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Death For My Birthday
The bottle of whiskey was smooth and cold, my grip on the bottle was too tight. All I wanted was to disappear, turn into the smoke that danced out of the tip of my cigarette, making ghosts in the damp night air. The sun began to rise over the horizon, the sun chasing away the shadows of the night, illuminating the scene around me that I was trying so hard to escape. I took a swig of the pungent amber liquid that sloshed around the bottle and it trickled down my throat, burning all the way down until it finally hit my hollow stomach.
My feet dangled off the cliff, swinging back and forth like weeds in the wind, the rocks below were menacing, but beautiful, inviting even. It wasn’t until the gentle breeze brushed my wet face that I realized that I was crying. I moved the back of my hand against my cheeks, wiping the tears from my face. I took a long drag of my cigarette and flicked it into the breeze; it never reached the water, the ocean was too far down. The idea of jumping materialized. Leaving the earth the same date I entered it. Death for my birthday, it was poetic really; the water crushing my lungs, the rocks penetrating my flesh, ripping me open. Happy birthday to me; it wouldn’t matter; my life was already at a close. My body tingled; tiny needles pricked every inch of my skin.
I had detached from the world, I was the audience and life was the play, I sat at a distance, watching intensely but never participating. I observed, I listened, but I ran the second life started coming for me. That was the problem, my problem. It was graduation: everyone was screaming, crying, running around and hugging each other. I stood silently in the corner, waiting for someone to come congratulate me, say that they will miss me, any form of recognition, but no one ever came; no one knew I existed. Who would notice if I was gone? I had spent four years wandering through the halls of the school, invisible, I knew no one and no one knew me. A drifter: a ghost in life that wasn’t mine to live.
That idea continued to appeal to me. The current would pull me under; death would gently grab hold of me, cradling me like a baby. The salty water would fill my lungs and drag me down into the depths and my heart would beat in an unsteady rhythm. What a beautifully tragic death. I took another swig and lit another cigarette, I never smoked; I always said I never would.
My hands shook violently, the whiskey sloshing around nosily. I looked down at my hands, my knuckles were white; my wrists were covered in cherry red blood, it slid down onto my hands like a river, making patterns on my skin. It was cold this morning but I couldn’t feel it. My body was trapped inside itself; everything inside wanting out, everything out wanting in. I couldn’t move; my joints locked together in fear. My head was full of pictures, flying violently through the air. A happy couple finding my body mangled against the rocks; bones broken, a smile plastered upon a hideous, blue face. A funeral full of people pretending to care--saying that I was such a nice girl.
There comes a time in every person’s life when they realize that nothing they do will ever be good enough, something about you will always be wrong, you’ll never get good enough grades to get them to stop drinking, you’ll never take care of them well enough that they’ll finally look at you without hate filled eyes, you’ll never love someone enough to make them love you back.
When I was little, I used to lie in my front lawn and watch the sky, birds flying high above my head. I wanted to take off, join them, and fly off to a distant place, never to be seen again. I could escape and go anywhere, soaring through the clouds, looking down at all the things that couldn’t hurt me anymore.
The sun blazed brightly behind my head, a fiery ball of light in sky; the life force that maintains every living thing. Most people take the sun for granted, but they don’t realize how much we need it. The sun is going to die one day, exploding, creating the biggest supernova in history. Of course, no one will be alive to document it. Everything dies, it’s inevitable, and we are born to die. People spend their lives searching for a purpose, but in all truth, death is our purpose.
Death, what was it anyway but the end of misery? Disappearing into a black oblivion--that didn’t sound too bad. One moment you’re there, feeling, thinking, breathing, living--the next you’re gone, no more time to think, no more air to breath, no more life. Ten minutes, tops, ten minutes until my heart would stop beating.
Time is a funny thing. It can fly by, it can tick past slowly; it can stop all together. Time is precious; we get closer and closer to death with every second that passes. Ten minutes. I could clean my bathroom in ten minutes, I could make dinner in ten minutes, I could listen to three songs in ten minutes, I could die in ten minutes.
When you’re little, you never consider death as even a remote possibility; it’s what happens to your gold fish when you forget to feed it or your dog when it gets too old. You don’t think you’ll ever die; you’re invincible when you’re small.
Life is suffering. We’re trapped in a labyrinth, locked in perpetual suffering. Life is pain, and death is a release from living, a release from existing, it is the only true peace we will ever find in. Maybe it’s all a test; maybe we’re supposed to kill ourselves to prove that we are enlightened, that we’ve realized that our lives will only be filled with pain, and if you kill yourself, you will reach the true life. A life where you don’t have to suffer, maybe you reach nirvana or heaven, or an unimaginable after-life where you can truly be happy.
I was dragged back to the surface of consciousness by the cracking of twigs behind me. I turned my head around slowly and I saw a man standing there. His eyes bore into mine, but it was as if I wasn’t really there, as if he could see right through my very being to gaze at the sun blazing above me. I continued to stare at him until he stuffed his hands into his pockets and walked away.
I took a deep breath and got to my feet, I stood at the edge of cliff and looked down; the bottle of whiskey slid through my fingers and smashed into the waves. The voice in the back of my head whispered, “That will be you.” My legs were weak underneath me, I struggled to stay standing, and I felt my body sway in the wind. I took a few unsteady steps backwards.
My mind began to swim with doubt, I didn’t need to jump, I didn’t need to kill myself, I could change things, I could fix my life, things can only get better once you hit bottom. Parents shouldn’t have to bury their kids, they shouldn’t have to get a call from the police saying they found a mangled body and they need to come identify it, they shouldn’t have to see their child laid out on a hard slab of metal--cold, pale, dead.
These thoughts exited my head mind as quickly as they had entered it. Like they would notice, like they like would care, like anyone would care. I continued to step backwards away from the edge, towards the tree line, stumbling over a few scattered rocks. I looked up once more at the sky, it was darker, clouds had settled, they hung ominously, painting the sky gray. The sun was engulfed by the gloom.
My body pumped adrenaline. My veins were full of fear and desire. My whole body was trembling, and I felt my legs begin to run. I neared the edge and I threw my arms behind me. My chest dropped as my body hurdled through the air.
Freedom at last, I had no restraints, no limits; I could only hope that this looked as beautiful as it felt. The air passed over my body as I sliced through the air, as easily as a knife through warm butter but at the same time it was like it was trying to break my in half; like it was going to split me right down the middle. I used to dream about jumping, fantasies about it even, but I never could have imagined this. I opened my mouth to let out a scream of glee but it got lost over the rush of wind. I struggled to keep my eyes open as I watched the world fall towards me. “This is what it feels like to be the center of gravity” I thought to myself. The end was coming, I could feel it. I was getting closer and closer to the cruel wave that would soon rip me to shreds. I smiled. This was the happiest I had ever been.