Did you know that, all the suggestions that come up when you google ways to die are not-so-subtly structured to convince you not to? It’s very annoying.
Today, Kofi contemplated suicide. He googled “painless ways to kill yourself” and actually scrolled through 2 or 3 links before the ardency of the moment squarely hit him. He dropped the phone on his chest and his face contorted but no tears came; a repetition of similar events two days prior, and a week before, and some days before that…
He spent the rest of the evening propped up on his arm, thinking about the perpetual state of his sadness, and how much it had cost him. He thought of Akrofi, the social peacock, who in his estimation, wrote only slightly better than he did, but had a much larger following. He thought of the number of times Akrofi’s posts were shared whenever he wrote something new on his blog; he thought of the quoted tweets, the ones with the fire emoji and the hearts; he thought about the people who without prompting, would randomly share an old post from 2 years before, and caption, “Akrofi forever”; all this, against his. Maybe he wasn’t as good a writer as he perceived himself to be, maybe Akrofi got all that attention because he was that much better.
He turned over to the other side of his bed and changed arms.
At the back of his mind, Kofi felt an inkling to change, to become a more sociable person, to make friends and not be alone anymore. An inkling, because it would not be the first, or second, or third time. He had stopped believing his own promises. There were times when he actually believed he was not the problem, so much as his history was. He had created the boundaries and people had respectfully respected it. He had no reason to expect to be invited when he had no-showed as many times as he had, he had no right to be hurt when he would not have gone anyway. However, he wanted affection, he wanted love; and it was nowhere: Those offering had tired of waiting.
As he lay there staring at the white of his refrigerator, his mind drifted to suicide again. A thought came to him, that maybe he contemplated killing himself as much as he did only because of the shock and sudden outburst of affection it was sure to invite. “What happened?” “He killed himself?” “Oh my god he was always such a nice person” “Oh we should have spoken to him”, “He was always so sad, how come nobody helped?” Selfish. Desperate.
He knew, that if death was as easy as deleting a social media account, he would not be here. He was because he was a coward. Because he was a coward, he stayed alive, alive and completely aware of his faults, and his sadness, and his faults in his sadness, and how much his melancholy was costing him; and yet unable to do anything about it. He felt like a rock at the bottom of a waterfall, continuously beaten, so there was never a chance for breath.
The night before, a friend had called to ‘check up on him’, to check up on her depressive friend. She had asked how he was doing and he had said he was fine. And with a nonchalant tone, reeking of a certain tiredness that only came after frustration was hammered in to a flaccid pulp, she had muttered “as usual” and with a quick goodbye hung up the phone.
Kofi remembered a conversation he had had once with Juliette while helping her with an errand. How Juliette had after a lengthy moment of silence told him, “The way you are, dating you will be very tiring.” He had laughed that day, today it’s truth was a goiter at his throat, alive and suffocating. He could not blame people for relating to him as they did, he could not blame them for running away from his sadness and negativity. He was a succubus, sucking the life out of every room. Incessant, like a screeching alarm on a Monday morning, that life was hard, when all everyone else wanted to do was to forget.
It would be better that he were not here.
“You kraaaa you always say the worst things. Why are you like that? Can’t you ask, ‘have you found money?’ do you always have to ask if someone’s dead?”
Even Selorm, who had taken some pride in being his Oprah had grown tired.
“You only look for me when you need someone to complain to. Do you even know how I’m doing? Does it always have to be about you?”
Selfish. Because he could not escape his own head long enough to realize the harm he did to those who tried to love him. Selfish because they decided to do themselves one better and leave him; yet he only thought to make them feel bad for it by dying. Selfish, because he didn’t try hard enough to be happy. Selfish, because others had it worse and did not complain.
Selfish, because he had everything anyone would ever want, but less.