There was never blood, not any of the times I slashed my wrists. Oh, I wanted there to be: rivers of crimson, my very essence visibly departing. I wasn't some fucking cutter. This wasn't done for cheap effect. I wanted to die every single time.
Unfortunately, as the great philosopher Daffy Duck once observed, pain hurts. Sure enough, the more pressure I applied to my wrist, the greater the pain. Well, I'd think, what if I mess this whole thing up? What if I don't die, but somehow lose the use of my hands, or otherwise have to continue to live in a state of unbearable agony?
The fact that I could never take that permanent step raises the possibility that I didn't, if fact, want to die. Okay, maybe a few of those times, when I was just trying to send some kind of message to my mom and dad, or my wife, or whoever was unfortunate enough to be in my orbit at that particular time. Maybe. But there were so many other times when I floundered all alone with my despair, when the only shred of hope I could cling to was the promise of sweet oblivion--oh yes, those were the times when I did indeed wish to leave this world permanently.
Funny, though...like so many things in my past, I remember the details--my cat Monika sitting at my feet, the mocking sunshine outside the window, the tender flesh of my wrist growing whiter and whiter as I drove the blade down harder--but I can't recall the context. What overwhelming depression could have led me to such feelings? What could have prompted me to want to say The Big Adios? What emotions were so intense, what could have gone so wrong, what was my fucking deal?
I can remember plots of TV shows from thirty years ago. I can remember details of aimless car trips my brother and I took when I was in junior high. I can remember a thousand voices and songs and conversations. But the circumstances and emotions that made me want to kill myself--sorry, no. Those are the things I can't recall.
So I continue to live, relatively happily. There are plenty of down days, sure, but the thought of ending it all never crosses my mind. Why would it? That's not a rational way of thinking. Still, from time to time I'll notice the scars on my wrists, up and down and crisscrossed like a subway map, and I'll wonder what it felt like to hate myself so much.