It's so hard to get a suicide note just right. The long awaited follow up to CRAZIEST.
If you are reading this I am all ready dead.
That was a good start, but that had always been a good start. Catherine always got stuck at the same place. She had been trying to write her suicide note for three months. She never could seem to finish it. Her adviser/astrologer, the woman in Las Vegas she spoke to in the dead of night, said the note was an just an exercise anyway. She said Catherine shouldn’t feel like a failure because she couldn’t finish it. Catherine saw the note as training for the main event. It was like doing drills. One day she would finish the note and slip off the cliffs above Big Sur into her watery grave.
In between drafts of her suicide note she would plan what it would take to kill herself. The fall might be enough – the sheer impact of her 298 pounds hitting the water – but more likely, she would have to leaden herself down with pockets full of rocks. Catherine also had the additional problem of living in Dallas, nowhere near where she wanted to die. She didn’t have a driver’s license, money for a bus or any friends at all, let alone someone who would drive her fifteen hundred miles. She didn’t know if Big Sur even had rocks readily available for the person coming up there for drowning purposes. But she did know one thing: suicide was the worst thing you could do to your family.
If you are reading this I am dead. Don’t feel bad. You did the best you could.
Was that the best thing to say? Would reverse psychology work on them? Or, if she told them not to feel bad, would they really not feel bad? They just might.
If you are reading this I’m dead. I have lived my life with deep psychological scares that burn and ache. All of you have played a contributing factor in this inevitable end to my pathetic life.
Maybe “my pathetic life” would give them some relief. They could let themselves off the hook because it was her life and as Daddy says, “Sugar, you’re responsible for your own life.”
Catherine hated all of Daddy’s little sayings. “Conclusion is the place you got to when you got tired of thinking.” “Someday is not a day of the week.” “When everything is coming your way you’re in the wrong lane.” What the fuck did any of it mean?
Mama and Daddy lived just 20 miles away and Catherine couldn’t remember the last time they visited. She didn’t care. It gave her more time to plan her death. It wasn’t like she didn’t warn them. Catherine slipped it into every phone conversation. “You would be better off without me.” No one cared. Her family had written her off a long time ago and now all she wanted was for them to suffer.
Rage is a powerful motivator, and rage turned inward is a powerful depressant. Catherine was all rage all the time. It was hard to say where the anger came from, its point of origin. Most people would say Catherine’s folks were real nice people. Catherine had been mad her whole life. Her Mama said she “came out of the womb beet red and hollering like a banshee.” Catherine was just pissed at being born and now she was going to correct that little mistake.
If you are reading this I am dead. I hate you all. I’ve always hated you. Hate courses through my veins. I hate that I was ever born and that is your fault.
That seemed better. Maybe she was getting somewhere – somewhere metaphorically because Catherine almost never left the house. All that weight hanging off a 5 foot 1 frame made it hard to walk or even breathe. She lived on disability and food stamps. A sixteen-year-old boy who coughed “Lardo” under his breath delivered all her groceries. Life sucked but all that was about to change. All she needed to do was finish the fucking note.
The note was no good. It needed to be finessed. Catherine pulled herself out of her chair and opened the cabinet just to the right of the refrigerator and pulled out a box of E.L Fudge Sandwich Cookies. She slammed them down on the table and wedged herself back in the chair. She stuffed two cookies in her mouth. Her mouth was dry, maybe from the hot Dallas air, maybe from the fires of rage, but the cookies stuck in her throat. She couldn’t take in air. Each effort to inhale blocked her airway more. With her last breath it came to her: the “Dear” was all wrong.
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