking a bit to change from the subject of Daniel. Don’t get me wrong- I didn’t want to make this all about me by permitting simultaneous thoughts of my own similar experience.  After all, I clearly was still alive; but Daniel was not. I always fought the tireless guilt of the all-too-familiar situation of not usually being able to do much for others; I wanted to, but I was always past the verge of snapping. was I always just too wrapped up in my own self?

    I liked to think that I could feel the suffering of and mourn with others, but deep down I carried the constant fear that maybe I was actually a narcissist; trying to go through the motions to cover up the suspicion that I had been completely dead inside for a while. Either that was the tragic truth of the matter; or  the sorrow of others so subtly intertwined with the presence of my own shadows, that drowning and suffocating by the weight of it all was indiscernible from a cold, unfeeling narcissist; but I was probably just an asshole who didn’t know what to do with it all.  Who knew. 

“But really, I’m just worried about what’s going to happen to her, you know? Speaking of which, are you taking those heart vitamins? I’m worried for you too, if what they said is really true..”

I likely rolled my eyes a bit. “Thanks, but I think I’ve already garnered more than enough worry and attention for a while now- I don’t want to talk about-”                              I paused with a short sigh,                  “No. it was too many things to bring; I needed the important stuff approved first- of which they’re sure taking their goddamn sweet time with.” cold turkey-ing all medications had been less fun than a week at Hell’s DMV. How was I supposed to pretend to be well-behaved while going through withdrawals? They at least gave some OTC painkillers but they didn’t do shit for any kind of pain. Or at least not for me. 

The nurse was yelling down the hallway to let me know 15 minutes was up. 

“Yeah, I gotta go. Can you bring a Pepsi next time you guys make it out here? Yes, really. I’m fine.”

I placed the phone back on the receiver, pulled the pack off cigarettes from my shirt pocket and handed it to the nearest hall wanderer. Maybe before I made my exit I could somehow find a way to get out of burning in hell. 

     I obviously didn’t end up hanging myself that evening . I’d planned it out a thousand ways but something always stopped me; whether it was an unfortunate miracle, guilt, fear, or risk assessment. I occasionally wondered who thought me a coward for not having pulled it off yet; but more importantly I concluded that perhaps if I did it very slowly, subtly- that maybe I wouldn’t get charged with the crime at the end. 

      I was foggy and heavy in every sense, as my brain persisted in its alarm that *something* was very wrong. I walked into my little dungeon space and saw my journal and red pen lounging out on that bare mattress. I thought I had put it in the single dresser drawer by the bedside, but that didn’t really matter because I couldn’t remember shit anymore. I *did* however recall what the old rambling lady had said.  

What the hell. I had nothing else to attempt to occupy one tab in my mind. Maybe I’d just leave it here when I was done writing. I opened the notebook to the first page; blank, staring back at me- almost as though somehow  expectantly. 

I I knew exactly what I needed to write first.


“My hearts a graveyard, baby        And to evil we make love…”                  It continued to chirp.                       The tongue in cheek at least often gave me an almost-laugh. 

I didn’t really want to risk any distraction this time, but couldn’t help but wonder who in the hell was texting me so much. I mean, Shawn couldn’t tell me to fuck myself in *that* many words and I otherwise didn’t speak to anyone anymore. 


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