December 12, 2009
By Anonymous

An exclamatory breath exits through gritted teeth as he feels the sharp pain of a razor blade slide across his thigh. The first cut hurts, but all the rest force his emotional pain into his veins, into his body so that it is finally tangible and able to be dealt with; then he bleeds them out. He always debates with himself whether it is worth it or not to feel anything at all, whether being completely numb is I inferior to feeling naught but pain. For when he cuts, or burns, or hits, or anything else, it is for one of two reasons: either he feels unbearable pain, such crippling emotional pain, or he feels absolutely nothing at all. Self-mutilation is a way for him to try and bring him into equilibrium within, to try and find that middle ground and feel things other than pure pain. As the letters rise, “pain”, he laughs maniacally at the irony of its juxtaposition next to the word numb from a few months before. For now he feels the pain and yearns again for the lack thereof.

Time moves ever so slowly, each day drawn out to the extreme, but when he looks back, it appears as though a blur. How can this be? How can each second feel so long and yet be so unmemorable that he cannot tell the difference between them in retrospect? When he returns home he blathers on about unimportant experiences of the day, listening to his family’s dull lives with mock enthusiasm. He just needs to survive through dinner so that he can go upstairs during the time where everyone else seems to have heart to heart conversations and “read”. He wonders if anyone else knows that when a penny is liquefied and dripped onto the thigh that it rips out hair upon being lifted off. Afterwards, he can barely walk to his bed, his thigh is in such excruciating pain, and yet he laughs softly to himself, almost madly until his laughs turn to cries and he falls asleep on the pillow soaked with tears. He falls asleep, yearning for the time when he could feel something besides this immeasurable pain, for joy, or love, or even anger.

He gets off the bus and informs his mother that he is going out to his favorite place, a cliff in the marshes behind his house. She agrees without a second thought, and he strides out of the house, cigarettes and lighter in hand. He takes the long walk out to the cliff slowly, looking around at the familiar sights of all the mountain laurels, the squirrels darting from tree to tree, and the leaves that cover the ground. He sits on the cliff and smokes, contemplating life, death, love, hate, insanity. Death is a fascination of his, to an unhealthy degree, an almost Quirogan obsession. As he sits there, he notices something out of the ordinary, a noose tied from a tree a few yards away, that had not been there when he had visited his sanctuary but a few days ago. It makes him wonder even more if he will ever have the courage to die a poet’s death. He finds himself yearning for the feeling of that noose around his neck.

He returns home in time for the late Friday dinner, insisting that there was a campfire still smoldering in the woods, and that is why he smells of smoke. A painfully inquisitive dinner leaves him awaiting his time alone once more, needing to slip away upstairs and feel that sweet release. He goes upstairs and decides that he needs to leave, and quickly. He walks out to the cliff once more after escaping through the window, and after a smoke, he has another cigarette burn on his arm. The noose, swinging ominously in the wind, is still there. He slips it around his neck and dreams of jumping to end it all. He yearns for the courage to die when he trips. The impact doesn’t break his neck, he must die the slow death of asphyxiation, and as he sways back and forth, hanging off the cliff, he stares into the eyes of his brother, who yearns for his noose back.

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