I stepped in front of a car on Avenida Benito Juarez today. Obviously, this is an effect of taking such a lowered dose of my anti-depressant medicine. I jumped out of the way when I saw that the occupants were a family with a child sitting on the mothers lap up front. The last thing I want to do is hurt somebody else while trying to do away with myself. And here, seat belts are an afterthought and airbags…not sure there is even a word for airbags here. I’ve seen a family of three riding motorcycles with helmets quite often, with the adorable little one up front holding onto the handlebars. I’d kill myself if I tried to kill myself and missed and hurt some innocent little girl or boy.

Those little faces. I find myself smiling stupidly whenever I make eye contact with a little one. They’re so cute and innocent. I wish I could help them all. So, today at least, I guess by not denting somebody’s fender with my skull, I may have done some good.

Ugh. I just erased about 300 words accidentally and can’t get them back. I was talking about how hard it was to ask my family for help last week but only one of my sisters replied. She couldn’t help but at least she replied. My mother ignored. My father, too. He’s more worried about the lousy exchange rate he’ll get when he sells his flat in London this year. I guess he and my step mom are getting too old to travel so much. He’s 77. She’s had both hips replaced. But both of them come from genetic dynasties. I think her father died at 98. My father’s parents also lived to their 90s. His mother, at least. She was the last family member I had when she died in 1994 that I could actually tell that she truly loved me. I couldn’t go to her funeral because I couldn’t stand to see her dead. I hate looking at dead bodies. I imagine they move and I feel like allowing her to lay in an open casket like that for everybody to inspect is disrespectful. I think the right to be able to hide when you’re not able to is a huge one. I have written my own will. If they won’t cremate me right away or let me be picked apart by birds, I hope they don’t put me on a cold slab and wait until somebody coughs up the money and puts me in the ground.

I live in a city without a real industrial base and mostly colonial era architecture, so there aren’t any buildings I could jump from that would guarantee I’d die. Plus, suicide seems like it should be a private thing t me. A right, surely. But once you’ve succeeded, it seems like the authorities don’t have a damn bit of respect for your remains.

Dying terrifies me. A lot. It’s the basis of a huge part of my lifelong existential anxiety and was what I used to think about lying in my bed at night in the old stone house. That and the likelihood that a large black snake might fall from the rafters in the middle of the night and land right on my face. That’s still why today I sleep with my head under the covers, even when it’s too hot. I remember watching TV with my family (black and white episode of That’s Incredible) and seeing snakes on the floor or by the fireplace. Once, my mother took a broom and swept three baby rattlesnakes from the house. When my father caught them, he’d put on a single workglove and take them outside under the tree where he’d ritually start chopping them up. One time would be enough to kill a snake, but he’d chop and chop and chop. I was terrified of my father. As was my mother and my sisters.

But I always suspected he was just an average man. Not insanely good at anything. Never going to do anything seminal or important. I thought at one point that I at least had the potential to do something one day. I was always being told of how much potential I had. I started competitively swimming when I was 7 because my oldest sister was a swimmer and her and my father went to practice and swim meets together and usually stopped off at McDonald’s on the way home. I wanted the McDonald’s and the close relationship with my father. It didn’t work. I was on the swim team but he ignored me just as before. My mother had to write down my times. He had all kinds of cool charts he kept for my sister but he didn’t care about my times, even when I broke a record. One meet I remember I got a AAA time in butterfly, a AA in breaststroke, an A in backstroke and an A in freestyle. It was my first A time. I beat everybody by half a pool length. I was excited. If I’d ever deserved a one on one meal at McDonald’s it was then, I figured. I’d worked really hard to become a good swimmer and that was the first time it had paid off. My sister never swam a AAA time. He seemed upset at me. I had committed a faux paus by trying to take the spotlight away from my sister. The next time I swam, I tried to stay underwater not moving so I wouldn’t be so fast. I still one the stupid race and I think I finished with another A time without really trying. But just when you think you’re good at something, he had me entered in a much larger USA swimming event. I went to the Junior Olympics in New Jersey. I was in the middle of the bell curve again. Some of those guys were insanely fast. It was a huge blow to my self esteem.

The same thing happened in school. I was easily the smartest kid in my gifted and talented class. The last semester of fifth grade out teacher let us figure our own GPAs to see who got the honor of sitting in the big comfy chair with the huge desk. I’d been sitting in it all three terms so I lied about my GPA so I wouldn’t win. I know Mrs. Bruchey checked the GPA herself because she always looked at me in a different way after that. I was just embarrassed is all. I just wanted to be back in the middle of that bell curve where I could hide again. Joyce Chew beat me with her GPA though in honesty I’d blown everybody away. I see those names online and half of them are doctors and lawyers, or married to doctors and lawyers. They have children and are prosperous. I have a drug problem.

Victor Hugo said something about 40 being the old age of youth and 50 being the youth of old age. I am now 40. Forty and two months. I have gotten completely out of shape. I have no money. No medicine. I want to kill myself. I was dating a girl but she had a 16 month old baby and it caused nothing but problems with her ex and I didn’t want to ruin or adversely affect the baby’s life so I called it off. It was a mess anyhow. It’s hard to find women you can trust here because they see you and imagine you are a rich gringo. Compared to people who work 12 hour days six days a week and make $400 a month, I guess I am. Or was. But the companies I worked for, the publications I write for have gone away. I have zero income.

I know. Woe is me. I don’t want to be that guy. Nobody likes THAT guy. Either get it over with or try at something else. Nobody likes a failure. Killing yourself isn’t the hardest thing in the fucking world.

 

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