If I Did It
by Tricia Sutton
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
Vicodinthese not necessarily the cause of
death, but last minute flights of fancyand
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
weakmy imaginary paraphrasingupon
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
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.