The location was perfect. I’d been told just how beautiful this vista was, but I couldn’t take any enjoyment from it. I couldn’t see anything because it was night and pitch-black. I really didn’t have any inclination towards enjoyment at the best of times. Every minute feels like borrowed time. My life, much like the deleted scenes on a bonus DVD, pointless, after you’ve watched the whole film.
I knew what to do. I knew why too. Earlier that day I’d spent a few hours making sure that any items in my room which may cause offence, after the event, were removed and discarded, so as not to cause embarrassment to my parents or sully my good name. I gathered the tools I needed and dumped them on the back seat of the car.
Sitting at my steering wheel, facing out into the blackness of night, I contemplate what I am doing.
I am about to take my own life in a manner so favoured by city-traders, paedophile uncles and psychotic ex-boyfriends, car-exhaust. I am none of the above I might add.
I am about to end it all, kill myself, take my own life, do away with myself, die by my own hand, commit hara-kiri or suttee. The wording is not important. And, should my life flash before my eyes, I probably won’t be featured in it anyway.
The hose pipe, gaffer-taped to my exhaust pipe, leads into the car via a slight opening in the window, the rest of the gap is plugged with my jacket. Having slid the seat as far forward as possible, I have my right hand on the ignition key, with my left white knuckle gripped on the steering wheel.
On the boundary between life and death, I am alone on a cliff side. I am numb. Someone taps on the passenger window but initially I don’t hear it. I’m shaken from my final moments by someone opening the door.
“Hiya sweety.., isn’t it cold? I’d best get me hands warm first… No need for your name, but my name’s Brian.”
A large, bald and exceedingly camp man, speaking incessantly, climbs into the passenger seat of my car. Jovial and full of energy, he proceeds to speak at great length about everything, except why he’s inside my car when I am about to make the forever decision.
His rambling has ceased. He spoke for about ten minutes until he noticed the fleece jacket stuffed into the gap in the window, and my hand on the ignition key. He opened the door again but remained seated, silent now, and that hush seemed to last a billion years.
I thought I could sense his judgement. When he did speak it was slow and deliberate, and his voice carried a level of compassion I’d not heard in a long while. He was deadly still, and I’d almost forgotten he was there.
“I don’t know who you are, or what’s brought you to this. I only know that for the moment, you’re here and I’m here, and that’s good. I can assume that you’re here because you’re troubled and considering ending your life. If truth be known, I would prefer to be here with you, at this moment, for the reason I came up here for, and not for your intentions, but, hey-ho, we’ll just have to make do with this.” Silence again.
I take my hand off the key. We both just sat there for a while.