Friday Night Story


I look at the bottle, near empty, laying on its side with its mouth open. Kiss me, it says. I’m drowsy already, and I don’t think I could even if I wanted to. /Get up. You can’t just lie there, not after you’ve taken all those pills. We have to call a doctor. You have to have your stomach pumped. Or drink some ipecac. Or those little charcoal things. Something. Please.

I feel alone even if I’m not, but there’s no peace in my loneliness. It hurts so badly I can taste it in my throat, and my eyes burn from staring at the world through tears. /Listen to me. It doesn’t have to end yet. There are so many things undone, so many things you still want to do. So many things I want to do.

But none of it matters. Nothing does. The world can’t feel us, and won’t notice when we’re gone. /There are people who will, lives that will change in our wakes.

They’ll hardly notice, and in time, their lives will be better. My parents never really knew me anyway; because if they knew I was unhappy it made them unhappy, which made me feel guilty. We were all happier hiding things. And friends, they’ve never known how to talk to me. They don’t see what I see. They’re too busy to recognize my problems, and besides, I don’t want their kind of help. They tell me it’s a slump or a phase or something I’ll get out of. But I haven’t and I can’t. I won’t. Their advice is useless and condescending. /But they care. They want to help you even if they don’t understand how. They want you to be happy so much.

And this is the only way I can be happy. My life has been nothing but disappointment and anguish. I’ve spent a whole lifetime without ever truly touching someone or being touched. You’re asking me to ‘soldier on’ through years of more pain, for what? So other people don’t have to wonder what they did wrong to make me do this? It isn’t about them. It’s a choice. Don’t you believe I have a right to die? /No. I don’t. If you were in pain, or you were sick, and you didn’t want to go through a long death, then you have a right to die with dignity. Not just because things have gotten hard. Or you hate yourself more today than yesterday.

But I am sick. Don’t you understand that? It isn’t normal to feel this way. It isn’t right. And I don’t just feel bad. I feel nothing but pain. The world is pain and nothing I can do will change that. I can’t stop the pain and I can’t change the world. All I can do is take myself out of it. / You’re being irrational. You’re depressed, and you aren’t competent to make this decision. It’s a very permanent solution to what could be temporary.

It isn’t temporary, and it isn’t sudden, either. I’ve thought this over and thought it through. The pain won’t go away. And I’m tired of being told to think positively and recognize the beauty in life. Life isn’t beautiful. It’s awful. Human beings are awful. Everything is awful. And people don’t even try to understand. They just say something insensitive like ‘it’s a temporary problem’ and think they can walk away. But I don’t get to walk away. /But things can be done, over time. It’s work. What you’re doing is easy. You only have to hurt a little and it’s over, but everyone else gets the rest of a lifetime to feel it. You’re taking happiness from everyone else to make up for something you lack… it isn’t right.

Shut up. I’m not whining and I’m not weak. What gives you the right to judge me? You don’t understand me. You don’t know what it’s like… You’ve never had to be me, or go through what I do. /You’re right. I don’t. But you’re giving up. There are things that can help. Prescriptions and therapy-

Aren’t cures. And you know the trouble I have with pills. It’s another temptation and another struggle and another failure to fight off. And I’m tired. I’ve already spent so much time struggling against this, and I just want it to be done- and it won't be. There isn’t a cure- and I don’t want anything but a cure. /But I don’t want to die, and I can’t live without you. I’ve barely begun to live. I can’t do this alone. It’s not just your life.

I know. I’m sorry. /I know. I don't take it personally. I just wanted more time. But If we’re dying anyway… would you like to hear a joke?

It won’t cheer me up. You can’t fix me, or make things better. You won’t save me. It’s pointless. /Maybe. But you might at least smile, and that means something to me. A suicidal patient asked his shrink how he felt about suicide. He considered it for a moment, and replied, I wouldn’t do it for a living. Get it?

Heh… s’funny… s’verrrry… fun… /I know… goodbye…

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