Suicide no. 29: Snowflake
–by Derek Alan Wilkinson
The uniformed officer finished reading a note that lie otherwise motionless next to the victim—who, after she ingested a bottle of prescription meds, became motionless several hours ago as well. He then handed the note to the victim’s grieving mother:
“When the snowflakes used to fall, I’d imagine entire days spent home from school, fascinated merely by nostalgic youth—knowing even then that those small moments in time would become nothing more than some bittersweet memories left behind: like a broken stained-glass portrait of some awestruck piece of history. I knew that, when I put on layer after layer of useless clothing to protect myself from frostbite: no matter what, the cold would seep in. When a snowflake would land on my gloved hand, I knew each of them were different—like fingerprints—and thought them all having lived lives as unique as they were beautiful.
And I knew they’d each melt away the moment they touched my breath.
Snowfall still looks as elegant if you’re curled up in a blanket next to some cozy fireplace with a cup of hot chocolate, hearing only the crackle of wood splinter as it smolders away into nothing. Entropy. That’s what becomes of it—the firewood, that is. And those once fascinating, tiny little shards of ice, for that matter.
The accumulation in itself, now, is as deadly for truck drivers as it is for pedestrians in muddy and disheveled in heaps along sidewalks and driveways. The salt eats away at it, slowly. At least you hope that whatever you poured into your car as windshield wiper fluid is enough to keep you from spending too much time and effort having to scrape it off, along with those wretched sheets of ice, well enough to see the road: which, as you’ve seen season after reckless season, will leave its lot of SUV’s and the like in ditches along the roadside.
You now hope, once you reach a certain age, that it doesn’t pour down in heaps large enough shut down the school system.
And in that moment, if you’re like me: that’s when you figure it all out. You begin to realize that it’s all over. You discover that, once something that seemed magnificent enough to make the world seem magical—that the sort of majesty that came with it is almost gone. Those things that create wonder in the world now transform into something else terrible and wretched, and that we lose our marvel that we felt towards, and in, it.
With that loss, we lose small parts of ourselves. Then, we wonder—what if everything becomes like snowflakes?
The truth is that I don’t know if that’s how everything turns out.
And the bigger truth is this: I simply don’t want to find out.”
Inspired by The Daily Post’s Weekly Writing Challenge: http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2014/02/24/writing-challenge-object/#more-69275