After I left the bar I just kept walking. The roads in that city were wide and made me feel exposed. Most of the buildings were pitch black and quiet as if no one lived there but at the same time I could feel the life all around me. It was oddly calming and also alarming.
I may have had more than 3 whiskey shots now that I think about it. It’s hard to remember the small details. Well- that’s not true. I remember Adam. I remember his blond lashes and the down of hair on his chin. I remember how his shoulders started off up around his ears and slowly lowered. I remember how he stroked his top lip as he listened to me talk. All his fingernails were bitten to the quick.
But I don’t remember myself. Which makes sense since all my life I’d made a point of holding on to all the people that had hurt me. His memory is like a stamp in a very long album of people who spoke without thinking and would never come to realise the impact of their words. I think most people have an album like that.
I must have been wearing a coat. Or maybe I had it pressed against my chest. I must have been wearing shoes. Or maybe I was swinging them in my hands. I don’t know. My image in those memories are grainy, or at least end up grainy. Soft focus, like my brain is trying to soften the edges of my pain.
I know at some point I was sitting on the bank of a canal, looking at the reflection of lamplights on the water, listening to the rush and swell against the reeds. I was trying to get my head right before I went back to the house. I was going to gather everyone and ask them why, if they hated me so much, they kept me around.
But I never did. As I was standing up- and I must have taken my shoes off, because I remember the wet grass underneath my feet- I slipped. Not too far but enough to rattle me. All the alcohol came rushing into to my head at that exact moment and I slipped again. I tried to turn around and slid back even farther. I tried to get a grip of something but all there was to cling onto was the wet grass. I had fistfuls of it but it didn’t root me. I kept sliding until I could feel the water around my ankles. The next thing I know, I’m in the water and I can’t swim. I just keep sinking.
The thing I don’t remember, even though it’s the only thing I want to really, is whether I kept trying to save myself or if I let go. Was it an accident or did I want to…
It’s stupid thinking of it now, that I might have killed myself over a stray comment from a boy I had clearly upset. But at the time…at the time I wasn’t myself. Maybe I didn’t try to die, I just gave up on living. I just couldn’t take the thought of…
You have to understand. I had spent so much of my life up to that point trying to part of the world and it just wouldn’t have me. Everything I did was not quite right. I could never enjoy myself properly. I could never relax. Hell, I couldn’t even get high without almost ODing. It felt like every move I made was wrong and all I could do was cause trouble to people around me. Simply by existing. So maybe I did want to exit. Close the tab. Open a new one. And that’s a really sad thought. And that’s what I struggle to make peace with. And maybe that’s why I can’t move on. I’ve never come to terms with how I died, why I died. The loneliness and failure that was my fault but never really felt like it was mine.
I don’t know. I go round and round in circles remembering my death. It keeps me up at night. But the good thing about the Next Place is that it keeps everyone here awake. In some ways, this whole death thing has been…good for me. I finally have something to open with.