The New Moon

January 17, 2008
By Kathy Trinh, Philadelphia, PA

The image of her before me was so strikingly haunting that at that moment — I thought life had no other beauty. Her face was so obscure, her feature so ghastly. No words described the story her wanly lit face told. Her flawless skin, no doubt once the essence of her pride, had begun to peel away as the scent of sweet pomegranate was replaced by the odorless earth. As I held my breath for that one moment, I felt an urge to let the air circulate ceaselessly inside me.
I cried a bit the night I tried to put those feelings into words. Art, I understood then, was meaningless when one tried to give it meaning. Leave something brilliant as it is without trying to interpret it and it’ll most certainly always be deep, profound, unscarred... perfect.
It was very dark out now, as if all the stars had fallen from the sky. The deep blue waves washed ashore bottles after bottles of nothing at all. I kicked off the heavy platforms and my feet tasted the friction of the sand as its grainy minions seeped in between my toes. My stomach — with a growl — began to blame me for the hearty meal I had just devoured. What else was I to do after such a supposedly gloomy event?
Funerals always made me sick. I've never voluntarily attended one and had no intention of ever doing so. Maybe it was because no one I really cared for had ever died. The thought of attending my own mother’s funeral killed that little something left inside me. How many will come in the morning weeping only to leave later that noon stoic?
My body would be cremated, I decided. The ashes could be buried or thrown or eaten for all that I cared. A funeral would gather too many people, most who had never cared for my life and would only weep at my death for the same reason that they would cry watching a tragic movie. My life was a comedy that deserved neither laugher nor tears.
From the darkness below my feet, I raised my head to the vast emptiness above in search of that one light. No luck. It was a new moon tonight. This would be the moon's last victory in our game of hide-and-seek. Never again shall there exist a night so dark and devoid of radiance. That triumphant thought brought upon my face a slight smirk. I made my last attempt to embrace the cosmic ocean. Before I realized it, my tired arms had retracted to my sore body. My body joined in with my feet and snuggled with the cool sand upon the earth.
I've always been much of a thinker. I was quite aware of that I had recklessly fallen asleep on a beach alone. Yet my action deemed justifiable and was not reckless at all. I had thought about it through and had decided that falling sleeping with the comfort of the ocean and sand surrounding me was much better than the captivity of the four walls of my room.
I could feel morning approaching and knew that it was indeed time to get up. I had somewhere to go and something very important to do. I wasn't trying to escape anything by dying. I just didn't feel like living anymore. Some people liked to go to Hawaii or Paris; I wanted to go somewhere more permanent and unforeseen.
My bedroom door had always closed very easily as it was so often closed and sealed. Today, some mysterious weight held it stubbornly open, revealing the core of my room to everyone and no one at all. I gathered all my journals, writings, and perishables – and placed them into a great brass bowl. The flame consumed all into ashes with a stroke of a match. Once an artist dies, her art takes not the meaning she intends upon it, but the meaning of the interpreter.
Of course I would leave a letter behind for my mother. I had to explain to her that my death was a measured decision, not a foolish act of irresponsibility. It wasn’t that I felt compelled to justify my act as righteous or courageous. This step that I shall take was well thought out, planned. All living things have been misinterpreted to a certain extent. My death should be at least understood if not left alone, bare and perfect.
Placing the farewell letter on my desk, I felt a little guilty. My mom would not only sob for weeks after my death, she would cry whenever some distant relative or family friend pitied her for having such a weak and unwise daughter. She would have to live for a very long time with people who judge my decisions without understanding them. She herself would probably interpret my suicide as a psychological illness or escape from pain. I was very content with life; I just wanted something different.
I checked to make sure the house was as clean as ever. The green plants along the window sill have all been cleaned with clear, purifying water. As I held the framed picture of my mother and me against my bosom, a droplet fell onto it. With the sleeve of my tattered shirt, I gently wiped it for the last time.
I never meant for my final decision alive to be a sad one, but it had inevitably turned out that way. Society always associated death with sorrow and pain. It had its influence on us all.
It was dark again by the time I left my house. Tonight, the stars had returned to the sky that no longer seemed so vast and endless. Tonight, the world around me was almost too suffocating to breathe in. I peaked at the moon and laughed at its ultimate attempt at conquest. It was naked and bare before me.
I walked back to the shore slowly, taking in the beauty of the earth that I've always appreciated in some uncanny way. I've carefully considered my choice of death, too. I was afraid of everything and was a terribly a good swimmer. I was born into this world in water and to water I would return.
Stripping my body of the worldly protection, I walked aimlessly into the ocean's closing waves and held my breath for that one great moment that would last a lifetime.

Similar Articles


This article has 0 comments.

Parkland Book