back   next

send me out into another life
lord because this one is growing faint
i do not think it goes all the way
-ws merwin, "words from a totem animal"

another life. that would be fine. another life, another me. i don't know it would be that bad, being a shiny-happy. if i were happy, i don't think i'd care.

oh, i mightn't be me, but that's no great loss to the world. there's nothing i could do someone else can't, and people get over loss eventually. i'm not irreplaceable. and i don't like myself so much that i would mourn my own passing.

perhaps it's a cliché, wanting to die because the pain won't stop any other way. i want to want to die for another reason. any other reason. because no one will ever love me -- no, that's not true. i am loved by friends, and i suppose if i could do a relationship, i would be loved there. because no one cares for me is less true. i fit into my place in the world. i could be happy, if i weren't so desperately unhappy.

but i am. i am.

nothing is wrong with my life. i can go out and have lovely conversations with people and laugh. i can read. i can play with my sister, bike with my father, go for breakfast with my motherauntgrandmothersecondcousin. i have a lot of money, for my age and place. i can do my job, i can do my school. i like my school. i like the people around me. i like my clothes. the only problem is the hole in my heart, the sadness that leaches out and poisons my blood, whispers death to me.

such a minor problem, and so much that should be, is good. i don't want it anymore. fit someone else in my shoes. it hurts and i'm always sad. even happy, even up, i'm sad, somewhere. i don't allow myself touch. i don't want it, except that i desperately do. and it's meaningless.

all of it is, though. all meaningless.

there have to be other personalities that would fit in my skin. i don't. i wear skirts and dresses and heels, colourful usually. pink, today, with little flowers. it looks fine, except i am not pink with little flowers. my hair's all wrong, my face, my figure. i ought to be little and fragile, with long slightly wavy dark hair. i ought to be someone else, outside or inside, but someone else. i do not fit, inside and out.

a waif. that's what i ought to be. (something borne or driven by the wind. something waving or flapping. a person who is without home or friends; one who lives uncaredfor; an outcast; an unowned or neglected property. a piece of property which is found ownerless and which, if unclaimed within a fixed period after due notice given, falls to the lord of the manor.) which of those is the right definition? although i'd like to be blown down by the wind, pushed over, torn apart, i am too solid for it. (or is it too solid for me?) and i do not wave and flap but drown. i have friensd, and if not a safe home, a home nonetheless. an outcast? perhaps. neglected certainly.

the last gives me pause, though. ownerless, of course, because who am i to claim ownership of this self i did not want? unclaimed, i think, or claimed and then discarded. so who is the lord of the manor? i would hope death. due notice was given years ago, that this person is no longer me, and over 8 years have passed, and it is time for someone else to take over.

"i feel so funny sometimes, as if i'm not anyone, as if i'm a shadow or a dead petal that's dropped off and someone will sweep me away. when i put my ring on i feel a bit more real, i get to be the person who wears the ring."

i can see that. wearing clothing makes me real, holds me into some bits of cloth. i put things in my hair to weigh it down, and jewelry makes me visible, look at that interesting necklace she's got.

perhaps i am a dead thing just filling up a body. i died, years ago. no sense insisting that i can be brought back to life. even were it possible, i would be rotten and mouldy with holes where a life used to be.

do you think you look human today?

and through all this, i would still be alive. i would. not me, fine. some consciousness in this life noly happy, that would be just right. even me, happy, even thuogh that's not wholly me. i don't care how much of my self i lose. i don't need this self, anymore.

i don't need anything at all. or, no, i do: the sad to leave. i need to stop associating life with desperate, aching unhappiness. aching. i ache, and any physical manifestation of pain i have is i know just me trying to move some of it around, to here, to here. i am newly stoic about pain. i bite my lip and pretend not to cry and focus on it for a time, squeeze myself into any small part of my body to leave the rest alone. one small concentrated pain is better than a large background noise one.

background noise? not quite. my life signal-to-noise ratio isn't good enough for any self-respecting machine. no signal, only noise, only the unhappiness. and still, i can smile and keep going in the real world, and i can be with people and talk as if i had a future, and they never know my biggest secret: not that i want to die, not even that i have been (whisper the word) raped (a secret because it is my shame, a secret because no one ever asks, even when they know), but that i am already dead. and if this real secret encompasses the first two, well, that is only more proof that people do not know how to put things together when they do not want to. i do not understand this, how no one can see, and i also wonder who else hides these.

i bring up rape a lot, relevant or not. but in some places they call orgasm the little death and though i never orgasmed, it was still a death, only not a little one. death, rebirth, death, rebirth: i went through scores of cats until one day i ran out of rebirths (and not deaths). i wish i had managed to kill myself. i wish i had not thought i had changed my mind. let someone else win: i certainly cannot.

hurry up please it's time hurry up please it's time. time to go away. time to be someone else.

i've run out of time already. i don't know why i keep hanging on, why i keep outwitting fate. i don't want to.

i want to be middling happy. middling confused. middling and someone else, and not this, because this is not life, not even the breathing part is.

"and i do not intend to look forward to tolerable dawns." i quote that a lot, and, if i think about it, it's how i feel. each morning is tolerable (though i suffer from eosophobia) but just barely.

just once, i would like a suicide discussion to focus on the reality of suicide: not everyone who suicides is alone and old and dying of cancer. some have no reason. they're tired of life, even though they're not old. everything may be fine, except that they want to die. this is not being malajusted, this is not some illness soluble by proper application of drugs. it is just reality, tired and grey.

-jill heather

Last update: Saturday, September 09, 2000 12:05


once, an angel, leaping out of heaven to find new worlds, his hands snagged on a zigzag of stars. lucifer, whose cuts bled light . . .
-jeanette winterson, "art & lies"

back   next