I guess one might call this ‘creative non-fiction’. I wrote this as part of an on-going exercise I’m doing (but I won’t say anymore about that here), with the intention of it being a monologue for one of the characters. Alas, I think that this may not survive the editing phase – whenever that comes – but I … well, I wanted you to see this, kind of like a cat bringing you a mouse. You don’t know why or how to react, except violently.  So it goes.

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Sometimes, the blackness blows in from the East, and all rational thought ceases. I become the source of all my problems, and everything is my fault. Nothing can convince me that this is not the absolute truth of my life and self. I am at fault and I must pay. And the only payment allowed as retribution is blood. I can see no way out but the grave, and I stay out of the kitchen during these winds. Too many knives and sharp edges in there, too tempting to open some flesh and down as many pain-killers and anti-depressants as I can find, and hope that the insurance policy isn’t negated by suicide. I don’t know how to live from one minute to the next during these winds. I get blown back and forth, hatred and self-loathing, fear and bitterness, and wonder how I’ll get past this hurricane, if I’ll even outlive this hurricane. Or if finally, this will be the one that kills me. Because I’ve looked at the insurance policy – life cover, critical illness and death – and I’m worth more money dead than alive. I can’t ask for a handout from anyone – I haven’t worked hard enough to earn the right to ask for help. Tumble over and over and all I see is a life of want and no ability to provide for the most basic needs. And I am just a shackle, dead-weight, to those around me: my family especially, who shouldn’t need to worry about me anymore. Death would be a release for them – freedom from worry and concern and fear that this might be the day that they come home and find me dead. No more worry then, because the worst has happened. They’ll find this, and they’ll see how much I hated hurting them, hated myself for being so selfish and greedy and needy and weak, and maybe they’ll understand why I finally found the strength to give up and leave. Because it does take strength to walk through that final curtained doorway into the silence of death and darkness. We don’t know what’s on the other side; it’s all conjecture and speculation and pyramids and crystals and séances and bullshit. Death is the last exploration, the one time each person gets to go off and do something extraordinary.

I am not strong enough.

Yet.

Most people – caring people, compassionate people – who will tell you that suicide is a coward’s way out. Maybe it is. Then again, maybe it isn’t.

During the hurricane, though, without end in sight, death appears like the only solution and exit from the tumult. Because sometimes, the hurricane is so fierce, and the self-hatred is so pointy and dark and spiteful and vicious and unrelenting… Sometimes, I just want to die so I can have a little peace.

If all I want is peace, if all I want is to calm the storms, and get away from my thoughts, then maybe I should take up drinking. Alas, that thought triggers the whole cascade of bad burny thoughts, and the hurricane picks up speed and strength and teeth. A hurricane with teeth? Now, you think, I’m mixing metaphors. Not really, when you think about it; this whole hurricane nonsense is a metaphor. Teeth can be anything that can tear and chew through matter, be it flesh or other, and a hurricane is very resourceful in creating its own teeth out of anything: wood, metal, concrete. And they all grind with tireless energy, feeding and growing, using my own bones to chew on my flesh and soul. All that’s left is a tiny kernel of self, stripped bare of any good things, any sense of worth or achievement or future. And it burns. All the hate and loathing and bile and venom spills out, excruciating pain dragging through what’s left, if there is anything left.

There usually is something. Barely human, flayed and weeping, there isn’t much of me left. Fragments rain down as the hurricane falters then dies, and I’m still here, mostly. I pick up the pieces – I feel like Foghorn Leghorn[1] – and limp away from the blast site.

It takes less time to recover from something like that than you’d think; I’m surprised I can walk away and find laughter within the same day as an attack like that. I’m surprised that I ever survive an attack like that, but I can’t walk away from it completely. Little phrases, small sentences, even pairings of words, get kicked up from the muck of my brain during an attack and they stay long after, floating and swirling on the up-drafts in my head. Those are more difficult to cope with – they are forever imbued with the intensity of the attack, tainted by the hue of madness and irrationality, and every time they resurface, the madness follows close behind. So I hang on, tooth and claw, and bear the barbs as they cut and carve through me, heart and soul and sanity. It is only a taint, a patina of the madness that spawned them, that they hold now. They are easier to endure. And endure I must, because it’s not just me here.

But the words hurt, spewing vile anguish and reminding me that I am not yet free. I do not long for death. I do not actively seek death. But I will welcome death, when it comes, as the release from this torment.

Maybe, just maybe, I should go talk to someone.

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[1] ‘Lucky for me, I keep my feathers numbered for just such an emergency.’