I have spent so many days sitting in this bathroom, staring at razors and bottles of pills. I've stared at the walls and counted the cracks in the ceiling, hoping against hope that today is the day I have the courage to do this. Sometimes I turn the bathwater red, but only with the thousand small cuts that leave only scars and scars, but don't need stitches. Sometimes I hit myself until I bruise, desperate for the dull pain, hating myself, so why can't I take the plunge? Why can't I deal the blow that would be final?

I read a journal entry yesterday, one that I wrote a year ago. It's a prayer to the Goddess, begging her to help me to a graceful end. I said, "i'm sorry, mother. i have failed and even now i am so ragingly angry at myself for being so melodramatic, for being so wrapped up in my suffering when others have it so much worse. i just feel that my soul does not have what it takes; that there is something lacking in the fibre of my being. i am so sick of doubting myself for every emotion. i am tired. i don't want to fight this fight any longer.

"please goddess, i don't ask you for the strength because i really don't think i'll ever possess it. i am asking you for some kind of graceful ending. or any kind at all, really. because i'm too weary even to get there. and this hurts me. it hurts me more than this small soul of mine is capable of holding."

And the truth of it stings me, it's still true, it ceased being true only for scant days at a time. And if it was true then and is still true now, how much bigger is the import? I wish I could weep about the hurt. I wish I had some way to make real my hurts, something besides leaving scars on my skin.

Last night I remembered cats on fire, and couldn't get away from the smell. I panicked and screamed softly into a pillow, but I couldn't get away from the fire, a cinder in my eye, and maybe I'm culpable. The stench and a tail burning; a tail should not burn. I begged for the image to go away and leave me. This morning, I am empty of memories again and I remember wanting them, I remember how I thought pain would be better than numbness. I wanted to know why I hurt so much.

And then I get these flashes and I run away, I try not to but they overwhelm me. Where is the balance? When will I stop running? When will I get something bigger than a flash? Or, the question of questions, when will I have the courage to die, instead?

I think the problem is mainly that I know too much. 98% of attempts to die by wrist-slashing are failures. The percentage of pill overdose successes is probably even lower, especially since all I have are antidepressants and a couple hundred Tylenol. Besides, if I live, that Paxil is expensive. And I don't even know how I'll make rent next month.

I could hang myself but I have been strangled before, I know how the panic feels, I am too afraid of four or five minutes without air. I wish they had killed me when they said they would. I wish these years of silence and rape would choke me peacefully, don't I deserve a graceful ending? And yet I catch myself, all the time, preparing to live. Thinking about school next quarter, worrying about rent, eating every day.

This is ridiculous. I don't have the energy to kill myself, but I don't have the energy to live. This story lacks a resolution. The best I can do is remember the poor cat, and wonder why there was no sound, just a smell and a vision.

Mother, I ask you again. Give me the strength for some kind of ending. Please.

Once a roaring fire
The ember burns slowly and quietly
It thinks no one sees it
But it is beautiful

A tiny flame
Surrounded by spent ashes
Waiting for wind's breath
To ignite its passion

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