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If I Did It
by Tricia Sutton

"Suicide is a selfish act," Mother always said, usually while I was innocently twisting myself up in the playground swings as a child. Or while I was fetching the cat from on the roof. Once while I was just popping some laxatives. Suicide had been the furthest thing from my mind. But she planted the seed. Giving me reasons to consider my motives, causing me to evaluate my worth, and, eventually, plotting my own death, all when moments before I had been happily playing, doing a good deed, or aiding my digestive discontents. Later, when my life turned into a load of chicken doo, it was time to dust off some of my favorite pastimes: how I'd do it.

I have issues with pain so blades, bullets, plunging, and jumping off high places, I unquestionably frown upon. Pills aren't as painless as one might think, especially if your body rejects them and you fall violently ill or become brain damaged as a result. After much pondering, I settled on a novel new idea. Or a cinematic one, anyway.

Not in any chronological vision, we come upon the discovery of my demise: Alone in my den with five empty jumbo bags of Reese's Pieces, an empty bottle of Vicodin—these not necessarily the cause of death, but last minute flights of fancy—and the VCR set on continuous play of the movie Punch Drunk Love. The latter of which would be the instrument in my undoing. I choose this method to eliminate any blame anyone (Mother) might feel. Example: Subject family member would, at first, pontificate that I had been murdered by the movie that I had inadvertently stumbled upon. A reasonable deduction from any family member who had been privy to the plot-less drivel. The coroner would concur: "Anyone would become hopeless and despondent and depressed and weak—my imaginary paraphrasing—upon viewing the movie. Abandonment of rational thinking left subject unable to flip the channel and awaken from the suicidal hypnotic trance that paralyzed thy subject viewer."

There you have it, straight from the coroner. I would be deemed possessed, immobilized from the grips of fatal boredom of such a mind-numbing film, the blood to my heart would cease to pump; my brain would roll up its sidewalk, close for eternity. My death certificate would state cause of death, "Spontaneous Brain Combustion".

"All logical a reaction," would harmonize those who'd endured the film before and lived to tell about it. The drugs and candy were part of my everyday staple, nothing amiss there.

The only foil in my plan would be how to rent said movie without enduring suspicious glares from those "in-the-know", since everyone knows what intentions one may have with one's movie choice. The humiliation involved, the public intervention, the tackling-me-to-the-floor sabotage, and the calls to authorities were enough to scrap that plan.