Holes

“How can you be so heartless?” He asks as she digs into fresh earth, tossing shovelfuls over her shoulder and onto the unbroken ground. She rams the spade into worm-infested dirt, arms sweat from her brow, and frowns up at him standing at the edge of the hole she’s been digging.

“How can you be so ignorant to ask me that?” She says leaning all her weight on her left leg, and holding onto the rounded end of the shovel with her right hand.

He crouches at the edge of the hole she’s been digging, arms resting on his thighs while his hands dangle in front of his knees. “People care about you, you know.”

“What makes you think I’m unaware of that?” She asks, and goes back to digging. Nothing will slow her pace again.

“You’re digging a grave,” he says, as if she isn’t aware of what she’s doing.

“Yep,” is all she says in response. Talk tires her more than digging.

“So stop digging!” He says in exasperation, standing up and placing his hands upon his hips.

“No,” she says, digging still.

He stands beside the hole in the ground watching her dig like a woman possessed. His mind is racing. He doesn’t know whether to jump in and physically stop her; he assumes it’s the only way she’ll abandon this foolish errand. At the same time, he’s as afraid of her as he would be of a strange dog; she may bite if he hops into that hole. He weighs his options and comes to the conclusion that it would be suicide to join her in that hole, so he sits down at the edge of the grave and waits for her to finish her task.

 

Finally, the grave is dug. She plants the spade into the earth and leans upon it for support as she arms sweat from her brow. Hard labor always makes a body tired, but it works wonders for the mind. Something about the simplicity of narrowing one’s focus to a single straight line produces perspective that makes it easier to live with the cacophony of voices rattling around inside one’s skull like loose marbles.

“Now what?” He asks, sullen.

She smiles. “Now I add the body.”

“I can’t talk you out of it, can I?” He says, defeated.

“Cheer up, it’s not for me.” She says, still smiling.

He looks at her puzzled. “Then who’s it for—“ he starts to ask as she grabs the shovel and swings it like a bat. It collides with his face, sounding like a gong when it connects. She feels the impact rattle all the way up her arms and into her shoulders and jaw. She’s gritting her teeth when the spade connects with his face, laying him out flat. She tosses the spade onto the ground beside him and crawls out of the grave she dug.

“For you, stupid.” She says, swiping dirt from her overalls. She bends and hauls his limp body into the hole. His body rolls over the lip of the grave and lands face up. His eyes are white and glassy, his face dusted with dirt. She picks up the spade and begins shoveling the dirt she dug out back into the hole. When this job is done she’ll be okay again. That’s what the voices in her head have told her. Those voices that only seem to shut up when she’s digging holes.

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Suicide & Silence.

With the recent passing of Chester Bennington to suicide, I feel compelled to speak out. The thing is, I’m not sure what it is I want to say, and still there’s that voice in my head who continues to insist that nothing I have to say on the matter means anything. It isn’t the first time I’ve written on this topic. If you were privy to the plethora of notebooks full of writing, and my sacred flash drive, you’d know this isn’t new to me. How to say what I’ve all ready said nearly a thousand times before?

I’m no stranger to suicidal thoughts. I’ve lived with that strong desire in my head since I was 12 years old. Time and age has not made it any easier to deal with, but it has given me the tools to deal with emotions I don’t fully understand, and cannot control. There’s a reason that we tell the suicidal to wait a day or two before following through with their plans. Suicide is largely an impulsive decision. When I get to feeling destructive, I use anything and everything to keep myself distracted. I don’t always use productive vices, but I’m not a poster-child for suicide prevention and awareness.

I’ve waited out many long days and nights of suicidal longing. If you’re thinking that it passes like a cramp, you’re wrong. I’ve gone weeks on end with the desire to kill myself, and believe me, those were long weeks indeed. Truthfully, I’ve gone through month-long excursions, just fighting every day to get myself out of bed and go about my routine, because at least while I was doing those things, I couldn’t do something that would permanently put me to rest. If you’re thinking I’ve managed that with a sunny smile on my face, let me correct you. I’ve destroyed numerous relationships with people because of the darkness in my head, and the thought that I had no way to explain myself. The worst part of depression is the isolation. It makes you a prisoner inside your own mind.

Truthfully, I’m still very much a prisoner in my own mind. While it may seem like I talk about this openly, let me tell you, this isn’t as brave as it appears. However, I do believe that until we learn to talk about these kinds of things, as a society, we’re never going to get a handle on mental health issues. We must talk about suicide. We must talk about mental health. If we don’t talk about these things, if we don’t open a dialogue, they will only continue to leave the living confused in the wake of another dead loved one.

Even if you can’t speak out in a public forum, speak for yourself. You’re the only one who can share your story. You’re the only one who has your experiences. Share them. I know how daunting that is. I know how terrifying that can be. I’m not saying this because I’ve been liberated by a willingness to be open about this issue, I’m saying this because of all the years I’ve been living in a dark corner, hiding my truth from the rest of the world for fear of what it might do to others. Suicide isn’t a problem just for people affected by a loved one’s death, or their own battle with depression. Suicide is a problem that we, as a society, need to start addressing.

Speak. Please. For your own sake, and others. Silence is what’s killing us.

 

Depression / Darkness / Devil

uncapped pens spilling ink upon the page,
but oh how I wish it were my veins bleeding out onto the floor—
anything to rid me of this suffocating cloud
that I swear weighs a thousand pounds.
What the fuck is this thing made of?
It wears me like a shroud—I am ghost, immaterial.
The darkness is me; what you see is only dressing.
what I once believed to loom overhead, my own personal
dark cloud, has really been inside of me all along.
This shape-shifting darkness takes many forms and voices,
like the devil disguising himself with a thousand names.
and if this scribbling didn’t curb the darkness
then eventually I would explode,
and paint the walls with my pain, as well as my blood.