Suicide no. 17: Clarity
–by Derek Alan Wilkinson
You consider the world, and your natural surroundings, and you develop these moments—solutions, perceived instances of could-be’s—whatever. And with these, you proceed forward: cautious, but with the curiosity of a newborn and the greed of a struggling tyrant.
Flashback ten years, and you’d find Joey Huddleston: a social and psychological coward, debating whether the pretty girl in front of him in biology was worth talking to—getting to know. He failed at a lot of things. He’d fail this class. He’d spend the whole hour with his head soaked into his wooden desk: daydreaming suicide over and over.
“I wonder what they’d think?” That’s how he used to think, or look, at suicide. And that was as far as Joey’s expectations of his life ever took him in his youth—afraid to even speak out loud what he thought inevitable. He was probably going to kill himself, somehow, and yet, he never did.
And ten years had already passed. And there he was—still alive.
What do you do when you stop daydreaming about it? About ending your life in self-murder? About some stupid poetic note, your “discovery,” your hurt close ones? What happens when you’ve become such a hermit that, even if you did actually go through with it, there wouldn’t be anybody close enough to you to gain any perspective out of the act itself?
What if, when you’d gotten to that point where you’d finally stopped cowering enough to consider it seriously, nobody would be around to care that you did it?
If you’re like Joey, you’d just stop daydreaming about it.
Until you’re on a bus ride home one day, to a rat-infested apartment: it’s only decor the remnants of being seventeen. He had walls covered with pictures and posters and albums—an attempted incantation of his youth. The elderly of his family died off, leaving him but a small enough portion of real estate to finish off his existence—mostly, in solitude. He’d occasionally take in a few strangers from his past—people he’d once known, who he’d become distant from. He’d listen to his music—the same songs, blaring the lyrics of a bygone era. When all was said and done, though, Joey never contemplated death. He just lived a simple means and life, until now, and the daydreams just stopped.
“What’s the point now?” he thought.
And that’s when it hit him like a sack of bricks falling from the sky.
He’d realized that the only reason he thought about it at all, in his earlier days, was to deal with whatever emotional turmoil comes from adolescence. He realized that he’d only thought about it—obsessed over it—was to come to terms with life: or, at least, what life meant to Joey in a time when life was just beginning, in a way.
And, with that clarity, you’d think a man like Joey would move forward. But it wasn’t until after he’d discovered his own justification of “hypothesis,” that, Joey, in the end, found his own life not worth living at all.
Inspired by the Daily Post: http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/12/27/prompt-clarity/