Suicide no. 75: When the World Stopped Turning
–by Derek Alan Wilkinson
Police sirens spun as they wailed their own noise-symphony dirge. An antique of a Cadillac with tires and rims entirely too large to bear any resemblance of class that the vehicle manufacturers had in mind screeched to a halt—partly in order to avoid puncturing its over-sized tires on the blood-stained glass that now littered a what-was-once busy street, and in part only to observe a desperate man on the twelfth story of an abnormally large skyscraper plead for the narcissistic attention that came with choosing to climb on its ledge.
The police bullhorns went from echoing threats to bargains to pleas as the mid-forties, balding male clung—shaking his head no in every attempt to get him to come down, peacefully.
Strangers watched in fearful silence. A mother to a five-year-old girl kept trying to keep her daughter’s head buried into her thick, overpriced winter coat, but couldn’t help but wonder how things would turn out. Taxi drivers bitched with patrons walking out—some headed in the direction they were going to start with, others gathering with the rest to witness the spectacle. Some stood and watched in awe, some in disgust, and some didn’t stand at all—prefering to kneel in prayer, thinking that they could turn this whole scenario into a story that they’d tell in church to praise the power of God Almighty.
News crews set up cameras, and anchors pouted pretty, young lips—taunting them with delicate touches of lipstick to tell the whole city the outcome: whatever it wound up being. Other reporters questioned the crowd—trying to find out who stood ready to fall. Questions only led to other questions. No one knew the guy. His family was not among those held captive in that otherwise enthralled audience; no doubt, somebody he knew, somewhere, would wind up watching the desperation unfold on whatever local network decided to air the story.
Where was I when the world stopped turning?
The moment that the everlasting spin began to slow down, I was watching my wife walk across our lawn with our two children for the last time.
That was a month ago, to date.
Now? The fire department had unfolded a rubber solution for me—a platform for me to safely land on when I did decide to jump. The crowd started out begging me not to do the thing that they were now intent on getting me to do: “Jump!”
I might survive the fall, albeit with a couple broken bones and all. I probably would have—if I hadn’t already slashed open both of my wrists with shards of that shattered window. What most people couldn’t see—couldn’t realize—is that I was going to bleed to death before I even began my decent.
As I watch the sun set in the distance—perfect and pink and yellow—I feel myself becoming lighter and lighter. My head is as thin as paper, and I’m about to loose my grip, my posture, what’s left of my sanity, and my life.
And then, that’s where I’ll be when the world finally stops dead in its tracks, and swallows me away into…