It isn’t just because of loneliness. Lonely is the wrong word to describe the depth of it; lonely makes it sound teenage, tawdry. It’s more like despair. After you’ve earned it, it becomes you. You wear it as skin and other people can smell it on you, enough to feel embarrassed and uncomfortable.
Initially, I love the easiness of not having to produce the right words, of not having to appear the right way because I’ve always been the wrong one, the bad one. I’m something you look at to compare how much better you have it, how much better you are.
After a while, it’s more difficult, more like wrenching body parts just to get through the barest human motions; just to be able to say at least I’ve stepped out of my apartment, and then it’s at least I’ve come off the bed.
I make tea in the kitchen, feeling eyes on me, scared of the shadows lurking in the corners of each room. I’m scared, but I’m lusting for the attention too, more sad than anything when nobody answers my calls.
But then I never pick up the phone the few times it rings, even though my skeletal hand starts to develop an itch for it, an itch to touch something connected to a real world somewhere, a voice that I might know, love or remember.
When other voices come out of the shadows to talk to me, I start to feel relief. Some of the voices are the past, and some of them are me.
Then it’s almost easy to think of drowning in the bathtub or just stepping off the roof. But the way for people with an affliction like mine to die is to just stop living. So I stop living, and hope that means I’ll stop breathing too.
My heart aches at every suicide note; I write these love letters to myself, and to people I don’t know.
Dear Mr. Policeman, I’m sorry you have to see this corpse of mine and Dear Landlady, I’m sorry I stopped paying rent and wouldn’t open the door to you, but I had to stop it all, don’t you see?
Dear Self, I wish you didn’t get like this. I wish you could just get better like other people do.