Suicide Notes Must Be Absolutely Perfect
"Perfectionism is slow death." -Hugh Prather
He had made his decision.... he was done, he'd had enough, it seemed that despair was a constant companion and that he'd finally left the shores of 'despondency', aboard a ship called Acquiescence. Ahhh, and he distinctly remembers making that decision and, just like he'd read time and again, once made, he instantly felt wonderful and at peace.
Now, of course, there were a couple other decisions to make, but hell, that should be easy now that the tough one really was behind him. So, deciding to reward himself with a little break, he went downstairs to make some coffee and hunt up a scone in which to indulge (he knew this latter to be wishful thinking but figured what could it hurt). The process of grinding the beans and heating the water (to exactly 193 degrees, of course) was calming; and today, he happily took extra care to get the grind just right for his fancy-schmancy French-press coffee maker (even so, he ended up having to throw away the first batch of beans - the grounds just seemed a bit too fine... ). He set the four minute brewing timer and stared at the blinking numbers - thinking about what would come next.
"I don't have a gun... jumping from some high place is just too frightening... and not poison, poison might make me vomit (I'd hate to be found in a pool of my own puke... ) But maybe I'm getting ahead of myself.... perhaps I should put this aside for a bit. I think there is something else that really is more important - something that I should consider very carefully... The Note."
He pictured the note - his story.
The four minutes were up and the beeper announced 'coffee time!' He smiled, poured a cuppa, and thought some more about the details.
"The note will be my chance to explain, the note will make everyone understand, the note will chronicle my loss, the unfairness at the way that I've been treated. The note will tell all that, and, if I'm careful, will leave nothing unanswered.... no second-guessing.... this note has to be... everything... this note has to be... perfect. Perfect."
He thought about perfection a bit more.... and frowned.
"I thought this three years ago and I still believe it to be true today... perfect." He took a sip... damn! He picked up his thermometer and gave it a shake. "Well, crap! this doesn't taste right.... maybe my thermometer is no longer calibrated..." He threw it in the trash and dumped his coffee disgustedly into the sink. Him? achieve perfection? "The perfect note.... Ha! who am I kidding?"
and yet.... he sat, hunched over his typewriter... "OK, this time for sure....." He knew one thing, he was dearly going to miss the sound of these keys...
"You never really loved me as I have loved you... I suppose I can ask why... but will I really understand the answer? I think not. I suspect instead I will only hear the sighing of the fall breeze moving off to warmer climes - so much white-noise that surely puts me to sleep but offers no communication.
Well, no more. Now I shall communicate to </i>you<i> all the trials and pain that, after years of suffering, I now believe I will never be rid of.... maybe even this attempt will be a failure and beyond that door lies no salvation... only more and more anguish... Well this has been my life... I cannot express the relief that it is finally over...."
He looks over his work and sighs.... "What mawkish and pathetic drivel!!....." jerks the sheet from the typewriter and stuffs it in the latest shoebox.... "Maybe I'll try the coffee again...."
OK, lets take a peek over to the dark side, shall we.... Actually, the image came from thinking about procrastination and perfectionism and what a thorough pain in the ass both were (he says, two months after his last post...) I got to considering 'where would these actually be to ones advantage?' - one of the things that came to mind was suicide... suppose the 'perfect note' was the only thing keeping our depressed perfectionist from a trip to the deep end? Why it might keep him going for years.... in any event, the above quote is so very true.