#FridayFlash from Suicide Notes – #1: Chloe

This piece is part of the #SuicideNotes project.

One

Two

Three

pills. Thirty more pills. Thirty more days. One month. One more month of life, they think. Disappearing one by one into the water.

Not for me.

She asked me to give it three months, the pills and the therapy. And I did. For her. I extended my life by three miserable months because I love her. Chemotherapy for depression. Except this one’s terminal.

It was for her. So when I’m gone she’ll know that she tried. She’ll know she had those months, that time, when I, at least, knew, and she feared, that they were our last.

There are memories there. So many things we did, most of them I don’t even remember. But there were weekend trips and there were lunches and there were nights that I stayed over, in my old bedroom with the black walls that she’d let me paint that color–of both everything and nothing, too much and too little–and hadn’t changed it because it was still my room and I asked her not to.

She won’t paint it when I’m gone, either. It will stay there, in her home, upstairs at the end of the hallway with the window overlooking the tree where Dad carved his initials and hers and mine. I wish he was still alive. For her. So she’d have someone, when I’m gone.

And I will be gone. Soon. As inevitable as the heart attack that took Dad seven years ago.

Nine

Ten

Eleven

pills in the water, swirling in the turbulence from the water pouring from the spigot and tainting the water a chilly blue. Too baby-blue to be really symbolic, but that doesn’t matter. The water will be a different color soon enough. The color of blood.

My blood.

She wanted more time, and I don’t blame her. After tonight she’ll be truly alone and that’s not fair. She doesn’t deserve that. But it can’t be helped.

She would ask for thirty more days, if she knew, but I don’t have thirty days to give her. I don’t have thirty hours. Not anymore. Those pills, these pills, the

Eighteen

Nineteen

Twenty

pills didn’t help. No more than the ones before. Or the ones before that. Or the ones before that.

Sometimes that happens, and it’s no one’s fault. Sometimes an athlete dies on the field, and sometimes the kid dies of leukemia and sometimes the father has a fatal heart attack that no one expects and sometimes your daughter dies of the lack of the need for life.

No. That’s not right. Of exhaustion. Drained of the ability to sustain life. To want life. To live at all.

And it’s not living anyway. What I’ve been doing for all this time, since, since forever I guess. I think it was always like this, one way or another.

I know she doesn’t want to believe that. But I hope she understands. When it’s done. Mothers lose kids all the time. And it’s not their fault. This isn’t her fault either.

I hope she understands.

Twenty-seven

Twenty-eight

Twenty-nine

Thirty

This water is too hot, but maybe that’s OK. I haven’t felt in so long, I can stand this, this burning, this need to pull my foot out, this… No. I do want to burn. It’s right somehow. Anyone else, planning to live past this moment, would pull away, but I won’t. Because it’s right this way.

I got used to the temperature fast enough, didn’t I? Odd how easy that was. But I’m good at the awful and the painful. It’s what I do. It’s who I am. It’s how I’ll die.

It’s a beautiful razor. I’m glad I took the time to find a good one. Oh, the water’s rather blue from those pills, isn’t it? And the blood will make it purple. That’s almost funny. A color I would have detested. Almost funny if I could laugh. But I haven’t in so long, not really. I don’t even want to. Not now. This isn’t funny. Not funny at all. This is my death and the end of a somber and joyless life should be that way.

It’s not so hot anymore. Or maybe it is. Look how red my hand is. After being in the water. Look how red my hand is holding the razor. Exactly. Red. Blood. There it is, just under the surface, begging for release.

I know. Yes. Exactly.

hiss

Oh, that… no, it doesn’t hurt. That’s not pain that’s… sharp. It’s real and immediate and… it’s almost alive. Odd, for an end. To find something of life in death.

Red. In the water. Like paint on a canvass.

hiss

Exactly. Yes. Look how long and how deep. As if my arm is laid open. My body laid open. My life laid open, and leaking into the water that’s not as hot as I thought it was. It’s not hot at all.

How beautiful. The bloom of red. The feeling.

How wonderful.

It’s wonderful. How did I not know how wonderful this would be? The feeling of it. The way it feels. My head feels clear. Light. I haven’t felt this way since… Have I ever felt this way? This… unshackled. This release.

sigh

It’s wonderful.

Oh, Mom. I wish you could know how wonderful this is.

It’s wonderful.

I’ve never felt… In twenty-four years I’ve never felt… How did I resist this for so long?

Is this what it feels like for others? Who live? To live? To want to live and to do it?

No wonder they don’t understand.

If I could feel this way alive I would have lived. But I didn’t get that lot, did I? I get this now.

With my death.

It’s wonderful. It’s… Mom, it’s wonderful. Did you know? Can you feel it?

No, don’t cry. No. It’s wonderful. This… I’m floating. It’s wonderful, it’s

*****

Chloe Ann Mitchell died May 23, 2010 at her home in Ridgewood.

She was born April 16, 1986, a daughter of Robert Charles Mitchell, deceased, and Elizabeth Rowland Mitchell, who survives.

She was a beloved daughter and friend.

Funeral services will be held at Johnson Funeral Home.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the National Foundation for Depressive Illness, P.O. Box 2257 New York, NY 10116.

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7 Responses to #FridayFlash from Suicide Notes – #1: Chloe

  1. Marisa Birns says:

    Though it’s such a sad premise, it’s written with such poetry and reverence.

    So many beautiful lines. Especially this one: “…your daughter dies of the lack of the need for life.”

  2. I think this is easily the best one yet from this series. Fantastic work.

  3. marc nash says:

    Counting out the pills injects the story with a natural, contemplative rhythm that works really well.

    mar

  4. Even though it’s such a dark subject, it’s a beautiful story. Well written and full of emotion.

  5. Thank you, everyone, for the comments. This one really gets to me, the quiet resignation.

  6. Carrie says:

    The levee breaks and the flood is wonderful to the victim. She was a victim of course and she just thought she was getting away. Good stuff.

  7. Thanks for all your comments on these, Carrie. It’s great to hear from someone who “gets” these and can share insights on the experience. Thanks again.

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