Sunday 1st May, 2005

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Inside suicide...

...he walks to bay,

every dream he dreamed long drowned,

every love sunk underground,

every vision vanished...

—EM Roach, At Quinam Bay

In a bleak dream, a road and a rumbling. Beams of blinding light plunge into a sinister night. A shiny face in the distance mirrors a dot, plays tricks with its form, twisting its figure as it grows bigger and bigger with unbelievable haste.

This is what I want. I am here, aren’t I? With what choice am I left? There is nothing left. But I am petrified and unwilling. I am crying and screaming. I don’t want this! I don’t want this! I am being taken to my death. I am not taking myself. I am-—

Suddenly, ripping out of the blackness is the spreading form of a speeding truck. Roaring, roaring, it comes roaring towards me. Time is out of joint. This must be it! I let myself go. My body wilts in its way...I fall.

But no! I recoil! I fall forward but draw back as fast. I tumble backward into life. I wake, and I live, crying for my self.

Throughout my UWI life, I’ve been privy to many unhurried, hushed stories of contemplated and attempted suicide. And, from the eyes of boys and girls, many tears shed: for what—reclaiming dear life, possibility of death, fear of both—I don’t know.

By all reports, Rishi Cummings didn’t cry. Perhaps many of them don’t, but even if they do, we will never know.

Ebb and flow of feelings

Stupid bitches! Stupid, hardhearted bitches. Uncaring and repulsive. Don’t they see me up here? Do they even see what I’m doing? Can’t they see?

From a perch high above and far apart, he sees down on the world as he sees it. People are moving; students are talking. Lips smile; arms embrace. Connections are made every second. That is life as they know it.

But they just don’t see me. They don’t see beyond their clubs and parties and drinking and laughter and clothes and shoes and... Silly boys and silly girls. Barely out of pampas and screwing ’round the place. Ugly people feel they cool, think they’re it.

Students said he was “eccentric,” used to walk around with a trolley bag and an umbrella. Others said he dyed his locks and had no friends. He was from another country, they found out later, had no family here. And apparently he wasn’t so bright, either, heard he was failing chem.

What is it about being alone? In silence, one can surely find oneself. One can surely see one’s beauty, one’s value; hear one’s voice, one’s strength. Surely.

But the vacuum breeds demons. The ones that say you’re alone and will always be alone. Say you’re worth nothing because no one values you. Say you’re pathetic and will always be weak because everyone else is moving on while you’re still here, motionless.

They say he sat and stared across and below from high on Nat Sci’s highest ledge. Or maybe he walked up and down the corridor, over and over again. They took notice of him, then noticed something else. Some say he kept asking people how to get to the roof, while looking down at the ground, and asking for nothing more. They answered briefly and moved on.

Inside, there’s a song or a melody, a poem perhaps. An electric intensity, or maybe a mournful refrain, something pulses through repeatedly. And, like a lullaby, it takes control. The pulsation quickens and wanes, the ebb and flow of feelings.

Is suicide triumph? Is taking this life into my hands and doing what I want with it, carrying it on or taking it away, isn’t that the ultimate power?

Is there not some nobility in this? Proclaiming to all the world that this life is mine, not to be toyed with and killed off by your stinging apathy, your stinging pitilessness? That, for once, I could take control and finally do something for myself, appease myself, assert myself, take me where I want to be?

Or is it defeat? Will they win when I do this?

Will they just say I didn’t belong anyway, that I was too feeble to keep on fighting? Is it that I yield to their forces and fall to my demons? Did I not try hard enough, over and over and over again? What more can I do?

Oh, but boys don’t cry. They just die, right? It’s just too damn hard! All alone, can’t fit in, can’t move on, nobody sees, nobody cares, nobody does, no nothing, my life is nothing, everything is nothing! Just a failure! Nothing!

Another one who fails, who falls...

Some say he found his way to the roof and stayed there for a while. They say the air-conditioning repair people saw him pacing, pensive, peering. Then, they say, he tipped himself over.

Later, there was a short bit of yellow tape making a square around the concrete and someone’s bicycle. It was the top story that night, and an article was buried somewhere in the papers.

Someone in the CSO adds one and clicks “save.” It’s a busy time for UWI students, what with finals and all just begun.

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