- There’s a news story in my hometown right now about a 14-year-old boy who was reported missing around 8 am on a school day. His parents went to wake him up for school and realized he wasn’t in his bed. No one knew where he was. Then, someone saw him! They saw him in video surveillance footage captured outside his middle school the night he went missing. It was 5 in the morning and he was pulling his body, which was likely still a mere stranger to him at that age, into a dumpster. He climbed in and closed the lid. Whoever first saw this video continued watching, waiting, hoping the boy would change his mind from whatever it was thinking, climb out again soon, and move on to somewhere else so they could follow his trail and bring him safely home. But the boy never climbed out. Instead, a trash pickup truck came by and unloaded the dumpster’s contents into its own hungry body and went to the landfill, where the boy was later uncovered, dead and shrouded in mysterious and mourned for how cruel the whole thing was to everyone involved, especially him.
- A few years ago, a man I grew up with killed himself with a gun. I write that he was a man but to me he was a boy because that’s how I remember him. A child bookmarking my memories. Now, I think about him at least once a day, furious at the people who made his life difficult and devastated that in my own childhood struggle not to drown, I didn’t do more to make him feel welcome or listened to or, fuck, even just considered. Then I feel bad that in my own struggle to reconcile his overwhelming sadness I, again, left him out, left him and what he wanted and decided to do with that wanting, out of the equation. Where do you go when you don’t have to go anywhere?
- Pro tip: When suicidal ideation strikes, take the butt end of a butter knife, metal preferably, and, making sure it’s cold, put it to your temple. Hold it there. Take a few deep breaths. Go to bed. Hopefully we’ll all feel better in the morning.
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