In any event, here it is, after the jump:
This Is the Note You'd Be Reading If I'd Committed Suicide
This is the note you’d be reading if I'd committed suicide.
Well, not this part. If I actually had committed suicide, this part wouldn't be here. If I'd raided Mom's doctor-shopped Percocet stash or gotten intimate with your walk-in closet Walther – girls don't shoot themselves, typically, but you know I hate stereotypes – I'd get right to "you never knew the real me" or whatever else makes for a fitting farewell.
But relax. I'm with friends, warm and safe. So don't freak out like when I ran off after our trip to the emergency room and didn't answer the phone for two days. (I still don’t get that, Mom. You care nothing about my everyday life, but you have Amber Alert on speed dial.)
Aunt Judy says it's a control thing, that you've been like that since you two were kids. It's weird how easily I can picture you as a kid. I guess what I've forgotten is how to picture you as an adult.
But I digress.
By now you'll have called me a few times and now you’re calling again. Don't bother; I can't take calls here. But I kept my promise: You told me to never put my phone on "silent," and I promised I wouldn't unless I was completely safe.
Instead, just read this note. Because you know writing is the only thing I do well, which is awesome for a high school senior in 2010.
I don't know why I'm wasting sarcasm on you two. You don't read. You drink and watch TV and drink, yet you remain under the delusion that I could work at a newspaper or magazine. (Which, apparently, you’ll never read.) But that's hopeless. All newspapers and magazines are dying or dead. Nobody needs the one thing I do well.
Go ahead and pour your nightcap, Phil. Mom, go ahead and have your ninth or twelfth or whatever you're up to by this point. Guess it depends on how early you two slalomed the Taurus back from O'Bannon's tonight.
But I digress.
Aunt Judy gave me the inspiration. For the note, I mean. She saw how angry I was. (Don't worry, I didn’t share our secrets.) So she told me: If you’re holding a lot inside but it wouldn’t be "prudent" to speak freely – that’s how she put it, "prudent" – you should write a long note, get it all off your chest. Then tear it up, undelivered.
Obviously I ignored that last part. But I did tear up a few drafts of this note. Everything sounded so cliché, so common: I'm sad. I'm angry. You did awful things to me. Blah, blah, blah.
My mind wandered. I started thinking about how I'd do it, and where: It had to be someplace very special. Also, I didn’t want that open-eyed, staring into space look. What if my eyes spontaneously opened when I died? Can that happen? I Googled it, but I came up empty.
(Hey, Phil: Maybe you could look that up for us. You like spending hours every night on the internet, doing something you don't want to share with us. That’s why you turned the monitor so it faces the wall, right?)
My mind kept coming back to Old Stinky. We call it that, but I love the smell. Phil, you probably don’t know that’s what we used to call Grandma’s cedar chest, the chest you’re standing over now, the chest to which I taped this very note.
But how could you? You were never interested in our stories about when my Dad was alive, or anytime that preceded your arrival. It was like Dad was a 1990s Batman and you were the new-and-improved, Christian Bale Batman. Let’s pretend the batsuit never had nipples, Jack was never the Joker and Lando Calrissian was never Harvey Dent.
But you don't even get that reference, do you, Phil? You never liked the old Star Wars films. You like all this CGI crap with baby Anakin and baby Boba Fett and Sam Jackson playing someone whose name I can’t remember and you can’t either.
Dad loved the old Star Wars, you know. I'd sit in his lap and we'd eat Orville Redenbacher and we’d scream and cheer and laugh and that’s how we watched The Empire Strikes Back start to finish dozens of times! It was great, Phil. That movie was made a decade before I was alive and I love it. You were there for that. And you couldn’t care less.
I feel sorry for you, Phil.
Despite the many times you hurt me, sneaking into my room when Mom was passed out on Ketel One and "medicine," I still feel sorry for you. Because someone did something awful to you, Phil. Someone must have done something awful to make you do awful things to me. Someone did something awful to you, because – though you’re a common drunk and a common pervert and a common abuser – it takes a truly twisted bastard not to love The Empire Strikes Back.
Didn’t you feel anything? When Luke faced the evil outside and the evil growing within, when he realized he still had a choice and leapt, sacrificially, into the void? Didn’t you feel anything?
Because I did, Phil. I felt it every time, Phil.
I felt it every single time.
But I digress.
If I actually did it, you know, I'd climb into this wonderful old chest. It smells like Grandma, and Dad.
I'd prop up it open with my foot, so when it was over, the lid would fall shut and I'd be enclosed in darkness. I'd finally have peace. I'd be protected. I'd be with Grandma and Dad. I'd be warm and safe.
So maybe this actually isn’t the note you’d be reading if I'd committed suicide.
But maybe it is.
So maybe you should pour yourself another drink.
And then you should take a look.