The Man Who Wanted To Die But Couldn't
(© Tony Sandy)
Brian had wanted to die for ages. He was tired of life -
any life. The day-to-day misery of endless repetition, the mindless work
schedule, the TV repeats that mirrored his own predictable rhythms. He was
trapped in a rut of eternal blankness. All the niggling aches and pains that
eluded his consciousness in the past, now came knocking on his door, demanding
the attention he wouldn't have given them yesterday: It wasn't that his life
was black which depressed him but just an unending, drab grey, lacking contrast
and therefore interest.
When he first tried to kill himself, he thought the
sleeping pills weren't strong enough to work (He'd torn up the suicide note
afterwards and couldn't be bothered to write another one because of that -
Goodbye cruel world! Scratch that, indifferent world more like).
Next came the paracetamol, weedkiller, bleach etc. After
that he tried drowning himself. Ah that peaceful lull from letting go and
giving into the sensation of water flooding your lungs but then he recognised
it as the same old resigned state he was in anyway. He coughed up the water,
dried his clothes and just got on with his life again. This was his first
attempt at suffocation - then came the oven (the gas smelled and that was that,
so up he got and turned it off). He then tried sticking a plastic bag over his
head, which was when he realised that he didn't need to breathe at all as it
made no difference to his existence at all (He'd realised after the pills, he
didn't need to eat or drink anymore either - just another pair of boring habits
he could dispense with).
Hanging gave him a slightly sore throat for a few days.
Electrocution didn't kill him either (burnt the flesh round the contact point
that was all, which soon healed: The tugging sensation of the electric
current was momentarily interesting). He tried setting fire to himself (His
hair grew back in a few days). The crusted tissue made walking difficult for a
short while, reminding him of how as a child he'd got caked in frozen snow and
had to stagger slowly home from the parish fields. He'd looked an awful mess
but decided that more drastic methods were called for. The train made a
terrible mess of his body but they could put this Humpty Dumpty back together
again or at least something could. The legs and ripped off arms reconnected
themselves or grew anew. The torn torso rejoined the abdomen and the spilled
guts crawled back inside the open cavity: Just like when he shot himself - the
headache didn't last long and the deformed skull righted itself. This had so
infuriated him, he rushed into the sawmill and stuck his neck onto the spinning
blade, totally decapitating himself, to the millworkers horror. He then calmly
picked up his head and walked out, knowing in the morning that it would be back
on his neck, with a hardly a scratch mark to indicate anything untoward had
His sister had tried to talk him out of his suicide
"What would mother think, if she was alive
"You know it is a mortal sin to take your own
It had all gotten out of hand after that, leading to the
climax of the train, which the authorities could no longer ignore.
"You've taken self-harm to a new level, young
He'd managed to hide the other attempts quite diligently
but his next door neighbour in the block of flats, had looked at him askance
once or twice; the soaked the clothes, the rope mark round the neck - badly
disguised with a scarf, the burnt clothes and body -
"The Turkey caught fire" was his feeble excuse
to the nosey.
The neighbour had told his sister and how could the
police miss him beheading himself?
It had started to dawn on Brian that all of this had
woken a fiery passion in him (anger, frustration - even a growing amusement at
his own failure to kill himself). For the first time in years he not only felt
'himself' but truly 'alive,' despite his best attempts to play dead and roll
"Woof, woof!" he exclaimed to the world because
he was barking mad at life.
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