(A short fiction by Sidharth Vardhan
I think a lot about dying. Dream about it. But as much as I think of suicide, it is always about how would people feel afterwards and rarely the actual incident death, It is somehow difficult to imagine myself dying – dead yes, but not dying, and if I do imagine death, it is rarely causing me suffering – what would be point of dying if I was to suffer through it? I may as well live.
There is a girl in my apartment. One of my roommate’s girlfriend. She and my other roommates are joking around. I can’t bring myself to join them. Something keeps me aloof. It ain’t envy or attraction to her. I somehow rarely get attracted to a women. Just as something keeps me from mixing with people in general. In fact, I can rarely feel anything, lesser still the pain. I just can’t bring myself to eat – three days already since I last ear something. I just can’t care – for myself or for others. It is four days and I still don’t know names of any of them. It is as if something is already dead inside me. I’m already a walking dead.
Annoyed from all the noices they are making in my apartment, I try to focus on reading but can’t. Try watching movies. Ditto. So I close my eyes. And start thinking how I can free myself from this hell anytime. The though of suicide is so empowering.
There is something strangely fulfilling about idea of killing oneself. I imagine people mourning for me, saying good stuff about me, forgetting what a loser I am. Stuff they won’t ever if I was alive. All is forgiven to dead. You are bound to be a star on the day of your last rites. I always wish I could be there to see mine (as a ghost, soul or something of sort).
I search for zillionth time on how to kill myself. Soon, Im tired of googling about methods of killing oneself which assures death 100% and ending up finding helplines and motivational rambles. Why can’t they let a person die peacefully?
Im lying on my back on a stool in a public park, looking up to leaves of a tree right overhead which is shading me – thinking what it could be like if the tree was to fell on me and I was to die on the spot, It would be as absurd as my life and my personality – an anomoly, a strange way of dying. Unrealistic. Queer. Oddly funny. It would be so difficult for people to believe in it, and they would look at my dead body with the same quized look in their eyes with which they live at me now. ‘Crushed to death by a tree?’ They would wonder, ‘sort of thing that would happen to weirdo like him’. I, myself, of course, prefer it. It would be so effortless. No need to commit suicide. It is also something literary – like that Doctor from Marquez book who died while chasing a parrot up a tree. but what is one to do? The tree just won’t fell. And now there is an old man sitting right next to me. I don’t want him to die.
I imagine standing in a railway line and doing the countdown to somebody (obviously scared and telling me to move away) over the phone. Ten. Nine. Eight. While waiting for train to hit mem Seven. Six. Five. It is dark in my imagination with that big light on engine acting like theatrical light is on me. The driver of train is shaking his hand violently and asking me to move away (he won’t use the brakes). Four. Three. Two. One. Smash. I die. The phone is lost from my hand and a crying voice can still be heard from other end.
May be it is not so much death I want, more like drama.
Talking about wanting a drama, suicide is such an awesome drama that nothing in any other art form can parallel it. It is a shame, that the artist just cant wave his hand and bow to audience afterwards. It must feel to him a bit like that magician who couldn’t be there to accept applause of audience in movie prestige.
Being hit by a train is difficult method to die where I live. There are no metros and the trains here slow down from miles away. One just doesn’t see a train going at full speed here. And I don’t know how to drive so I can’t go far. Damit, I always thought driving was a ‘living’ skill.
May be I don’t need to be die. I will become a trophey husband ( to think someone could pay my way through life!) – that too would take away the effort one must make to kill oneself.
Death is death of consciousness – when one is not oneself anymore. A way of dying for me has always been madness. And so the choice was between death and madness. I must have one or other. I couldn’t see how I could willingly go mad. So I choose death.
But then I thought drunk people don’t often act like themselves. So I thought may be I will drink. More like someone recommended it to me. They also recommended masturbation.
I tried drinking. Was disappointing. It didn’t turn out well. First glass did nothing. Second, did make the world go swim just a little. But I was still myself. I mean how bad it could be if I am typing it after second glass. May be I should have had a third glass.
I did have five glasses next night. It was disappointing. To think of how much poets have sung about it – how maby people ruin their lives over this. All I felt was discomfort in physical movement. But I often feel tipsy in my depression states too. May be in drunk on my sorrow.
The way behaviour of some people change after drinking is suggestive of fact that they have discovered some sort of secret. I didn’t feel such a thing when I drank myself. But in some ways, alcohol is like my own life – big package, bitter tastes, letting you drink to your sorrows.
Once I finally determined that I’m gonna kill myself by next birthday, I started feeling relaxed. I was still suffering from my agonies but I was no longer struggling with them. Struggling is far tougher then mere suffering, caveat emptor.
I don’t think the world needs me. I don’t think I like the world a lot. It is as simple as that. You can even leave a movie you didn’t like midway – even though you chose to watch it. And I didn’t ever buy the ticket to this life in first place.
You see for people like me, reality is like four walls of cell I am in. And one just knows there is no way though them. One decieves himself with illusions, knowingly or unknowingly, and hits one’s own with all one’s might against those walls armed with these illusions. But the illusions must finally break down and one must finally come face to face with brutal reality that tells how redundant one really is in this world.
In Economics you stop producing goods when investment in variable factors start giving negative returns. No romantic illusions like growth, development, capitalism and other such trash will make you want to change your decision. It might be sad state of affairs but it is what must be done.
My name or rather first three letters of it -R, I, P offer a nice mine of jokes on my suicial nature. I wonder which one it better joke:
“It is ironical that I should be in constant delirum. I mean I have RIP (Rest In Peace) in my name”
“I’m just fated to kill myself. I have RIP (Rest in Peace) in my very name.”
Which one do you think it is?
Dying seems so nature, so obvious, so logical thing to do; that i feel like a fool for going on living, And every day I live adds to that big foolishness of mine
If you ask me, death is overrated. It is nothing. In fact it is less than nothing. It is a momentarily metamorphosis from prensence of something life, that is itself abstract life, to an abstract void created out absence of life. It is thus abstraction of abstraction of abstraction. Why attach so much importanct to it? Do we ever give names to end of things? end of movies? emd of books? end of friendship? Why make an exception for end of life? And there are so many words attached to death – dying, suicide, euthnesia, murder, assassination, homicide etc
You might claim that it is fear of dying – of fear that one’s existence will end. That might be true to a great extent. But same can be said about ageing, another existional crisis. While one often hears talk about immortality, one rarely hears about ever lasting youth. The women in Ovid’s Metamorphosis demanded immortality of gods but forgot to ask about ever lasting you. There is such a book as ‘Death of Illan Illytch” but none as ‘Ageing of Illan Illytch’. There are dreams and nightmares where ones dreams of being dead, dying or a near one dead or dying but how many of us dream where we are old? Why it is that a void is more real to us than ageing? Aren’t we more likely to come across old people in a given day than a dying person or dead body? No, the fear of ending one’s existence doesn’t explain it all.
Moreover, so many of us, me for example, wish for death. If fear of ending one’s existence was sucha supreme factor, we won’t have any suicides. To take up the example of ageing from above, how many of young people dream of getting old?
I think the importance attached to death has more to do with the people to whom dead are close to. THe dead are you know …. dead. If they died suddenly, they might not have to make peace with having to leave. If they did stayed terminally ill for a long time, they already have made made their peace with leaving the world. Either way, there is nothing particularly important in death for them. It is the people to whom they were close, who need last rites to reconcilate with the death of their dear one. THe last rites are just a way of saying farewells to one who has already left. It is not our own death we fear most, rather that of our dear ones. People sacrfice their own lives to save that of dear ones. Dying is easier than seeing a beloved die. That is why we are infatuated about the idea of death.
Life, you see, is a gathering – we never miss people, once we have already left the gathering. Wheras if we we stay behind, we are bound to miss those who have left. It is only logical to leave early.
Perhaps that is why people hate suicides. Because than others feel cheated. People want to think time of dying, that is time of leaving the gathering, should be decided by lottery of fate. They hate it, when someone takes things in their own hands.