I can not stand myself today. I sit here, fingers tapping on my desk, looking at a blank screen and wait for the words to come.
What the hell is wrong with me? I’m full of words. They are right there in my head. I see them when I close my eyes. I have a story to tell, yet the connection between my brain and my fingers is closed. Blocked off like a crime scene. That’s it. A crime has occurred. Maybe if I look at this situation from a detective viewpoint I’ll figure it out.
There’s blood. Lot’s of blood. A body. There are lookey-loos too. No other detectives though. Just the coroner waiting for me to gather my evidence and clues so they can take the body.
I’m sitting in my car. It’s a rusty old thing. A buick. Brown. Detectives always drive a beat up old car that has a weird knocking noise in the engine. There are cigarettes as well. Overflowing in the ashtray. I can smell them. Smells like coffee too. It’s disgusting but it’s my fault. I’m a disgusting smelling detective who has to go check out this dead person, put stuff into baggies and mark them with tags and stuff. Stuff. What else do detectives do?
“Move along people! There’s nothing to see here,” I loudly tell the looky-loos. Detectives say that to people. They are always trying to keep the scene pristine. How ironic. It’s covered with blood but I’m supposed to keep it pristine.
A dead body in the middle of the street. Blood. Coroner waiting. I step from my car, the red light on top turning slowly. I had to put it there when I got the call. I was asleep when the call came in. I don’t even remember who called me now, but I got dressed and jumped in my car and put the beacon on top so I could drive fast.
I pull my jeans up by the waistband. Make sure my t-shirt is covering my hips. I look down for a minute at my old sneakers and think about the fact that I need to buy new ones. Don’t judge me. I’m not your traditional detective in the clothing department. What did you expect me to be wearing? An old rumpled suit?
I take a drag off my cigarette and crush it under my shoe. A nasty blended taste of coffee, morning breath and cigs on my tongue. It’s a good thing I’m not here for a date. Nope. I’m just here to figure out what happened to the unfortunate person lying lifeless on the pavement.
I walk closer and the looky-loos peer at me suspiciously. I’m not sure why. Surely they’ve seen a detective before. I give them a scoff and continue on towards the scene. As I draw near my heart hammers a bit harder. My eyes widen and it’s like I can feel the blood rushing quicker through my body.
Is that brown hair? Long brown hair splayed out from under the body’s head? That’s some long hair, I think to myself. Pretty hair. It actually looks like a dark red now that I look at it closer. I finger my own dark red/brown hair. My long hair. Blood stains the front of the white t-shirt of the victim right where the heart is. A shot to the heart. Hmm. The blood around the woman has no doubt come through the back where the bullet or whatever has killed her, passed through. That’s one of the things I need to figure out. What killed her.
Jeans. Sneakers. Dressed like me. She could be a detective too. She’s not though. I know all the detectives around here. Nope. She’s just a woman. A dead woman.
The closer I get, the scene becomes more bizarre. The blood that has spilled out forms words. Words? How can that be?
Bills; Job; Bipolar; Depression; Laughter; Crying; Work; Sad; Mom; Responsibility; Money; Loss; Jacob…what? Jacob? Why is my son’s name spelled out in this dark pooled blood?
I lean down and the hairs on the back of my neck stand up.
Hitting my knees on the pavement next to the dead woman, the scene, I cover my mouth with my hand. The acrid smell of copper, blood in my nostrils. The smell of despair mixed with a trace of happiness, but definitely more despair, hit’s me hard.
Suddenly the looky-loos are closer. They are mumbling. I can’t make out their words. I look up at them and then back at the woman before me. Over and over I do this. Each time I look at them their murmuring gets louder but I can’t make out their words!
Then it hits me! This woman is ME.
I’m looking at myself laid out in a pool of my own blood. How can that be though? I’m here. I’m the detective. I’m here to figure out who this woman is and what happened to her. I here to keep order and bag evidence. I drove here! How can I be here looking at myself?
I can make out what some of the looky-loos are saying.
“She was such a sweet girl.”
“Always laughing and helping others, but never herself.”
“So tragic to have such a bright young lady die.”
Then I hear the ones in the back.
“You know she wasn’t quite right in the head dontchoo?”
“She was on medicine.”
“Crazy, that one, yes she was. Crazy.”
“I always knew something like this would happen.”
No! “NO,” I scream at them. “I’m not dead!”
The lookey-loos just keep looking and spewing their words. Some nice but most of them mean. Hateful.
“I’m right here you idiots! Don’t you see me!?”
Just as quickly as I have stood up and faced this posse of looky-loos, I’m back in front of my computer. Words on the screen in front of me.
Awake another night. No sleep. Brain a million miles a minute. Thinking of all the bills I have to pay, wondering how much my paycheck is going to be and calculating when rent is due again. Thinking of my son and worrying that I haven’t been the best mom. Debating once again what would’ve been if I had given his dad one more chance.
My brain. It’s my brain that killed me. No. That’s not right.
It was me.
I killed myself.