Content Warning: Suicide ideation
You feel your eyes open and see nothing but the inside of your head; a distorted howl gallops over you. A sliver of light splits your vision and a dim glow leaks through the cracks. You feel your eyes close; the light hesitates. You know you’re breathing. The sweat on your back sticks you to your sheets and anchors you down. Your limbs are hollow and disconnected. The room twirls slowly like a music box and your breath bubbles. You can feel the density of the air press you and keep you held in position. The night sounds heavy through your cracked window. A gurgle grows from your stomach and wanders up until it leaks out your parted lips. They are dry. A film slides across your tongue. You spread it to your lips and wait as your breath peels it back off. The room keeps moving.
* * *
The wind trips over your cheeks and you wake again. Dying isn’t easy. Your head lolls to the side and hits the bed with a wet snap; the scent of vomit pools in your nose. It’s a trigger that makes your stomach boil. Acid bubbles pop in your throat. The clock face sneers at you. Your fingers twitch around a paper ball. Partial pills float by your ears and mix in your hair. You hear them dissolving.
* * *
A weak light taps at your eyes. The night struggles to veil the dawn, but it will break eventually. In a dust of darkness, you try to sit up; the pit in your stomach pulls you back. A thin moan spills out. You blink at the distorted ceiling with heavy eyes. You hold your eyes open and your vision trembles. You realize you’re shivering, then you realize you’re cold. Your joints resist as you tuck your knees to your chest, one leg at a time. You touch your forehead to your knee and stiffly curl up with your back to the pool of vomit. Your staggered breathing echoes around your head.
* * *
A greedy gasp for air pulls you from sleep and sits you upright. The delayed spasm in your stomach doubles you over and you lay your head on your blue feet. With your eyes wide, you take deep, restricting breaths. The sun has risen but still only vaguely lights your room. You flash your eyes to the clock, they spin and then settle. It reads 7:37 am.
You’re not dead.
Another lurch in your gut and you scramble to the bathroom, trailing sweat-soaked sheets behind you. You hug the toilet bowl and expel the rest of the opiates. With nothing left in your stomach, you continue to drool watery vomit. You lift a heavy head and look into the underside of the toilet seat like a mirror. You feel your nostrils and lips dripping.
You push some spit over your bottom lip and out of your mouth with your tongue. You feel your weighted breaths fill every part of your body. The room has stopped spinning, but you still don’t know what it is you’re feeling. It’s a familiar feeling, but one you’ve never been able to name. It feels like your body is expanding and the distinction between what you physically feel and what you mentally perceive grows fuzzy. You feel your muscles compress and your limbs disconnect. A hand moves and you’re surprised that you can lift your own weight…
You plant your feet under yourself to stand up. The thrust from below isn’t enough to lift you and you blindly grab the edge of the tub for support. Your head hangs as your body rises; the ends of your hair stir the watery bile in the toilet. You roll your head up and straighten your body out with a deep sigh. You collapse over the sink and look into your eyes. Your pupils are pinpoints, barely discernable among the ominous fog that fills the rest of your eyes. The mirror begins to spin and you break contact with yourself. You start to wash the bile from the ends of your hair at the sink, but your reflection shows there is vomit caked on the left half of your head and neck. You look over your body and remember the pool of stomach acid you slept in, parts of which are now stuck to your arms and legs.
You peel off your clothes, stopping to catch your uneven breath with your shirt stuck around your face. The memory of an ex-lover laughing at you tangled up in your clothes surfaces. You watch your past self struggle playfully and make jokes at her own expense. You think about how long it’s been since somebody loved you like that. It was more than you deserved.
You drag your clothes to your bed and drop them in the middle of your vomit. You fold up the corners of your sheets and set everything on the floor to be thrown out later. Dread washes over you at the thought of later, something you thought you were no longer responsible for. You shuffle back into the bathroom. The shower knobs are stoic under your sickly fingers. You wrap both hands around them and pull with your body weight. Water bursts out the shower head and you resent its vitality.
You let your body drop to the floor and sit naked as you wait for the water to warm. You stare past the shower wall and you are far away for a moment. Your mind jumps ahead a few hours, then a few days, trying to picture the future you thought you aborted. A new sort of numbness spreads through you as the disturbing sense of a future creeps within you.
You are pulled back to the bathroom floor and crawl into the tub. You sit with your back to the needles of water shooting out of the shower head. They turn into fat droplets when you blindly reach behind yourself and adjust the pressure. You vaguely rub your left arm even after the vomit has washed off and again let your mind pull you and push you, far away then back again. You feel nothing: the water that coats your skin, the vomit that continues to cling to you, the cold ache that rumbles through your abdomen, all just seem a part of you now.
It dawns on you that tomorrow is a new day. You don’t have a backup plan for waking up today.
Now that seems like an oversight.
* * *
Naked, you lay face down on your stripped bed, avoiding the stagnant bile stain. It might be passed noon, but you don’t check the clock. Your stomach gurgles again, demanding food. You ignore its pleas and get high on the weakness spreading through your bones. You consider your options. The bottle of sleeping pills gripped in your fist might not be full enough to overdose on. You’re not enthralled by the idea of waking up in your vomit again. Or waking up at all. You think about lying there, letting your body eat away at itself. The vague thought of suffering excites you and you lie still, moving your body only to breathe. With each exhausting breath, you sink deeper into your mattress. You’re not sure if you can move your limbs even if you want to. You find a sort of satisfying calm in this paralysis.
Dying isn’t passive.
You take two pills to sleep. They slip down your corroded throat and land in your angry gut. You wrap two nearby towels around your body and sprawl out as much as your limbs will allow. Your breath deepens and the room spins back into darkness.