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.
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.
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.