(A short fiction by Sidharth Vardhan
First written on January 25, 2019)
Find all parts of ‘Diary of a Cynical Suicide’ here
My last wish that I don’t see ever getting fulfilled is for someone to hold my hand and tell me “I understand.” That is perhaps all I need from all my friends. But perhaps they aren’t friends. Perhaps I just don’t have the luxury of friends.
I don’t even how to make effort or in what direction to make. I don’t have it in me to walk another mile to find happiness. All I want is for this suffering to end. Everywhere I see, there are people … Living things suffering. I don’t want this anymore. No more of this world in my eyes. I must close them to the world and close them so that they are never opened around.
Pain Letter – 18
I guess you did listen to me and delete the last letter. Well, delete this one too. I will make it short. I am never gonna find any self-respect again – ever. And for the rest of my life, I will never be able to open up before another person knowing that they will walk out the second I learn to look at them for support.
You will shrug your shoulders and just say that you don’t care. You are a selfish person. I wish that was the case. I wish you were selfish. it would have been easier – I won’t suffer from this confusion where I can’t know how to look back at our times together and hate you and hate you without feeling guilty about it. But as you keep reminding me, you kept coming back. That is because you were not selfless, you wanted to be there for me. But you still walked away. Still ran away.
And that is because you are not selfish, you are something worse. You were a coward. And I don’t mean weak, but a coward. A weak person is still struggling. A coward just steps back. That is what you did right? You ran away because you can’t handle me at my worst. Right? You have in to fear like a coward. If you were selfish you won’t come back. If you were weak, you would cry, ask me to stop – anything but run away.
But no, you had to be coward. Do you see this? This was an accusation – not a reproach. I clear cut accusation. I hope you will notice the difference.
There were clear examples bid your cowardice already. I just kept ignoring them. I just kept thinking they were some kind of weakness. Maybe a weak person would have cut the call to. Or acted angrily and run away. But he or she would at least have had guts to feel sorry afterward.
So you are a coward. And I hate myself for ever sticking along. So you tell a suicidal person how much he depresses you and how empty of any use his friendship is to you? I can not believe I repeatedly chose to want you in life, to beg you to come back. What a loser I really am? So many times I fought with my better judgment because, oh, you wanted me as a friend. And even if you had to leave, this is goodbye I get?
Yet again, I won’t promise you that this would be another letter. But I really am trying.
Pain Letters – 19
I no longer believe that you read these letters. And to be honest I don’t care if you do read them. I suffer from panic attacks every day and I hate the injustice in the fact that I suffer all this alone. You are the one who used to say misery loves company. Why am I alone? Why can’t I have even one friend who understands? How is it you get everything – friends and love and plenty of it and I none? How is it you don’t think of me even for once and I have to spend the whole day trying not to think about you? It is unfair, it is cruel.
Anyways you were like other friends. You left me when I was most miserable and when you were happy. Do you see that? You fitted the trend brilliantly.
Those who say there is no despair without hope are fools and have never seen their worlds getting destroyed around themselves while they watch in despair. It is true though the other way around, there is no hope without despair.
There is not one me but many – so many identities in me constantly fighting with each other to take hold of my body. It is a kind of inferior version ‘multiple identity disorder. But I use the word ‘identities’ to avoid confusion. They are more of ideas, states of mind – the believer, the selfish one, the nihilist one, the hedonist, the cynical one to name a few. But more than mere moods, they often exist together – often talk to each other. People have noticed me talking to myself. If I tried, I could probably record whole conversations. The one writing these notes is, of course, the cynical suicide. Maybe i should tell you about others.
There is at least one base identity in us all or at least almost all of us – the identity that is at one with the body. This identity tells us to take care of our body – makes sure that we eat, drink and sleep in our time; keeps us from doing the things that will hurt us, makes us do things that are beneficial etc. I can imagine there might be some brain-related medical disorders in which a person loses contact with this identity or this identity doesn’t exist at all. In my own case, it didn’t develop as fully as your normal lot. It might be because of my overcaring mother. Till she was there, I never needed to think for myself. In school, I would let people laugh at myself, call me Joker. When one day, she was gone – this identity was caught unprepared. And not only it failed to catch up, it never truly tried just for once much later (i will tell you about that later). I discovered long ago, right after the death of my mother, that I can’t see myself in the mirror (never tried before that) – that, in my own consciousness, I am not a human being or a living creature. I just can’t give the dignity due to a human being to myself. If you were to call me names I probably won’t defend myself. Maybe that creature so long ignored by me did sometimes feel bad – but that creature had no power on the body and was left entirely powerless.
After my mother’s death, this identity – the one supposed to keep me live itself needed a life support system. And it found one in my granny, I lived so that I would be there with my granny when she dies. That was my only motivation for living. My base identity wasn’t a tree rooted in the soil of self-interest as it should be, it was like a weed growing on the assumption that someone in this world needs me. People say I am a bad dresser, don’t look after myself – they just don’t know that the ‘myself’ never held any value in my life. What people have thought of as sacrifices were not sacrifices but the allocation of resources to a more valuable person.
Over this same time, another me developed. I don’t know at what point it discovered itself. It was not there during my school years. It was vaguely there during my college years. I think it grew along with the writer in me. It was a believer – a believer that the world could be made a better place by making people more compassionate. And people can grow more compassionate. That it was the duty of the literature to bring more compassion to literature. That everyone has his or her own weak points, dark sides – and must for that reason be understood. This believer was, of course, a fool like all other fools. He died a few months ago. He was killed by yet another identity in – the cynic.
The cynic – that is, of course, now the cynical suicide is a state of mind or identity which took over when I discovered how I was betrayed by people in my own family. And this cynic was born with that pain I felt – the pain which was real and strong and no amount of compassion could keep me from being angry at those betrayed me. No matter how much I understood them, it was not possible to accept them. This cynic identified its values – or lack thereof, to the villains, to the Heath Ledger Joker. This cynic, that is I, believed that people don’t deserve compassion preciously because they are weak they don’t deserve compassion or trust.
These notes are already the graves of what one of these identities – the believer, the book lover. These notes are a slow process of unbecoming what I have so long tried to become – an author.
There is only one time the basic identity tried to fight with others to dominate my consciousness and that was when I loved someone. And when that happened, it fought and won several battles during a short time. Of course, the lover lost the way other lovers lose – after being betrayed by beloved.
Pain Letters – 20
I have had enough of humanity. My contact with humanity had been minimal for years. I willing recruit only broken people or those that stick around with a stubbornness. And now I am giving up on them too.
I had given up families and love long ago. Now I give up on compassion and friendship too. Love, families, compassion, friendship – they are all overrated. Maybe these things work for others but for myself, they have been a constant source of disappointments.
I try again and again, start again and again – giving people a chance but I am going through one of my worse spells of depression and anxieties, none of them want to be around or understood.
I fight every day, every moment with that voice at the back of my mind asking me to kill myself. There are so very few things that interest me, so very few things that act as food for my soul. And these things are growing fewer over time. And I have been using this strength this little food has given me to help others, to make the lives of others better, to make them smile. And what do I get in return? Being told that I don’t want to be happy? Being told that I depress them? Being told that they regret meeting me? That they don’t want to have anything to do with me now that they are happy? Beckett once asked ‘what we do now that we are happy’ – and I guess every one of my friends who has found happiness has known the answer – to desert me. To judge all those who aren’t happy like other happy, normal souls.
It is true I live in hell or perhaps purgatory – full of broken people. I suffer but I try helping others who suffer with me to grow away from their suffering. And as soon as they enter in their heaven, they look down upon like rest of those souls of heavens who are happy because of their despicable indifference and judgemental nature.
People who have themselves suffered from depression, anxieties etc, people who should this know better, when they got rid of those problems due to some stroke of good luck, told me that it is my own fault, it is me who doesn’t want to be happy. People who would call me in the middle of the night have deserted me because I depress them.
Even broken people jump to judging others as soon as they are happy. I believed them to be, I was just overlooking their judgemental nature – believing they were a symptom of their being broken, rather than their being inert nature. Every time they grew normal or happy, the judgemental nature turned worse. And you know how I can’t stand judgemental happy people.
And so I am not letting any more people into my lives. As for those already around, I won’t cut them out. But they are no longer my friends or family, only well-wishers. No one who doesn’t understand me, can’t stand my worst moods deserves to be anything more than that. And I won’t have anyone who does. I will never have anyone who will hold my hand or hug me when I need it. I will never have anyone who will tell me that they need me in life.
Anyway, this is not a letter devoted to them. It is a letter devoted to you. Dogs aren’t only man’s best friends. They are men’s only friends and ones that humanity doesn’t deserve – well, at least as far as I am concerned.
You are the only friend and family I have when I suffer, you are the only one who suffers with me. It is more like that you are forced – I am your only playmate and, on days, when I can’t get out of my bed due to these bad moods – you suffer with me. And you are the only company I have when I need it. And since little I give you in return is nothing when compared to what you do for me. That day when I ate those pain killlers, you were the only one in the room with me. I know you didn’t understand what was going on. I know if given a chance and intelligence, you too would have probably chosen a better, more fulfilling life rather than suffering besides me. And I know how useless this letter is to you, you would rather I play with you. But all this doesn’t matter. What matters is that you really were there for me even when no one was there. What matters is that the more depressed I grow, the more passive you have grown. What matters is that you were only one who woke up for me (and, at that, without my asking) when I woke up after another nightmare. Yes, you went back to sleeping and yes it was probably because of the noise I created but you woke up. And even if you went back to sleep next moment, that little moment when you looked up to check on me was more than all my so-called friends would have done combined.
And I am sorry. You don’t deserve this. You deserve so far better. I failed you as a friend. You are the only one for whom I want to be happy. You are probably the only one who will miss me for more than two hours of ceremonial crying due in good etiquettes to everyone among humans if I were gone. I am sorry for not having paid you better attention. I am sorry I didn’t love you as much as you deserve to be loved. I don’t want to be forgiven. I don’t think I deserve that. But I am sorry and you must know that.
And I will try to change. I can’t make any promises. Everyday… Every hour is a fight for me. And you are the only reinforcement I have. And it is hard, I don’t choose to be that way. I have given chances to people, to broken people whom no one else or few others ever spared a thought and it has never paid back. No matter what people say, Jenny, it is not a choice I made to be this way. I don’t care what others think of me I don’t care if others think I suffer on purpose. I just wish you will understand. I wish just for one day you could speak and we would have so much to talk about.
Every day is a fight Jenny and I am trying against everything to fight it on. But I can’t promise you as to how long I will keep doing it. I still can’t throw away some of my good wishers who still feel like talking to me. But this one thing I will do. But I promise this – no more new recruits. The rest of my life will be devoted to us.
Pain Letters -21
Sabah was right. I was always the low priority object in your life. Tell me again, why were you reluctant to call me on your sir’s phone? Because you were worried about how he would feel, right? Yet, you so willingly told me about you kissing your sir. And later when I explicitly told you to please not tell me about your love life, you keep telling me again and again. Why not show the same concern for my feelings as you did for feelings for others? You make efforts to apologize to your other friends but… And yet you wonder why I doubt whether you ever really thought of me more than a piece of diary or a mere joke. You didn’t finish the editing of the book because you found something more interesting. You stopped chatting with me because you found something more interesting. I was your rebound after zoddie and after you found a better guy you left me. Tell me did you obsess in front of any of them about losing me as you did about losing them in front of me?
I wanted to say you don’t know what it feels like to mourn for a friend who is still alive but just don’t care for you – but you do. I could tell you that no one who goes through depression and anxiety attacks does so willingly – that it was not my choice to be this alone in this world, it was not my choice to suffer. But you have suffered too – so many anxiety attacks etc and you are supposed to know better. I could tell you that illusions don’t make one happy – but I remember you telling me that an illusion won’t ever make you happy because you will always know it is an illusion. I could tell you that you don’t understand what it means when you are seeing your world crush to pieces around you and being alone to witness it, with no one to hold your hand and tell you that he or she wants you to fight it out. But you have been there too.
So I will tell you only this – I am in the same state as you were in when I first met you. I can’t trust people. It seems like the broken people I spent hours cheering up, stayed up all night for when they were depressed – they have taken whatever little light I had in life. Nah, more like I spent all the light I had on them and I didn’t have a lot of light to start with. And now they are judging me for being dark.
I was wrong. I almost killed myself by eating a lethal dose of those painkillers and though I survived with some physical problems, I realized one thing. Two hours was way too much. You probably didn’t even think of me even for a moment when I was gone. You were right, you could throw me out of my life anytime.
– the napkin you trashed
A friend had a cardiac arrest. He is better now. But look at my narcissism, I am still thinking about myself. All the way to the hospital I am thinking that I should be the one having that problem. I am physically less strong, more deserving of death and less desirous of life.
I might have got music back. If nothing else works, put on headphones and listen to some good music. Whoever invented headphones probably stole the idea from heavens. Death can’t be as bad if I know that the last thing I would be a song.
Beauty truly lies in eyes of the beholder. You have to learn to ignore the complete picture and focus only on details that give one happiness during the times those things give one happiness. This means that only a person of limited intelligence and vision can find things beautiful. If one was to be able to look at the whole of the universe in one glance, one would die at sight of ugliness. Maybe the truest definition of art is creating the stuff that prompts the limited vision for some time duration – no wonder, all movies, and books are so full of pretty people. And the art of living, in which I fail so miserably, is developing that opt-in blindness for ugliness aspects of life. An art of living that normal people have got naturally.
When I talk about the connection I once thought existed between suffering and things of beauty (assuming you have that limited vision that can find things beautiful) and my disillusionment thereof, I missed talking about one other connection that does exist between two. There is a very quick way to end both those things – anger. Once you are angry, you no longer feel conscious of either your suffering or beautiful things in life. If anger lasts long enough, it kills both suffering and beautiful things for once and for all.
A new year is born out of the corpse of the old year. New plants grow at the places where old ones died. I feel as I must die to make a place for something new, better, more worthy of existence. By continuing to exist, I fail in fulfilling the purpose of my existence which is to annihilate myself.
We kill even as we breathe. We take lives by my process of existing. Then there are pesticides and insecticides. And the food we eat. There is no existing without guilt, only a fool would believe in such a thing.
Guilt is the Jackal used for punishment of Prometheus. Every moment, every day, it eats into your heart.
I read this saying somewhere “we build a snowman out of snow, and weep on seeing it melt.” That is a lesson you have to learn about life. Everything good and beautiful is a snowman about to melt. All good things must end.
Pain Letter – 22
Anyway here are some of the things you said:
“I am a pathological liar”
“Trust me even when I don’t trust myself”
“You give so much and I can’t do anything for you”
“I give and give and all I get in return is a pain letter”
“I will have far more time in college.”
“I don’t have time for you. Two minutes for goodbye” cuts the call before two minutes are over.
“I didn’t read your block was busy …… (Only second later) I got nothing to do.”
“I deserve better than that”
“I love you”
“I don’t love you”
“I will make it work. I am promising. I do love you”
“You deserve better”
“It is nothing serious”
“Love is fucking stupid”
“I won’t ever write you a letter or at least won’t post it”
“Call me when you are down”
“Call me when you are suicidal”
“Can’t handle your bad moods”
“I am not a patient stone”
“What is going in your life?”
“I hate it when people reply in ‘k'”
“:/” (Reaction when I told you I am suicidal)
“Don’t leave me”
“I can give so much to hold a single finger of you”
“I can leave you anytime”
“You don’t depress me”
“You don’t bore me”
“You bore me”
“You don’t bore me”
“You put me on edge”
“You don’t put me on edge.”
“I come to you to detox”
“You depress me”
“I don’t want anything from you”
… and then you wonder why I don’t trust you.
Pain Letters – 23
I hate this. Why can’t I stop thinking about you? I hate you, I don’t even want to talk to you. I don’t think I can ever trust you again. Even if you were to try come back, I would just ask you to leave me alone. And yet, I keep thinking of you. And yet I want those efforts at friendship from you to reject. I want you to feel that hurt I feel. How small a person I have become! To hate someone, to envy someone for her happiness. I can’t even pretend that I want you to happy. I want you to suffer as I have felt. Harvey Dent was right when he said either you die a hero or become a villain I have become a villain. Though I was never a hero but I do wish I was dead by now. Exactly how can you indifferent to my suffering after everything? Even now, after so many humiliations, I want to know how you are doing in life. How come it never occurred you to apologize? How could you hurt someone and not ever want to apologize? Though no answers will satisfy me. I will hate myself for wanting it if you suffered. And I will hate you for being happy when I, whom you talked about loving, being a friend or caring, is suffering. Do you even remember me?
Sooner or later, these notes must be concluded. That is perhaps one freedom not allowed to suicide notes. They can’t be too long – Hannah was accused of being a drama cute because she made 13 tapes. I am afraid my notes though addressed to no one will attract far less compassion.