That’s how I encountered myself this morning.
I’m sitting in a tree near my house, staring at the sunshine, listening to my favorite song.
The cars come and go, some of them going to work, to lunch, maybe some emergency, maybe someone’s wife is giving birth to someone’s child, maybe someone’s son is carrying someone’s father to the hospital, maybe someone’s employee is late for work, maybe they’re just there, driving without a place to go, driving without a clear destination, driving to drive, driving because it’s the only thing they can do.
I hear the sound of the bus driving workers to their shift; I hear the sound of motorcycles speeding in the empty, in-name-only avenue; I hear the sound of old ladies talking about the news they see on Television; I hear the sound of the wind, blowing in my ear like a beautiful whispering melody. I see the kids playing and talking loudly as they return home from school with their parents. I see teenagers do the same, this time only in the company of themselves. I see the blue sky of an uncommonly hot August morning. I see eye floaters float in my eyes.
And I find myself here, sitting in a tree in my street, staring at the sunshine, my heart screams for help. There’s a tingling in my left arm; there’s pressure in my chest, there’s pain in my back, and I can’t breathe, no matter how hard I try, I can’t breath, I can’t fight it, I can’t make it stop, it happens every day, every week, and every hour it doesn’t happen, I expect for it to happen, every morning, every evening and every night is like this.
And then it comes: I feel discomfort in my chest, my left arm is tingling, and my vision gets darker. I run away to somewhere, but there’s no “somewhere” to run; the feeling of loneliness is, for the most part, what causes this; the feeling of loneliness is what makes me despair. “To die alone in a cold home in the winter” is the fate sealed for me by whatever created us. And I used to fear it; I used to; it used to terrify me; it used to scare me; I used to cry for help; I used to beg for the world to make it stop; I used to sleep in fear knowing that this would happen on the next day.
But I don’t. I don’t fear them anymore; I’m exhausted, my body hurts, and each and every time it happens, it gets worse. It gets more intense, and I am just tired of it; the fear turned into apathy, and the apathy turned into expectation. “To die alone” became something I envied for myself. If the way to stop it was death, then I was open to it.
So I did it every day, every time it happened. I laid my head in the tree near my house and played my favorite song while I stared at the sunshine, waiting for death to come, a peaceful end to a wasted life, something I believed I did deserve. But death never came, it always stopped, followed by the short breath and the muscle pain in my arm, chest, and back; it feels like every day is the same. It always ends the same way; it’s beyond exhausting.
I stared at the evening of a beautiful day with no clouds in the sky, a beautiful day to die. My favorite song was blasting on my phone; it was a fair epilogue to a life lived way too under my own expectations. I would never realize my dreams, and they all seemed futile to me. It wasn’t worth it anymore; I had no more time, it was worthless, and so I didn’t bother to anymore. I thought about the rest of my life, about the friends I didn’t make, about the girls I didn’t date, about the wide open doors I didn’t enter. I felt regret, but the regret was dissolved by acceptance; in a short while, none of those things would matter anymore; there would be no more intrusive thoughts, there would be no more regret, no more sadness, no more pain, and no more agony. Sure, there also would be no more happiness, no more love, joy, or passion. But that was something of a price worth paying, a price worth paying for the peace I craved so much for. To die alone in an uncommonly hot August evening was the best I could give myself. A peaceful death, albeit an untimely one. A fitting end for a mediocre man, maybe a little too fitting. But in the end, it would still be better than living as nothing, living as a failure, living in fear, hate, and regret. To die on an uncommonly hot day in August was dying in the best way someone like me could.
Then suddenly the pain subsides, then suddenly my heart slowly returns to its normal speed, suddenly my blood pressure goes back to normal, and then the pain starts, the muscular exhaustion felt in my left arm and chest, the short breath, the dry cough, it all starts again in it’s old, tired fashion, my mind suddenly goes back to its normal state, I see the sunshine one more time as my favorite song ends and another favorite of mine starts. The same song and dance, the same thing as the day before, the same thing as every day, the same thing as every time.
I get up, sad, sweaty, and disappointed with everything. I take my keys and look at which one opens the gate of my house. I cross the street and open the gate; I close it, enter my house, and go to my room. I lay down in my bed. I close my eyes and try to sleep, but the short breath doesn’t allow me to; I spend the rest of the day waiting for the next one to happen, trying to distract myself to no avail, in a mix of fear and expectation. I lay down in my bed at night, and I’m finally able to sleep a poor, dreamless night. And then I wake up 6 hours later, not being able to really enjoy the 20 minutes where I feel okay.
I get out of my bed, and I start my day. Waiting for the moment, the time, and the circumstance. Pf how I will lie down again in the tree near my house, staring at the sunshine, listening to my favorite song. Waiting for death to take me out.