Suicide no. 40: The Wastrel

Suicide no. 40: The Wastrel

–by Derek Alan Wilkinson



“While death smiles on us all, he could hardly want to smile back.”


“The echoes descend an endless chasm, forever spelling out our doom.”


“Here lies half a saint, and half a sinner as well.”


“What doesn’t kill us makes us postpone the inevitable.”


“Have a drink on me. Put it on my tab.”


I’m half out of whiskey, and struggling for an epitaph. You pick one. While not truly out of time, I lack the patience to wait for that pertinent consequence that awaits us all: demise.


Celebrating only half-victories in my conquest for truth, I find myself merely wandering—better yet, sinking—into a sort-of Nietzsche’s Bottomless Abyss. He was right on the nose about it: that gangly old Thing does stare right back; that selfsame Bastard’s been doppelganging me for as long as I knew anything real at all.


You know, normally (and this is how I would deal with it), drinking is how I’d go about coming to terms over being tasked with a deadline—between hook and sinker. Fast-traveling to the bottom of the midnight sky, I know I won’t feel anything past that thin layer of air a few miles upward—which happens to be the worst part of dying. The reel spins, and I reel backwards at considering the very construct, the fiber and the makeshift, of fate.

I’m too conscious, too aware, of allowing myself to become aware, that life, despite its needed toils and coils, must end. Worse than this is the mere simplicity—yet, the endless complexity—of not knowing when. It’s as if the not knowing part wants me to make myself know to start!

Thus, the unknowable being forced into certainty is the only way that I’ll ever feel comfortable with death.

How ridiculously tragic! As if, somehow, if I knew how I were to die, suicide wouldn’t be an option? Yet, by choosing to end my life, I feel such comfort at knowing that stupid little fact well enough to follow through with it! The irony? Malevolent. The certainty? Hardly worthwhile, yet worth ending everything I am over.

It seems, anyway.

Per(err?)adventure I neglect to accept this as fact? I’ve tested this against the last two years of my life, only to discover, imminently, that death seems to breathe its icy chill at nearly every step. So, I continued to drink—feeling Arctic nostrils near the nape of my neck, always. Every turn leading into another turn until…until nothing. Nothing happens every minute of every second of every hour of every day, week, month, and year and then some more—smaller, and larger—fragments of time elapse.

And some, then, as necessity, fail to elapse.

I wait for the right moment to grip the deadline, the deadlocked, tick-tock of Fate’s rock-solid and well-tuned clock right ’round it’s thin and eternally hollow throat. I reach and grasp, and the moment evaporates so quickly sometimes that, even when the urge jolts me forward into adrenal rage, I find that the very thoughts that drove my actions loll behind; I thrust myself into action so long after I’ve lost the shot to make any real difference in the world of fate that the only emotion I can feel is shock at my own lack of reflexes.

But not this time. I have you in a choke hold. I’m going to…I’m going to…I’m going to…

I’m going to, I swear. I’m getting to it. I will this time.

Eventually, I will.

Inspired by the Daily Post’s writing prompt:


6 thoughts on “Suicide no. 40: The Wastrel

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