Being, Unbeing, Being — A Metamorphosis

What would it be like, to kill yourself?

Being, Unbeing, Being — A Metamorphosis
Photo by Nathan Anderson / Unsplash
Learn to fear. To share fear iS the greatest bond of all. The hunter must become the thing he hunts. What is, is now, must have the quivering intensity of an arrow thudding into a tree. Yesterday is dim and monochrome. A week ago you were not born. Persist, endure, follow, watch.

—The Peregrine, J A Baker

I don’t want anyone in or out of my family to see any part of me. Could you destroy my body by cremation? I beg of you and my family – don’t have any service for me or remembrance for me. My fiance asked me to marry him in June. I don’t think I would make a good wife for anybody. He is much better off without me. Tell my father, I have too many of my mother’s tendencies.

—Evelyn McHale’s suicide note


What would it be like, to kill yourself?  You know, to really do it, to give it a damned good go.  What parts of you could or would you open up; what insides would you outside to the kiss of air?  How would they find you; how would you look?  Would you be ugly and twisted, your final form a frozen mockery, the internal hate and rage brought outward; would you be like Evelyn McHale, nestled in metal as though in silk, with seashell eyelids and the mouth of a doll?

Knowing you have no control, that the end is not a state of being but an immediate unbeing.  Knowing that, and spiralling out, reaching acrophobically up to the sheet of stars, and thinking you could be them, because you once were.

Night collapses around you like a dying star.  Folds in like laundry.

You don’t actually want to die.  Can anybody want what they do not know, what they cannot know?  You can want things; you can even want ideas (to be loved, to be loved!) even if you have never had them, but that’s because you have some perception of what that thing might be.  The weight of it, the heft, the atomic and imperceptible rhythms it’ll beat through time and space.  But this nothing, this unbeing — how can you want it?  If you’re honest, you just want to go to sleep.  You want to go to sleep for a very long time.

Would you have the world freeze in your absence?  Would Earth rock to a stop, ice crackling up from the poles, crusting about the equator like a smile?  Balls hang in mid-air, tossed from the splayed fingers of statuary; lovers are defined by the singularity or their plurality in that one ineffable moment.  The forehead kiss that lasts a lifetime; the tear that will never fall.  And you, nestled in the fabric of your waiting.

Or would you have it spin; would you wake up in the caramel glow of someone else’s life, when all you knew had unspooled as to be unrecognisable?  Would you want to start again?

Would you stay, then?

Would you stay, and become something else?

Would you stay, with me, if I could push the air beneath you, cushion you from falling?  If I could hollow out your bones, be the air inside their cavities?  If I could be the quickness of your hunting eye, the warning yellow of your beak?  If I could be the hook, the dart, the gash, the kill?

Come, quick.  Down, down, down.

You are the sky; I am the earth.

For Evelyn McHale


This post was written for a challenge in my writing group on Discord.  If you'd like to join the group, follow this link!