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A Few Short Words

Dense Not Thick

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suicide

Isolation

Suicide sticks his finger in my beer, swirls it around, then pops it in his mouth down to the last knuckle. I motion to the tender for another and we transact without incident. ‘I fucking hate you,’ Suicide says, ‘even the worst of them are better than you by an immeasurable margin.’ I just want to drink in silence, sit in silence, live in silence. Suicide looks at the decor and snickers. ‘Drab isn’t it?’ I don’t say anything, he knows what I’m thinking. ‘Maybe on the way home I’ll push you into traffic.’ I wish he was dead.

Hypothesis

I was standing over the corpse of my last relationship when the detective walked in. The world deconstructed under her gaze, a breed of aggressive disapproval that begged every inch of information from the scene. I felt compelled. I’ve been drawing conclusions, I told her. ‘Well then,’ she said, an iron reed, ‘show me what you’ve got.’ I passed her the little notebook I’d been carrying around. Taking a look at the cartoon heart I’d rendered, torn in two, she smiled from the inside. ‘Classic,’ she said, ‘I see it all the time. Obviously suicide.’ I’d fallen in love.

Meaning

I don’t really want to die but I have to listen to me think it. Wicks calls them intrusive thoughts, fancying up that my subconscious wants me dead. I doubt he knows what he’s talking about, though I like having someone be critical of me and it often sounds right. I’m sure he looks this shit up. I picture him sitting in an old leather armchair, trawling back-issue psych journals with a neon yellow marker. I once heard him say egregious in conversation, like he was eating the page right out of oxfords. Neither of us say suicidal.

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