I had a walk-in closet,
with blue carpet on the floor, and green paint on the ceiling and that's where I would go to kill myself. There were shelves near the ceiling where my sweaters were lined up according to material. Velvety dresses and silky skirts hung below the shelves on either side of the closet, and a window let light in between. I sat under the clothes and felt sheltered.

When I Was


Twelve

Sometimes I'd do it with pills. I kept a constant inventory of all the pills we had in the house. I weighed them on the bathroom scale, and then figured out what percentage of my body weight they would be if I swallowed them all. Sometimes I'd arrange them alphabetically, sometimes by color. Then I'd imagine myself swallowing them, one by one if it was alphabetically, or one gulp for each color, or altogether if it was a day I did it by weight.

Other days, I'd curl up in the closet with my collection of "Soldier of Fortune" magazines. I bought "Soldier of Fortune" so I could get a knowledge of the market. I read that women use pills and men use guns, and I spent a lot of time trying to figure out why no one used both, in case one misses. I had this one fantasy where I took all the pills, and then quick, before they could have effect, I shot myself in the head with an automatic rifle--probably getting off a few bullets before I couldn't move anymore.

I had a lot of different scenes, but they always ended up at the funeral parlor, and my whole family was there. I always left my family a letter to read at the service. In the letter I tell them that it's not their fault, and I love them. Then my parents do a little speech about how wonderful I was, and how much they loved me.

My dad stands up at a podium and tells everyone that even though he used to complain about me a lot, I was brilliant. The smartest person he knew. He looks my aunts and uncles straight in their teary eyes and tells them I got the best grades of all the cousins. He says I knew more state capitols than even my mom.




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