To say it never crossed my mind would be a bold faced lie. But I never truly put much thought into it. I like to joke that my being alive was to spite those who disliked me. It’s a positive twist for such a morbid thought.
I have never written a suicide letter, not even in the fictional sense. None of my characters have ever killed themselves, though several have toyed with the idea. Some have taken it further than I would have ever thought. And maybe that reflects something about me.
On the other hand, I have written several love letters. Letters to those who knew, and letters to those who didn’t. Forming words verbally has never been my strongest suit. Putting it out there is difficult. Almost as difficult as admitting that in my darkest hours, the thought of not existing seemed preferable.
In “14 Lines from Love Letters or Suicide Notes,” we are gifted with both beauty and tragedy, a grotesque outlook of the world around us. Do we long for love or the quiet blackness that lies beyond?
8. I came home on Tuesday and found all of the chairs that I own stacked in a tower in the center of my kitchen. I don’t know how long they had been like that but it can only be me that did it. It’s the kind of thing a ghost might do to prove to the living that he is still there. I am haunting my own apartment.
9. My grandmother was still alive when I was 5 years old and she asked me to check and see if the iron was hot enough yet so I pressed my hand against it and it was red and screaming for hours. 25 years later, she would still sometimes apologize in the middle of conversations, “I feel so bad about making you touch the iron” she’d say, as though it had just happened. I cannot imagine how we forgive ourselves for all the things we didn’t say until it was too late. But how else do you tell if something is hot but to touch it?