Monday, June 23, 2014

Too Bad So Sad

I drowned myself, that's how I ended my last run on Earth.  The water grabbed at my sweater and jeans with persistent hands and slid its soft fingertips along my flesh.  I held my breath for as long as I could before taking in a swallow that turned into a cold and wet choking gasp, and then another.  Then I stared at the swirling scenery as my body floated lazily through the currents to the bottom of the lake, I'd weighted my feet with a fifty pound bag of rock salt.  I didn't want to stay there forever, just long enough.  The rock salt would dissolve and separate from the tightly woven cloth bag within a day or so, and I'd begin to drift along the bottom.  That's what I wanted, to drift.

I imagined I'd be looking up at boats and the sun and then the moon and stars slanting through the surface, with water weeds and soft green mud lightly caressing my back and arms and legs as I floated with the tide.  Unfortunately, I was found right away.  A team of divers went in less than an hour after I sank, they'd been alerted by a man and his daughter on the beach.  I'd missed them rowing out, they were still unpacking their car.

"Daddy, where's the lady in the boat?  The lady's gone"  She was a beautiful kid, she stood in the foamy surf with her hand above her forehead and soft brown eyes squinting like she'd seen her daddy do when looking out over the water, though the sun was behind her.  And she ruined my plans, but how can I be mad at a little girl with sunburned shoulders and cheeks and curly hair?

So instead of sliding deeper into this living wet belly, I wound up at the city morgue.  After a cursory search of my person revealed an "If you are reading this, you've found me" waterproof laminated suicide note, foul play was ruled out.  And of course there was the witness statement of the little girl who had seen one lady in a boat, and then one empty boat.  Maybe you're wondering why I wanted to die.  An important distinction needs to be made here, I never wanted to die.  I just didn't want to live.

When we don't want to go to work, we can take a day off.  We can quit a job and look for a new one, we can sleep on a friends couch until we get our shit together.  When life feels like work, we can't take a day off.  I wish I could say that I had a grand reason for wanting to quit, but I don't.  I just got tired.

When we're children, we try to stay awake as late as possible because we imagine that there's some action we're going to miss if we drift off.  I stopped wanting to stay awake.

Enough about that.  My body was cremated, which was fine and beautiful.  I watched the flames wipe me away and listened to the sputtering and crackling and then drifted out of the crematorium feeling 150lbs lighter.  I had a simple ceremony, some old friends from jobs I'd forgotten about came.  Three of my cousins and several aunts, uncles, and friends cried, my sister gave a lovely eulogy.  I hung near the back.  Half of my ashes are scattered in a park I frequented as a child, macabre playground sand.  The other half were divided into small urn pendants and distributed to my nearest and dearest.  Even more macabre.

I have a chance to go back.  Even though I'd be starting fresh, I don't think I'm up to it.  I think I'll float along the bottom of the lake for a while and watch the sun and moon and stars slanting through the water.

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