This post is not about suicide.
It is about friendship.
It is about depression,that bottomless pit that sucks in the human soul to loneliness,and loss of faith and hope.
This story is about Francis,my bossom friend.
He left no note.
I have to immortalise his final moments by re- constructing his final thoughts.
He wonders why anyone would find it necessary to leave a note.
Who,even among his estranged family or close friends can really empathise with the pain in his soul?
He lights a cigarette – his twelfth in under an hour – and closes his eyes and takes a deep drag at it.
Smoke fills his soul.
A metaphor that fits snugly with the state of his life,
He doesn’t open his eyes but lets smoke crawl out of his nose and into the cold chilly night in a lazy trail.
He sits like this for a while; immobile.
The cigarette smoulders in a dull ember between his fingers.
A soft breeze blows through.
He slowly, even achingly opens his eyes and looks down at the streets below.
At 2am there are a few cars in the street, mostly drunks, heading home, or moving to another bar for a night of unending binge.
It had just rained, so the streets are wet.
He watches a couple ambling along up the streets; the man’s hand draped around the woman’s shoulders.
From where he is seated they look like miniature human beings.
Hell, from where he is seated- on top of the building- everything looks miniature.
He looks away.
Thirty eight stories up.
That’s where he sits, feet dangling languidly from the ledge of a window sill.
He reaches for the bottle of Vodka next to him and chases the smoke down his lungs with a long swig.
His throat burns but it makes him alive and he doesn’t miss the irony.
Nothing matters anymore, and that’s why he is up the bloody building, at 2am,getting pissed,his last one man party.
Tears sting his eyes and he bites his lower lip, daring them not to come because even in this
hopeless moment, he still feels a need for self
Even in this hour of darkness he still wants
to maintain a level of dignity.
So he tries hard not to cry.
He stares ahead defiantly, at nothingness.
He stares at the numerous rooftops around without actually seeing them.
He stares out into the horizon, and fails to see the beautiful sleeping city.
His eyes sometimes linger on a speck of light in the fringes of the city and he imagines someone sitting in that house, watching a late night show,
reading for an exam, making love, tossing in bed,praying, eating a late meal…life continues in seclusion of his woes, it dawns to him.
Two hours ago he had taken a long hot shower, longer than he normally does.
One last luxury.
He had then shaved off the two week stubble, applied some aftershave and ran a comb in
He then worn black pants and a white shirt.
He then completed this look with his favourite tie, a black leather tie tied fastidiously in a small sexy knot.
He loved that tie, a present from his cousin Judith, the only person who seemed to give a shit.
It was a pencil tie.
You know, the fancy type you see in catwalks?
Judith had style all right.
The occasion called for something ceremonial like this; a black tie.
On his way out of the house he had decided to throw on a red blazer because it was drizzling.
Then he had looked around the house one
last time, and killed the lights.
Now he removes his wallet from his back pocket.
He has no photos of in there.
He has a son, yes, but the last time he saw him his mother was dragging him away from him,
screaming profanities at him.
That was 8yrs ago.
He must be big boy now, he thinks sardonically, but only fleetingly.
He is not the one to dwell on empty thoughts.
He continues to flip through his wallet; he has a credit card, and three debit cards.
There is a business card with a name he can’t place.
He tosses it away and watches it float down until it disappears in the greyness below.
He then tosses away his debit cards next, one by one.
He does these in a very absent-minded way, in a mechanical way.
He has some money in the wallet, not much,
enough to buy dinner at a decent restaurant.
He tosses away these as well.
His cigarette dangles from his lips,the smoke making his eyes water.
He places his wallet next to the bottle of Vodka then takes a deep breath to calm his jittery nerves.
His fishes for his phone in his pocket and calls the one person who would take his calls at this time of the night;Judith his cousin.
The phone rings forever and when he is about to hang up she answers.
“Hey,” she sounds woozy and perplexed.
He mumbles, “Sorry to bother you at this
time of the night – ”
“What’s up, everything okay?”
“Yeah, I’m in bed, I couldn’t sleep.”
“What time is it?” she asks still half asleep.
“Thanks for waking me up!” she scolds.
“Listen, I just wanted to say I won’t be able to see you tomorrow, something’s come up.” He says.
“And this couldn’t wait until morning? Anyway let me know when you are open….at a decent hour.”
He manages a little laugh.
“Never mind, you sleep tight, take care of yourself,okay?”
“Sure, let’s talk tomorrow, good night.”
When he hangs up, his lips start trembling.
Time check: 2.57am.
They say in the hour of darkness comes a point of clarity,a small window that nature offers a respite.
He doesn’t see it.
He doesn’t feel it.
But he feels the wind in his ears, beckoning, urging.
He also feels the thudding in his heart, a tattoo of death.
He feels the pain in his heart.
But mostly he feels fear, a powerful and demonic force that grasps his heart and squeezes.
He thought he would be drunk by now, half way through his Vodka, instead he feels the sensations that he thought he would avoid; the
biting cold in his face, the twitching of his muscles.
The ache at the pit of his belly.
He feels dread and dread feels like death if you really want to know.
As the hour nears, he increasingly feels empty.
Not as empty as the last year has been, but empty like someone dredged out of purpose from his inside.
This worthlessness is only matched by the profound sense of rhetoric that the whole scenario has transformed into.
He tries to think of the things that has defined his 57yrs of life and regretfully comes up short.
He loves his job though; he is a creative director in his own Advertising company.
This is the zenith of creativity sitting up here freezing my tits off, he thinks with a half and almost deranged smile.
He thinks of his brother who works in a casino in Dubai.
He wonders what he is doing at that precise moment.
He wonders what he will be doing when he receives the news.
He thinks of his estranged wife and how evil she
is, and he wonders what he ever saw in her.
It sadness him that he could have been so wrong about her, so blinded by her phony demeanour.
He thinks of the music he enjoyed listening to. John Mayer’s “My stupid mouth” comes on top of that list and yet he never really loved it that much.
He purposefully avoids thinking of his mother, because he loves her too much.
He thinks of Judith,his cousin, and a deep sense of loss washes over him.
At 2.57am he starts to cry.
More like a soft sob.
His shoulders shudder and convulse,his jaws clench and tears roll down his cold cheeks.
He cries in silence and he cries like a wounded animal.
He cries with his head held in his frozen hands.
He weeps,softly, with dignity.
He weeps the way you would weep when someone is not watching.
The last time he had cried was 8yrs ago, when she took his son away.
When the time finally comes he is numb.
His mind floods out every thought.
He remains a shell of a man.
He remains void and pitiful.
His eyes deaden, a dark cloud crosses over them, a black cataracts.
He stares out at the dead city beyond, and although awash with lights, he sees a dark hole.
Although a soft wind blows his ears, he hears a dirge.
He is a man besieged by his own choice and he dies even before death receives him.
He is no longer crying, he doesn’t need to because his die has been cast.
He takes a last swig, tosses his cigarette away,
then takes a deep breath.
He doesn’t pray.
It’s already too late for any kind of salvation.
At 3.59am his watch alarm buzzes.
He closes his eyes and pushes himself off the ledge.
He starts falling.
His life doesn’t flash before his eyes.
His final existence is boiled down to elements that are subtle but incorrigible.
He feels the wind whip at his face.
He feels gravity pull at him with deranged grit.
He hears the sounds of the pavement rushing at him.
He hears his own eulogy.
His tie, his black tie flatters upward in the wind.
His black tie, at that moment curiously represents a hangman’s noose.
As he tumbles down to meet his death, he is unaware of the amount of pain that he has already created.
He is unaware that his only sibling, his brother will crumble on the floor in his principal supervisor’s office and weep when he hears the news.
He doesn’t know that his mother will be
so stunned by the news she will plunge into a depression that she never quite recovers from.
He doesn’t know that the last person he had a drink with, his best mate Felix,will blame himself for not having seen signs.
He doesn’t know that his father will turn in his grave with disappointment.
He is unaware that his estranged wife will choke on hearing the news, and she will turn into a
vegetarian soon after witnessing the crumpled fleshy mess that forms a tomato paste kind of splotch in the pavement.
And Judith, poor Judith. Judith will play the last conversation in her head over and over
She will remember the pause, she will remember
the last words, “….take care of yourself, okay?”
These immortal words will be the bricks to her castle of guilt, a tall structure that will relentlessly cast a shadow on her life.
Although they were close and she will miss him
every day, she will hate him with equal passion, hate him for being selfish.
She will grow thin.
She will get nightmares and her life will never be the same again and she will moan him like you would your own child.
His girlfriend of three months will never know who he was,and that will greatly intrigue her.
Everybody will shake their heads in bewilderment because he was not the type
to do what he did.
He had a great job,a good business too.
He didn’t do drugs. He drunk as modestly as the next guy.
He loved to dance.
He loved music.
He was a nice guy who looked stable.
Everybody will think of cracks that they might
have missed with him, nothing.
And added to the fact that he leaves no note behind, he will be a puzzle with many missing pieces.
He doesn’t know all these as he falls.
The final moment is hazy.
If it was a colour, it would be black.
It’s not a moment that can be chalked in words, or reconstructed by a living human mind and it’s swift as it is vague.
He doesn’t open his eyes even when he feels
the end reaching out for him.
Feelings and emotion flee his body leaving only that subtle hint of fear which matters little then.
A few seconds before he slams into the hood of the blue bread delivery van, the church clock
His name was Francis.
Hw was my best friend.
I miss him.
I always will.
R.I.P,my dear Francis.
Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….©Profarms’ Random Thoughts®
Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….©Profarms’ Random Thoughts®