The three of us were engaged in a conversation under the blanket of that crowded Monday morning. The smell of reconstruction greeted everyone with unexpected dose of delight. The sight of freshly painted walls and newly-lighted rooms brought a sense of exhilaration to everyone who was there. Murmurs turned to clamors as everyone breathed the scent of last year’s spirit to fill the heart with last year’s tales. Footsteps rushed to and fro along the hallway as voices filled the solemn atmosphere with howls of New Year’s greeting.
The three of us were engaged in a conversation. As everyone busied themselves with the stories of holidays, we talked about the things of the past. We talked about the Holocaust, we talked about death. We talked about the Vatican and the evils that lurk beneath them. We talked about world wars and concentration camps and how living is such a difficult thing in the age of nuclear bombs and narcissism.
We talked about dying.
For a moment there my mind drifted off of the conversation and wandered around. I was overtaken by the grand spectacle from up there and how such an unmistakable beauty transforms to a lovely view from the sixth floor of the university. I mean, people take it for granted sometimes. The sight of lush green trees screaming to reach the grandeur of the blue skies that stretched from the corners of the earth, the outlines of the towering skyscrapers that create an illusion in the vastness of the horizon, the whisper of the calming breeze that every now and then visits the far corners of my frigid heart, the way I am comforted by a feeling of familiarity, of companion, in such a place where I mostly feel alone.
There was sadness in every inch of my shriveling skin as my eyes searched for something to hold on to, a kind of sadness one feels when one is too frustrated or too desperate it makes them drown in a maelstrom of sickly human emotions, a kind of sadness that gives birth to some existential angst and later on transforms into questions no one has any answer for, a kind of sadness that Holden Caulfield probably felt when he imagined himself catching children in the rye.
I touched the rusty iron bars and felt its thick rough body as the conversation dug deeper into the archives of the past. I let them speak and allowed myself to be their lonely listener. But all too soon my head was already hearing voices from the realms of the other world as if speaking to me to let go.
I imagined myself letting go, standing unmoved and unaffected as I take a leap and fall in the arms of gravity. I imagined myself jumping from up there to embrace the majestic splendor of the saddest sixth floor that I have ever set my feet upon in the course of my entire life. I imagined myself dying in such a way that would crush not only this stubborn little heart but as well as this weak pathetic body that imprisoned my fragile free spirit. Broken skull, smashed ribs, swollen sockets, a deformed body for a deformed soul. Yes, I could be the ugliest corpse the world shall ever witness. But even then my spirit shall be the most beautiful in a place far far away from here. As I hit the solid ground, shallow minds with their shallow tongues will gather around my lifeless body and talk of a thousand senseless things about why an average Philosophy major, among all the other students in the university, chose to commit suicide early on a beautiful Monday morning. Some will sympathize, some will scorn. But in the end everyone will hurl condemnation at things they never understand. My name will hang on the headlines, on university bulletins and in the silence of an abandoned classroom. It will hang on Facebook statuses of friends and classmates I wish to remember no more, on conversations of people who pretend to know and understand but have never really known at all, on hand-made banners of student activists that for the most part of my stay in the university have taught me more than I learned from my professors.
The scent of my demise will mark every inch of this unwished-for funeral as the name of the dead will run heavy in the lips of the living. They will remember who I was, what I was like, perhaps for a day or two, and then no more. Mom will blame herself for the death of her most
neglected daughter but soon enough she will choose to carry on. She will cry herself to sleep and pray that it won’t happen to my brother and sisters. She will devote all of her time to them, as a sort of penitence, for her self-inflicted blame. She will forget me.
My stepdad will have the last laugh as he rightfully commends himself, telling himself that he was right about me all along, that I am nothing but a disappointment for him and for the family. He will get mad at me for failing him until he realize one day how his selfish expectations of me have turned his heart to stone. When I am dead they will all run into this little blog to find the comfort the world could not provide for them and Daddy will find this essay I made for him when I was 18, a letter of love and gratitude of a daughter to a father. These words shall pierce my Daddy’s unforgiving heart and he will be sorry. But by then it will be too late.
When I am dead I wish for them to turn me to ashes and be tossed away in the sky. I’ve always wanted to be the wind that moves across the earth, so freely it dances to its cosmic harmony like a bird that has been set free.
When I am dead, people will mourn but that’s only because they are too afraid to face their own deaths. When eulogies are told and requiems are sung, I know one man who will keep his words to himself. On a dreamy December evening, I made a promise to marry him. But it’s funny because I long feel married to him back when I looked at his eyes and felt the love I have never felt in my life. He will remain silent for the rest of his life knowing that what we once had —the beautiful memory of a short-lived adventure under the blanket of cold December evenings —is louder than the thought of letting go. For the one who has departed, he will be greatly missed as much as he is greatly loved.
Morning greetings woke me up from that daydream as someone came up to me and spoke the ever-occasional ‘hello’. I smiled in return. I allowed myself to get enmeshed in everyone’s conversation, taking the casual exchange of words as a self-disguised remission for the overflow of my thoughts, buying more time to think and re-think of the actions I wish to take upon my life and struggling to keep the embers alive in a harsh cold world where death seems to be the only exodus.
But early on that bright Monday morning where everything feels so hopeful and alive, I did not choose death. For even though life is a breathing inferno, I believe that there is beauty in struggling to live for one more day. Because in the end the real suicide is deciding to go on living.