My Suicide Note That’s Partly French

 August 2019. Story by Mark Hutchinson found in the Magazine To Remain Silent.

Seconds have stretched and stretched until they’ve become five years since I’ve started to seriously give thought to what the most insipid people in my life would mistakenly call the “impensable or the unthinkable.” Because who does something like this without thinking about it a billion times and then some more? Still, never in all those years did it occur to me that, here in my dernière heure or final hour, what would occupy nearly all of my musings is my beloved mother. And what bitterness will consume her after I’m no more or, if you’re a Christian, gone home to be with anyone else but the Lord. I’m her only son and even though there’s nothing about me that would make it strikingly clear, she was a great, great mère or mother. I don’t know how true it is—I hope it isn’t whatsoeverbut I’ve heard it said many a time that it’s the worst thing in the world for a mother to bury a child she adores. I suppose my mother will soon find out. I can imagine if the poor woman were present, she’d scream her lungs out and definitely kick, punchfightwith all her heart to get me away from the mahogany stool in the center of my apartment. She’d say not to even think about jumping from it, that what I’ve planned is impensable, unthinkable, and ask if we can “please, for the love of God,” talk about it. Great as she is, she’s still insipid.


My mother wasn’t all I thought about while I carefully tied the knot. For example, I remember reading somewhere in some book whose title I’ve done well to forget, that the whole duty of man is to affirm life through love. I’m quite happy that the author didn’t say the duty extended to all humans or women specifically because, besides mother, I’ve never met a loving woman in my entire life. Not Christian women, Hindu women,  feminist women, beautiful women, ugly women. Certainly, certainly, certainly not white women! All of them have been quite terrible to me, except this particular Japanese girl, but I could barely understand what she was saying, so I believe it would be a mistake to number her amongst le bon or the good, even though she made me a sandwich I didn’t ask for. This being the case, I can still never understand how a man would kill himself over a woman, any woman, it’s such a boring crime. All the terribleness of all these women has done is turned me into a philosopher, one with a sincere love for them. That’s why, had I remained alive, I would have been the perpetual advocate of marriage. 


I think of my friends too in this my pre-departure. There was that insipid one and that insipid one and that insipid one. All insipid to the point that you couldn’t otherwise but believe they’ve studied day and night how to be. Seriously, if you knew them for an hour, you’d have stood wide-eyed and frozen with a hand over your mouth after it slipped that they’ve never taken graduate courses in the discipline of being bland. Tell me, who turns 36 without ever having sexe or sex? That alone made them  so, so, so annoying. To make matters worse, the poor things would parade around with their supposed virtue as if it were a shiny médaille or medal and not a secret, telling all who would listen “I’ve never done this,” “I have never done that,” “eww, I think anything else than going to church or work is nasty.” The dorks will be 90 by the time they’ve realized they belonged to a left behind epoch without cars, pop tarts or Kim Kardashian or morals.


What about me? What brought me here? Well, the simple answer is la chance or luck and the more complicated answer is the lack of it. As long as I can stand to remembermany portions of childhood are, of course, best forgottenI was privileged enough to be ill-constituted, rather rotten, churlish and all together yucky. My insipid father said I had an impressive and unique talent for making decent people red, I suspect what they were red with was the brutish, but interesting sentiment we recognize as haine or hate. My aunt and her insipid husband, who I had the rare misfortune of staying with during three of my childhood summers, would no doubt agree. Only nieces and nephews who had proven themselves worthy of our family name by getting mostly A’s that school year were candidates for a spot at Aunty’s summer house. And sweet Jesus, what a structure it was. Today’s youth would describe it as positively “lit.” For one, it was 8 stories tall and from 3 eighths of the way up, through its prim victorian windows, you could see the shining sea half a mile away. Secondly, it was my aunt’sunlike her siblings, she had lived up to our nom de famille or family namewhich meant you could rest securely in the fact that her house had to be the most impressive domicile around, which it was by four stories. The other children, insipid to their very atoms, would creep around it slow as molasses in a freezer, as if they didn’t want even their shadows misplaced. And when they touched anything by accident, they’d tremble until they became stiff and lifeless as if the whole house contained a gigantic lightning bolt which would emerge and chastise them at the scene of their transgression. To this day I can’t truthfully say which came first: their terror or insipid gratitude.

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There was a couloir or corridor, about 100 feet long, that often sucked Aunty from the rest of the house and allowed her to disappear through a mahogany door into what she often called, with pomp and ceremony, the “master’s chambers.” Our first tour of the house stopped dead at the mahogany door on which there was an engraving of Medusa’s head that stared us down from a foot from the top to a foot from the bottom. We were told to never open it unless an adult said so. Immediately as I saw it, I was Trump-on-inauguration-day confident I could do one better than the Medusa carving. Though it was expertly done, it was insipidly unrelatable. And by the third summer I spent there, my creative impulse became too much to subdue, the feeling was like a flame in what passed for my mind at the timeI was too young to have an actual mind, but dynamite-like sensations I had continually. The impulse gave my little hands a vie or life of their own and with that vivacity they painted in blue an erect penis on the empty, snakeless, bottom right side of the door and the on the left, a scintillating pair of women’s seins or breasts. I was lucky enough to get caught, but unlucky enough to be found guilty after one of my less insipid cousins added a few curse words to my masterpiece. And since I was the only child in the house with art supplies, the whole ordeal, without due process of course, became my undoubted responsibility. Aunty saw it after her husbandthe insipid are always first to everythingand only managed to save herself from an all out faint at the last second by leveraging the fall breaking services of the right corridor wall. Her husband who had been in tears for ten minutes stopped channeling all his energy into looking unbelievably pathetic and abandoned staring to prop her up. She was pale, usually her round face was flushed with blood. Her lesser half, if he’s even so much as a half, had to catch her at least twice; I remember finding it insipid in the extreme that he seemed to be struggling. She was concerned no doubt with the permanence of the improvements I had made to the door she had paid good money for. He, I assumed, was worried that there was a mismatch between my age and code of conduct. I can’t say it enough, he was b-o-r-i-n-g!


Naturally, my father was called first and I was given an insipid lecture. What came after I got off the phone with him was, of course, a lie: “I’m sorry, Aunty.” At the time I was quite sure the hysterics had more to do with the curse words than anything else. Although I knew the breasts and penis were somehow connected, at age ten, a definite and explication savante or scholarly explanation of how was beyond my capacity to give. The rest of my aunts and uncles heard about it that very day; they called with words of advice and two of them, the oldest ones, were even insipid enough to say “I’m upset with you” after they gave the other children firm instructions to remain in their rooms. It was at this point that it hit me like a punchthough not original, the drawing would be for all eternity my finest art. I only paired the penis with the breasts because they appeared complimentary in the bathroom stalls of my school. But to tell the truth, what I really, really, really was interested in were the breasts; my mom, my aunty, my sister, the girls at church, unwitting women walking down the street, they all had a pair: breasts, glorious breasts! They were infinite.


I was insipidly made to think about my actions in silent, solitary confinement in my room for what my parents intended to be two months. The practice extended to 27 years. All I have done since then is think. I’ve thought about the word “this” and the word “that” in more detail that you’d think is possible. And thought myself into what I think can be called madness and thought myself out of it tooI think. When some thoughts were too big to catch right a way, I’d push them to fringes of my consciousness, and later I’d read history and psychology books to help me tame them. Because that’s how you tame your thoughts, you read and then think or think and then read, whichever. 


One fateful night after a round of thinking, about 3 hours of having streams of consciousness, the frightening idea entered my head that the world is exactly as it should be. That is to say it was built for the insipid and will and should always be for the insipid. The world is for people like my mother, father, cousins, uncle-in-law, aunts, uncles and friends. And those like myself who don’t like this factoh yes, it is a fact, ladies and gentlemenshould leave by whatever means available. Some might run to the mountains, some for countries they weren’t born in. I, being less insipid than them all, am choosing to leave all together. I really should consider myself slow (there’s no shame in that, is there?) because it took me five years to come to this simple conclusion during which I’ve studied the most insipid languages—French and German—to try and clear my head of the idea. And of course, my head couldn’t be cleared. Tell me the truth, ladies and gentlemen, what right do I have to live in this world if I’m not insipid? But even as I sit here looking at the rope, I’m ready to be convinced otherwise. Maybe having children would make this insipid world a little less insipid. Who knows?


Still, what right do you have to tell me to live if you haven’t?


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