Blood on White

I have thought about it far more than I can even keep track of. Sometimes it isn't there, but more of than not, it lingers, like a feral disease circulating faster than the strongest form of vaccine. My first thought of suicide came as I stood in my shower, feeling the slick water travel from my head to my clavicle, watching it glide to my breasts and navel. Like vines on a fine built masonry, the water gradually skates on my legs—stripping me of yesterday's doings, pooling at my feet, and then slithering to the drain.
I remember ogling the water so intensely while I pictured myself sitting on the edge of my bathtub with my father's sharpest knife cutting along my radial artery and down to my wrist. My blood gushes desperately. I wince as I repeat it on my other forearm. The knife, once hidden in my father's Traum Safe, sits on the white tile floors. Nothing is as vivid as blood, pour it on white and it's a work of art.
(As you may or may not know, you never cut across, but rather straight down. You start from the rigid part of your forearm and all the way down to the rigid part of your hand. You certainly mustn't use a scissor; sharpness is crucial.)
Waiting to drift into unconsciousness, I lie in my bathtub with my hair in a high, messy bun—my long and silky hair often complimented (and sometimes stroked) by everyone and their mother. Inhaling, exhaling, rolling my head from side to side. Hey, just because I'm dying doesn't mean I shouldn't de-stress. No, the irony is not lost on me.
My veins begin to plump and my blood escapes like a raging bull. Water fights to enter my wound but my flirtatious blood tames it. Inevitably, the two become one. I stare at the candle on the bathroom counter near the sink. Its flame sway from side to side, skirted by air, like a woman dancing the rumba.
All the while, I listen to the sound of silence. Have you ever sat alone? Just you and the chair or whatever your ass was propped up on. No? Try this. Find a place. Sit, stand or lie down. Breathe slowly. And as my yoga instructor says during relaxation, "Try to think of a place where you feel free. It's just you, your mind, your body, and your soul." Focus on your breathing. You may shut your eyes, if you'd like. You'll have thoughts—incredible and horrendous thoughts. Amidst this, silence will creep up on you; you'll discover that it has nothing to do with the sound of a car engine starting, a door shutting from the hands of an angry person, and music blasting out of speakers. Those are sounds protruded from tangible things, meaning to distract us. Silence is abstract; it has everything to do with your mental and emotional state. If you practice this on a daily basis, you'll find silence amidst any clamor. You'll become familiar with it and vice versa. You'll travel together like newlyweds on their honeymoon, one never without the other. Voila! That is the sound of silence.
My blood dominates my bathtub. My surroundings blur. The stinging pain eases. The candle is now a melted pot of wax—its earthy fragrance of bergamot, tea and lemon grass tantalizes what's left of my senses. Silence turns into a roaring cry. Fog closes in. My eyelids become heavy. Oblivion beckons. I am gone.
Sure, this is an arduous process. Why not swallow, say, a couple of sleeping pills, right? I find that too dull and easy. One thing I learned from having two older brothers is that taking risks and seeing the consequences of my actions unfold thrills me.
A lot of people find it unhealthy to have suicidal thoughts, but, here's the thing, I never actually took the knife. Perhaps there's the fear of being caught. From then on I'd be known as the golden child who ends up in a mental health ward. My days would consist of sitting with a therapist at least an hour every day. I'd be hunkered with the other suicide attempters, discussing our progress and counting down the days we are free again. So, I guess not attempting it places me in the realm of normality? (Is there even such thing as normality anymore?)
Recently, as I was cleaning my room, I came across one of my many journals. This one, purchased four years ago, is a distressed brown leather with a tie fastener. My fingers roamed over each page as though the words were written in braille. I felt like I was invading someone's privacy, tracing their memories and wanting every detail of their life. The first two lines on the last page struck me most, "In a few days, I'll be 17-years-old. Should I be excited? I feel as if I've died years ago." Did I write this? I asked myself, analyzing the entry: black ink, all 's' written in cursive, time and date emblazoned in the upper-right hand corner and my initials 'RC' inscribed underneath the last sentence. I wrote this.
I closed my journal and hid it on the top shelf of my closet after writing NTS to cache it in storage or burn it. It's been a month. The journal is still there. Not then, not now, maybe never.
It's a delicate topic, but we all think about it: How will I die? When will I die? What will kill me? The thought of suicide and death gives you that rush of movement towards consciousness. It's ironic but it's also fucking comforting. You're breathing and you're here, those are something to hold on to.
I once read an article about a girl who was found hanging in her family's bathroom. The girl was declared dead in the hospital. Her death was ruled suicide. She was 14-years-old.