Suicide Salve

I sat on my bedroom floor. It was dark, but for candles flickering: dancing shadows, praying demons.

My special knife sat before me, its blade painted red. I’d made it that way. I coloured it with my special brand of human paint. My arms–hidden always from the family outside, laughing at whatever stupid program was now on TV–bore scabs and scars and fresh lines that oozed red atop clear plasma. Bundles of toilet paper surrounded me. I used it to keep the blood off the carpet. I couldn’t leave a sign. On this occasion, I did it more out of habit, really, as it was no longer a necessity. After tonight I wouldn’t exist, so why did it matter if I painted the carpet too?

Nobody wondered what I was doing in the pitch gloom of my room, the sorrow of existence. Recent months had rendered me a shadow. Before me: two boxes of painkillers. They would be my mechanism, my suicide salve. They would send me into that horror sleep, the one through which I’d reach the other side and be granted all the answers. Whatever was next, I was ready to embrace it. I was done with this world. I was done with this place.

I would wake up in heaven, or hell, or a paradise Earth (I hoped). Or I would never wake at all. I didn’t really believe that that would be the case though, so why not push on to the next world? I’d gotten everything I was going to from this one.

I opened the boxes of painkillers and popped every last pill out of its blister-seal. But I wasn’t ready yet. My eyes slid, shifting their focus. I needed more. I needed the rush to help me do this.

The knife was in my hand before I could stop it. Cold steel bit into my flesh. Shivers of pain . . . and pleasure. It’d used the damn thing so much that it had somewhat blunted. These days, it wasn’t enough to slide it across my flesh, but I had to kind of shake and wiggle it side to side as I went. This made it more painful, but that was okay with me.

I checked the wound, parted it hard with my fingers, looking to see if I’d gone deep enough. It was important not just to break the skin, but also the weird white layer of stuff beneath it. It was a testament to my accomplishment. I was about to run the blade back across the fresh wound as I was accustomed, but something bumped outside and I jumped in nervous fright. It was now or never.

I scooped up a handful of pills, threw them into my dry mouth, raised a glass of water and swallowed hard. My eyes watered and I gagged, but I managed another handful. A couple more and I’d gotten most of them. A few rolled beneath my bedside table, but that was okay. You were only supposed to take two of these every two to four hours. Surely, I’d taken enough.

I laid there listening to my breathing. I rested my head back against the bed and then made a few new cuts. I lay back again wondering how many thoughts I had left. But more than anything I wondered, how had it come to this?

Now I laugh at that naïve little boy with his puny concerns. It was beyond his wildest imaginings to dream up the creature he would inevitably become.

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