Friday, June 28th

golf pencils

I am worried about leaving this place. Suicide is constantly on my mind. I think I am worse now than I was before I ended up here. Is it this place or is it me? It’s impossible to tell.

Same old today – breakfast, then back to sleep, woken up by a phone call from my mom, then puzzle. I did call Erik right before lunch. The doggies didn’t let him sleep him in. That makes me feel bad for not being there to take care of them so he could sleep on his morning off. I know he wouldn’t want me to feel that way, but I should have been there.

Martin – the guy who walks in circles – discharged today. He went to a men’s shelter. I feel bad for him. Seems like he has no one. Now we have at least one open bed – so we’ll probably get a new admit. I want to hurt myself, but I don’t want to have to sit out and be watched like a small child, which is what will happen if I tell them the truth. Can’t they just give me a drug to knock me out and be done with it? Besides, I don’t want to take the Thorazine now because then I’ll be stupid drunk for when Erik gets here. Guess I’ll just have to deal.

In his essay “From Walter Benjamin At the Dairy Queen,” Larry McMurtry writes, “I had died for a few hours, been brought back to life, and now was attempting to live as someone similar to, but not identical with, my real self.”

I want to die, be brought back to life, and live as someone similar to, but not identical with, my former self. How liberating that would be. To face death and see the other side of it – to fear nothing but my own ability to effect my mortality. How freeing that would be to have almost died or actually died and be given the chance to live again. Maybe it is only then that I will truly be able to live. Maybe I must die to live.

The desire to hurt myself – inflict pain, damage – gets stronger with each passing moment. My regrets for not attempting suicide when I had the chance – before this slow march towards med-induced coma. To know the consequences, emotions, reactions, edifications of a suicide attempted, not won. How would that change things – it would have to change me permanently – make my future unalterably different. I wish for that freedom. Maybe. Maybe.

The tree outside my window is full
blooming thick, rich oak leaves
shattering the sun through my window
It gives me a piece of hope
Not for life or death
But for peace, tenderness
I pull the bark from it’s surface
the skin from my body
searching for new answers
a core of silence.

“It has occurred to me…that perhaps what we call depression isn’t really a disorder at all but, like physical pain, an alarm of sorts, alerting us that something is undoubtedly wrong; that perhaps it is time to stop, take a time-out, take as long as it takes, and attend to the unaddressed business of filling our souls.” – Lee String from Fading to Gray

100 North

Golf pencils and Sun Cups
Hospital gowns and industrial toilets
Doors that only lock from the outside
Puzzles without all the pieces

Computer paper and plastic food containers
Reflection time and plastic pillows
Fenced in courtyards that keep us in
And a padded room I’ve never seen.

Nighttime –

I nabbed the pen used for checking visitors in and out. I’ll have to be careful so I don’t get caught. I don’t see what the big deal is. How much damage could pen ink really do?

Maybe in these words I’ll find some solace, some answer for the crying out within me. Maybe somewhere in my words or the words of others I will find some hope.

The Language by Robert Creeley

Locate I
love you some-
where in
teeth and
eyes, but
it but

take care not
to hurt, you
want so

much so
little. Words
say everything.

love you

then what
is emptiness
for. To

fill, fill.
I heard words
and words full
of holes
aching. Speech
is a mouth

“Normal life now looked like paradise: I would have to apologize to it and plea-bargain with it and then seek atonement from it in order to get back in it’s good graces again.” by Virginia Heffernan from A Delicious Placebo

The pen is easier, but doesn’t seem right somehow. Here where I am without shaving razors, locked doors, more than three sets of clothing. Here where I must move according to an institutional schedule: breakfast, meds, snacktime, meds, lunchtime, reflection time, snack time, dinner, meds, snacktime, meds, bedtime. Here where everything is carefully crafted to keep us safe, velcro curtains, metal mirrors, plastic utensils, no knives. Here golf pencils feel right, more appropriate and pens seem out of place – a green pasture for which I am not yet prepared.

“Death’s edge is so abrupt and near that many people who expect a short and momentary dive may be astounded to find that it is bottomless, and change their minds and start to scream when they are halfway down.” Heaven and Nature by Edward Hoagland

Will I reach death’s edge on time, find it neither abrupt or too near? Will I meet death just at the edge and make the choice so completely that it will seem less like an edge and more like an inevitable downward slope towards which I have been moving all this time? Will death reach forward and catch me as I fall, needing neither edge or nearness to complete the bottomless dive? Notice, I do not ask if the dive will appear bottomless; notice, I do not ask if I will scream. Death will come for me. I will be waiting.


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