Death of a Cynic

February 3, 2009
By Alexander Pollak GOLD, San Francisco, California
Alexander Pollak GOLD, San Francisco, California
13 articles 0 photos 5 comments

He was the first.' Never before had a person jumped off the Golden Gate Bridge facing the ocean.' That everyone jumped facing the city reaffirmed his belief that the only reason anyone ever did anything was for attention.' I tried to explain to him that it was human nature to want to be acknowledged.' He told me that human nature was a lie, and that he hated me and all of mankind for trying to justify our bullshit, and he hoped that humanity would die for what we had done to ourselves and our planet.' I didn't take him seriously; his mood swings came often and were sudden and violent. I just thought he was a cynic-I didn't think he would kill himself.

I hope that he loved me.' I hope that as he fell his last thoughts were of me.' I told him I loved him once, when we were driving home from some dumb movie.' I turned to him when I said it, but he kept his eyes on the road and didn't respond.' I'm not sure if I meant it, or said it just to have it said, but all the same, he didn't respond. '

It was a Tuesday when he killed himself.' It had started raining around three and continued until nine that night.' As I waited for the 27 after i got out of work my left side grew wetter as the wind blew the rain towards the adjacent warehouse.' We'd been going out for a while now, and as the rain came down, and the bus didn't arrive, asked myself what i would do if he proposed.' He was nice and friendly and sexy, and when we were talking and it got quiet it wasn't awkward, it was peaceful.' That's not to say that when we did talk it wasn't peaceful, but conversation lacks the serenity of silence; conversation is too energizing and engaging.' When the bus arrived I realized I didn't have the fare, so I had to get off and ask a man stinking of fish and cigarettes for money.' By this time I was thoroughly soaked.' Mindful not to sit too close to any other passengers, I sat in a rear facing window seat two rows from the back.' I could feel the warm plastic through my jeans, and at that moment I did not feel any sort of sorrow, or receive any sign, or feel anything that would let me know that he had died.' When the bus stopped and I stood up to get off I left a rainwater stain on the seat.

Winter had come early the year before, and we dug our toes into the cold sand and scrunched up our faces and laughed. he dared me to jump in. I crossed my arms and refused. He laughed and pounced on me, taking us both back into the frigid water. We drove home in his car, and drank hot cocoa in front of the heater, swaddled in blankets.

When I arrived home he wasn't there.'He normally got home from work around five, but he worked far away, in modesto, so I thought nothing of it, as traffic could get bad.' I was tired, so I fell asleep on the couch to the tune of The Price is Right.' When I awoke I was greeted by' darkness outside my window and a policeman at the door.' At that moment this didn't alarm me.' Then I remembered that he was supposed to be home.' As I opened the door, the doorknob cold in my hand, light from the hallway poured into the dark apartment.' He asked me my name, I told him, and he told me that Darryl had died.' I blinked and laughed that quiet, breezy laugh that is just slightly more than a nervous breath. '


He explained to me that Darryl had jumped off the Golden Gate Bridge earlier that day.' His body had been found by fisherman a mile or so off the coast and his parents were called.' They had asked for a policeman to inform me of his demise.' It wasn't like them to acknowledge me.

His parents were tyrants, lazy backstabbers if you asked me. He told me I just needed to be more patient with them. I hurled a seat cushion at the couch. I told him no, they could go fuck themselves if they wanted to. He asked me to calm down, listen to some calming music or something. I turned to him, calmly, and told him where he could stick his calming music. He looked at me, then turned and walked out the door. Two days later he showed up at my doorstep. I asked where the hell he'd been, his phone was off and I was worried sick. He shrugged me off and suggested we go out for dinner that night. Despite my pleading, he wouldn't say anything about where he'd been.

I wept for him.' I cried and cried and my tears dried on my cheeks.' I considered calling his parents, but we hadn't ever gotten on very well, and now seemed an inappropriate time.' Friends showed up at my doorstep with food, flowers, love.' I turned them all away, but they kept coming back, calling me and offering to pay for therapy sessions. '

On the third day I was asked to go downtown and identify the body and'I got to look at him one last time.' His pale face lay softly on the stiff black bag, eyes closed and cheeks tight against his teeth.' I returned home that night to more calls and a Hallmark card stating a friends sorrow.' I put it on my mantlepiece and went to bed.' The next morning, after I climbed out of bed and brushed my teeth, as I was sitting down to a bowl of cereal, I realized that I loved it, loved the attention being given to me.' I let the spoon fall, gleaming, into the bowl.' I was like he had said, and worse.' I desperately craved attention, and was willing to benefit off his death to procure it.' I got into my car, still in my pajamas, and drove to the cool mist on the Golden Gate Bridge.' I parked the beaten blue chevy in the parking lot and walked to the middle of the bridge.' I lifted a leg over the side, then the other, then let the rail go.' I fall.

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This article has 1 comment.

on Feb. 10 2010 at 4:38 pm
Acalleq PLATINUM, Togiak, Alaska
22 articles 5 photos 146 comments

Favorite Quote:
you never know how strong you are until being strong is the only choice you have

that was very dark... sad. i almost cried here in school. im not sure it you ever did experience that kind of pain but i hope you come thru if you did. i have trouble with pride and attention too. im very worried about my older sister but im a new christian so my pastor tells me to give it to God so i try. if your weirded out about the christian thing i won't say it when i post a comment on your work. its sad but beautiful. keep writing

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