There were signs.
I didn’t really need any, I had always known.
I was just waiting. Waiting for the phone call.
One day he was wearing a cheap gold chain, like super thick and cheap, from some sort of quarter toy machine for adults going through a later mid life crisis, baby boomer bling. Then he gave me his Bose Ipod dock, he loved it but his Ipod had just been stolen and he apparently had no intentions of replacing it. I carried it home like a dead cat with a diamond collar, I wanted it but I knew it would always stink. He came by on Christmas morning, rushed, he told me he almost left my gift on the porch when I didn’t answer the door quickly enough. He hugged me like it was the last hug he would ever give me and told me he loved me. And he was gone.
I had been waiting for this moment for years, since before I was ever born. My life up until the phone call was merely a series of events leading up to the moment that my heart would be shattered irreparably.
“Your Father, your Father…….”
“My Father what!”
“Fucking say it!”
“Your Father committed suicide”
A scream came from me that was like no other sound I had ever heard, guttural moans emanated like fire from my throat and into the depths of a pillow I smashed my face into. I didn’t know what else to do but to continually scream “fuck” for minutes, until my throat was hoarse and I could yell no more. I was breaking, completely, my brain, my heart and my soul, it was all crumbling to pieces, a jumbled mess of undefinable pain.
As I calmed, exhausted of tears, of screams, I attempted to breathe, hiccuping gasps of still night air. And then I felt it, a tiny bit of relief, the waiting was over. I hated myself so much for that, I still do.
I understand suicide. I have come very close but no cigar. I don’t believe in suicide “attempts”, if I want attention I will dye my hair orange. My Father and I discussed suicide often, comparing methods. I always preferred a clean, private approach; a bubble bath and a bottle of pills taken slowly over a 3 hour period. He however came up with some real fucked up scenarios; a rope tied from the Coronado bridge to your neck so that when you jump and the rope tightens your head will pop off and hopefully boaters would be nearby to witness the body and head falling into the ocean separately. In his animated description of the scenario his darkness was camouflaged by humor and charisma.
Camouflaged by humor and charisma…the perfect hiding place for depression. It had been there his whole life, I saw it in his eyes. Most people were too distracted by his charms to notice. Anyone can smile for a camera, he smiled for everyone and spread that shit like a comedic plague. It was damn hard to be in a bad mood around him, his own pain so deeply embedded in him that it acted like a vacuum, sucking in any surrounding sadness or grief. All of this pain turned into a sort of fuel that kept him going, how much more can I handle?
He held on for as long as he could. Until one day he just couldn’t hold on anymore.