Johannes Punkt’s Flaskpost

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Tag: suicide

Anathema, Apotheosis

[Trigger warning: suicidal ideation]

You didn’t quite learn the right definition. The dictionary lacks the venom of it, the way it rises in your throat like the coming tide. But as you know, we take words and we make them our own. There is no such thing as language but there are a thousand tongues. And you swore at a young age that you would never become a god, not like this, not ever. Still the thought burned like a slow fuse in your periphery, leaving black lines along the perimeter of your eyes. There is nothing good about being a god: it is not like you sat around and fantasized about temples in your honour and the exquisite pain of four extra arms growing out from your torso. Although you do know how the sockets of such a skeleton would work with the ribs and when you were anxious you drew thin pink lines on your skin. You don’t bruise easily and that makes you a favourite. The fuse keeps burning. Every morning after you’ve not slept, you wipe the soot out of your eyes. There is so much soot in you still, you told yourself. This is good: when you stop having candles to burn you’re out of luck and out of time. So you picked it up from a broadcast half between two radio stations and in your childish mind you heard it as two words: “this is an athema to them.” You picture it as a kind of antithesis for someone’s character, a kryptonite, something not just forbidden but centrally taboo. Ontologically speaking, if I do this, I cease to be me. The dictionary does not corroborate your story but that’s how you feel about the word, and your usage is consistent with how everybody says it. That’s what your apotheosis would be, something you defined yourself against. And then there were the mandalas painted on the pavement on your way to school or work or tennis club. You took careful steps around them, but tried to make it seem like you just switched directions twice in rapid succession in a V. That’s how you cross the street, you look away and wait until the street is empty. You cannot live in a city anymore. There are too many places accidentally made sacred and you know that the people need faith. You cannot become their god. It is a process that involves cutting off your head and replacing it with the head of a statue of you. That is why all the statues of you left out in the countryside have no head anymore, so that any one of them could carry your real head. But you say: this is not me. And you define yourself around this concept until you have enveloped it entirely. Now this is you, some form of bent knife in hand, a basket in your lap, burning ember at your heels. Come on then, do something with your symbolism. Make it all alright. Ascend but let your bare feet full of light stay grounded and walk around headless in the fisherman’s village, won’t you? Let, as ever, those parts die. Let the fancy quotes from the diaries of men who were buried ten years after they died rest. Let the burning ropes of red sun from between your toes slither up and around your ankles.

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Murder

I have been spending a lot of time on my own lately; I want to be accused of your murder. I can see that you are about to crack and in my greed I want to be the prime suspect. I have been watching television, but only reruns. I have been reading books. When the officers in blue knock on my door I will express shock that is not quite right, and I will have no alibi. They will point to your lousy suicide note and say they have never seen a worse forgery. Yes, this is what I want.

Fingerprints

Did you know that the fingerprints you leave fade away after a few years? It’s just oils; over time, the marks disintegrate into nothing, like a crowd of bored people dispersing after the spectacle is over and the police are asking awkward questions like, “Did anyone try to talk to her?” The marks you left weren’t even your real marks, all the grooves turned to ridges, and mirrored if we compare them to the ones on your fingers. It’s been two and a half years since you touched me, and the grooves and ridges have become part of my skin.

Trigger Warnings

[Trigger warning: that time you were five and an old man with stripey hair leered at you on the bus, and he wouldn’t look away, and he wasn’t smiling but he was interested, and your mother, right next to you, felt a continent away]

[Trigger warning: a vast, uncaring universe]

[Trigger warning: the time your best friend committed suicide, and knowing however much you shout and scream you cannot argue with her logic]

[Trigger warning: a better world, not entirely unlike this one, but better, and you’re not in it, not even a tiny bit of you]

[Trigger warning: irreversibility]

2013 NaNoWriMo Excerpt #11

That day, three people took their own lives. The first one threw herself off a bridge. She had bungee-jumped before, and this was just one step removed from that. She died before hitting the water. The second one threw himself in front of a train. He looked the train driver in the eye before the train slammed into him, and there was a moment of understanding that almost made him regret it. The third one simply ceased existing, as if someone had turned off an ontological switch. Several cameras caught the event, but no humans. After she disappeared, so did every envelope currently addressed to her, and after that every piece of clothing she had had in her closet. The food in her fridge faded gradually, and her number disappeared from people’s mobile phones just moments before they were going to call her, and then they stood there blinking, wondering what they had just brought out their phones for. Then they stuck their hands back in their pockets because it was the middle of winter, and it was madness to have your hands out without a really important reason.

Death with Benefits

She was in love with Death himself, and figured that he must have a thing for her to some degree too, because she kept seeing him out of the corner of her eyes.

He was there – tall, dark, and … courteous, when she was bleeding out on the kitchen floor. He was the one who called the ambulance, she remembered the clacking of bleached bone against the slider on the rotary phone she had got as a gag.

He looked at blue things streaming out of her, touched them with his scythe, and said, “We’ve got to stop meeting like this.”

~

based on an idea shamelessly pilfered from the mind of the author of girlshapedguitar.wordpress.com :)

Dignity

We die together and it is romantic. We don’t stay dead for long because you made a jarring post to your blog, and someone cared, and someone else called the emergency services. The last thing I hear before I die is a siren’s wail, which I find poetic. Elephants climb the stairs. The door is kicked in, we are rescued. I blame you. This is me blaming you, still. They tell me you puked up your insides and that there was no romance in sight, that you convulsed. It was all very undignified. There is no real dignity in love.

Got to Make it Count

He imagined that if he missed, or if it went in far but not far enough, the feeling would be like having something stuck between his teeth, multiplied by a thousand. The arrowhead would lodge itself in the roof of his mouth and he would not be able to get it out, or close his mouth properly. But he didn’t have any other weapon, and every time he shot his one arrow up into the sky, the wind greedily took it from its plotted course and he had to travel to find it again, and spend a day sharpening it.

This is a Robbery

Sometimes I wish I were a dog. I understand that humans can only smell one thing at a time, which is why you need a few hours to appreciate a good perfume. First the strongest scent hits you and then you wait, a bit dizzy, until you’re numb enough to the first one to feel the second, and so on. If I were a dog, I could smell it all at once. On the other hand, if I were a dog and I was in that building when the shit hit the fan, I would have panicked and shat myself and someone would have been very disappointed with me the moments before oblivion. That’s no way to go.

I was coming up the stairs out of the Grand Central Bank. Banks are usually styled to look like temples, I’ve heard, and this one was probably for Hades. Big, open spaces, sequoiadendronous pillars, the river Styx running through it artfully under a thick, clear glass floor like Arctic ice. Specks of the colour black in the form of guards in tuxedos.

They say Death is beautiful. She was a plain girl. They say she grants wishes, right before she kills you. A sort of theological apology. “I’m sorry your life sucked,” she had told a stubborn radio reporter. “Have what you think you want, before you stop existing.” Everybody knew the reporter’s name, and everybody knew the number of seconds between that answer and his aneurysm.

Once, we found a man underneath a bridge who had thought he wanted to be able to fly. He had jumped and thought he could fly away once he gained the ability. It hadn’t worked like that; he was dead before he hit the ground. Gorgeous blue-green wings had sprouted from his back and sucked the blood out from his heart to fill their veins. It was really quite pretty.

She passed me on the stairs. And she smiled at me, touched my shoulder the way you do a good friend if you can’t stop to say hello to them. And I could feel her lavender perfume like a crane hitching me up into the air, and underneath it I could smell all the different textures of death itself, soft and yielding like rotting flesh. I guess I don’t actually know how the olfactory sense works, I thought, as she held up a finger to her mouth like, “shh – don’t tell anyone.” She turreted her head back straight forward and kept walking. And so the second wave of her perfume hit me, and it was opium. Underneath it, burning charcoal.

And she walked into the bank and spoke calmly, “listen up, everybody. This is a robbery.”

Two security guards reached for their guns and immediately fell to the ground, their eyes glazed like marbles. They smiled quite widely. One woman wrapped herself in a chrysalis. A few tellers were set on fire and, as previously mentioned, a few dogs shat themselves. They yelped. A lonely, shaggy man was suddenly surrounded by his family and they died together.

The one teller that remained gathered the money quickly, panicking. She had a panic attack and an asthma attack at once, and leant against the wall and lost the use of her hands and for a moment it looked like she would stop breathing there. But she found her inhaler as if by magic and she straightened her back and she straightened her tie. There was a kind of glow about her, now. She walked like a fucking queen – not slowly, not quickly, but in her own time, and she gathered the unmarked black bars used for sensitive money-transfers. She punched in the right combinations, turned the right keys like she’d been doing this her whole life. The bars were completely untraceable, the Grand Central Bank’s speciality. Right after the teller confidently handed Death the bag she collapsed and died.

And Death walked out of there smiling, smelling of hibiscus and sulfur.

This is filling me with dread. I’m going to stop thinking about it. I think I saw a squirrel outside.

Strigiformes

Don’t look in the obituaries. He didn’t die but he might as well have, he is gone. He dropped out in a rather suicide-like manner but there was no splash, no blood. No-one looked over the edge. No-one said anything. Ripples of lacks of facial expressions spread through the crowd and he was an absence.

He had told us not to search the ravine floor, as he wouldn’t be there and we’d be wasting our time. He must have fucking hated the thought of us wasting our time, huh. We held a not-funeral by the side and didn’t invite anyone.