I wonder what it must have been like for you. You who found me slumped against my bathroom wall; arms limp with lines of blood flowing slowly down into the tiles. I wonder what it must have been like for you to scream and stumble backwards, taking in the sight of my blue lips and drooped head, my pants soaked with my own life, a knife in a pool of red. Did you expect it? Did you think any thoughts as you cradled my head and scream for someone to help? Help do what, exactly?
I wonder what it must have been like for you. Seeing me laying in my coffin in the living room; the dead pale covered in layers of make up to make me look like I was sleeping. I wonder what it must have been like for you to take in the fact that no Christian burial would be given to me because I took my own life. Your own friends, men of the holy cloth telling you that I will burn in hell forever – I hope you see why I was so afraid of church now. Do you see it? Do you see the hatred I faced? Did you feel their words lick your face? How did you feel, exactly?
I wonder what it must have been like for you. Choosing flowers and songs that you think I would like; choosing a gravestone for me because somewhere inside, you somehow hope that if you visited a body instead of an urn, it would keep me alive. I wonder how it must have been like for you to pick out my coffin, remember the one that I said I would like the most? I hope you did. I hope you picked out bluebells and lilies. I hope you picked out AC/DC and Andre Bocelli. I hope you picked out the white coffin with crème linings, the one with four angels on the side. And I hope you remember the quote I loved so much: “to thine own self, be true.”
I wonder if you knew that I was true to myself. Even when I was not myself, even when I sliced myself up; I was true. I lived, but I couldn’t survive. I survived, but I couldn’t live. I lived because I was true, I survived because I loved. But I was hated and I was invisible, I was counted out and overlooked. I was told that I was alright when I was screaming for help, my voice was spoken over so I learnt silence. And now I remain silent.
I wonder if you know what it feels like to be closed up in a box, silent as my voice had been when I breathed. To feel the coolness of the ice keeping my body together, to hear the muffled cries of a ceremony, non-religious, attended by few and forgotten by many. I wonder if you know how it feels like to be lowered into darkness, to hear the rain of encasement, to feel quiet press down as the earth compacts itself around your box.
I wonder if you know what it feels like to be free, finally. Of the sneers that people give you as you walk down the street, of the impossible standards that society set, of the constant throng of the majority telling you that you are denied the very right to live because God accessorized you with the wrong genitals, with a beard, with masculine stereotypes. To be free of the fear of being yourself, of always walking down the street with one eye behind you, just in case. To be free of having to let go of people that you love because they will never love you, of having to learn how to defend yourself against the blows of people because they know no better.
I wonder if you know that you are privileged, more that I am, even if we come from the same family, from the same circle of friends, from the same social class. Because I will never be like you, I will never have a biological family the way the bible says I should, I will never date the same way you do, I will never walk down a street the way you do and I will never watch movies without feeling left out. I wonder if you know that you are in so many ways the reason I cried at night, when the day was so hard because you saw someone you know hold hands with their lover in public, saw them share a quick kiss without a second glance from anyone else, saw them give each other flowers without others telling them their going to hell.
So I wonder now, if you know why I did it, if you know why I am now laying in the ground, compressed by the earth and the silence, slowly giving my body up to those that live beneath the surface? I wonder if you know why I took that kitchen knife up to my room that night and locked myself in the bathroom, leaving you no note of explanation.
Because I wanted to be free. And now I am.
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