December came and and I saw no reason to celebrate. I picked up the Christmas day shifts and worked until the gas station closed. I needed the extra sixty bucks on payday more than the extra sixty minutes on the bus to my parents' house. They didn't even call.
I paid my rent a day late in January. While all the prostitutes, crackheads, and dope-pushers had partied in my building, I'd sat in the tub with a razor to my wrist.
But in the end, I was a coward, and I finished my bath.
My brother stopped in for a visit, but I heard him rummaging in my medicine cabinet, and I kicked him out. My Prozac was gone, the mirror was dirty, and he hadn't flushed.
I started taking late night walks in the neighborhood, hoping to be one of those innocent bystanders you see on the eleven-o-clock news. But I guess the gangs had done all their shootings for the month, so I shot myself. The gun jammed.
I watched a movie where a guy was run over by a subway train, pieces of him splattering the tunnel walls, sending the spectators into a frenzied stampede. In real life, the train stops on a dime, you get arrested, and the mattress in your cell has no sheets. I considered hanging myself by my jumpsuit, but the zipper was stuck.
On my way home from the county jail, I stopped into a 7-11. I put my slushee and snickers bar on the counter and pulled out three dollars. Felt a knife in my back. A man behind me was robbing the clerk, using me to get her to comply. I yelled at the clerk to not give in, to keep the money in the register, but she wasn't listening. He fled without stabbing me.
I returned to my apartment and sat on the couch. One of the springs came loose and poked me in the thigh, but it was nowhere near my femoral artery. I watched Tom and Jerry while I ate a bottle of fruit-flavored sleeping pills and a turkey sandwich. I woke up beside an empty container of Flintstones vitamins.
I was in the middle of another suicide attempt when the phone rang. It was storming outside and I'd read somewhere that lightening can travel telephone lines, so I picked up. It was Matt, said he had a job for me. I hung up the phone, got dressed and went outside to wait for the bus.