...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, arent I? With what choice
am I left? There is nothing left. But I am petrified and unwilling.
I am crying and screaming. I dont want this! I dont
want this! I am being taken to my death. I am not taking myself.
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
Throughout my UWI life, Ive been privy to many unhurried,
hushed stories of contemplated and attempted suicide. And,
from the eyes of boys and girls, many tears shed: for whatreclaiming
dear life, possibility of death, fear of bothI dont
By all reports, Rishi Cummings didnt cry. Perhaps many
of them dont, but even if they do, we will never know.
Ebb and flow of feelings
Stupid bitches! Stupid, hardhearted bitches. Uncaring and
repulsive. Dont they see me up here? Do they even see
what Im doing? Cant 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 dont see me. They dont 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 theyre 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 wasnt
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 ones beauty, ones
value; hear ones voice, ones strength. Surely.
But the vacuum breeds demons. The ones that say youre
alone and will always be alone. Say youre worth nothing
because no one values you. Say youre pathetic and will
always be weak because everyone else is moving on while youre
still here, motionless.
They say he sat and stared across and below from high on Nat
Scis 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, theres 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,
isnt 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
Or is it defeat? Will they win when I do this?
Will they just say I didnt 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 dont cry. They just die, right? Its
just too damn hard! All alone, cant fit in, cant
move on, nobody sees, nobody cares, nobody does, no nothing,
my life is nothing, everything is nothing! Just a failure!
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
Later, there was a short bit of yellow tape making a square
around the concrete and someones 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. Its
a busy time for UWI students, what with finals and all just