Tuesday, February 11, 2003

Sweet Dreams of Suicide
by Jessica Delfino

So….I’m 26 and I have done a lot of things. I’ve been to Florida, I’ve taken a shower with a woman, and I’m a woman too, I’ve even learned how to cook chicken liver pate, the correct way.

Still, I haven’t committed suicide yet. I thought it’d be so easy to do. I’ve been thinking about it for years. There are so many new ways to do it, thanks to modern medicine and improvements in technology, there are new buildings to leap off of, new poisonous juices to drink, crazy weapons with which to self-inflict death, weird vapors to smell and bad foods to ingest. Me not being able to kill myself is just one more reason for me to talk shit about myself and conquer that I am, in fact, the laziest person in the world.

Did you know that if you combine simple cleaning agents bleach and ammonia, you can create a severely deadly gas that if breathed will deliver death onto you in a quick and delicious manner, as if you are being covered with a down and lead filled blanket?

I should have done it by now. My days are a combo plate of self-pity and television. Most times, I don’t know whether to wash the dishes or cry. I am cooking a bagel in my gas oven right now. I eat bagels for breakfast, brunch and dinner. It’s all I can afford. I don’t even have butter. I am just going to eat it with a sample size of this new mayonnaise-salsa hybrid sauce that Kraft sent me in the mail. Sometimes I go to light the oven and I catch myself wishing out loud that the whole building would explode. Other times, I hope out loud that the pilot light will go out and I will choke on sweet, sweet cooking gas and flutter peacefully off into oblivion.

When I think about all the things I have to be happy about, very little comes to mind, but there are some things.

Bag clips. I have a collection of over 30 of them. I use them to clip back the curtains, clip back my hair from my eyes as I stare crying into the mirror, I use them to clip my nose so I won’t have to smell any offensive odors that either have wafted uninvited into my apartment or have been created by me, I use them to keep papers together, I use them to remind me that life is worth living, if even only in small spurts.

I own a pair of $1700 shoes. I won them in a contest that was being advertised in one of those loathsome women’s magazines. Win Claire’s shoes! The magazine told me, and showed Claire Danes modeling a dress too daring and sexy for me to ever wear, not even in my fantasies, and the shoes of note. I wrote my name on a postcard, though I never, ever win anything, and sent it in. Imagine my surprise when I got the phone call, asking me to come in and pick up the shoes at the office. They handed them to me in a box and I took the hot pink and green striped shoes home. They are quite exquisite. I can’t ever wear them out, but I can put them on while I’m lying in my bed and hold them up high overhead and pretend I’m walking on air. They will probably never feel the cool cementy sidewalk under their heels, I’ll probably just leave them to my sister upon my death, but for the time being, they are keeping me alive.

I can’t do anything right. If I ever tried to inhale a suicidal amount of piano cleaner or paint thinner, I’d probably be one of the ones who not only doesn’t die, but gets a better personality and a new attitude on life.

As I write this, I look upon my belongings. They stare back upon me with no love, with no pity, with no advice or answers. I imagine my suicide in black and white, then again in color. I think about my family coming to my house and going through all my worldly possessions. My suicide note will read, please! Do not fight over my belongings! Share them, divide them evenly, take what you like and sell the rest, or give it to charity.

I imagine my sisters fighting anyway, over my pink and green shoes or photos of us together as children. I can see my mother rifling through my closet, holding up a shimmery shirt in one hand and a black dress in the other, thinking, “Jessica would have wanted me to have these.”

I can see my little apartment, packed up and emptied by the people my family hired on Craig’s List to do the job for just a few dollars an hour over minimum wage.

I can see the tattoo of my name, glistening on my boyfriend’s back as he fucks his new girlfriend.

Then, I close my eyes, and I see nothing but space, and time, and where is god? Is he even there?

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