NOTE: Mature Content.
This is the first chapter of a novel I’m writing titled “RIP by Strangle.” A novel that I’ve had thought out for over a decade, but recently finally figured it out.
Stephen Strangle has decided to write a suicide note. He writes his heart into it and what he finds after finishing typing the last period is maybe his reason to live, or his final confirmation that he lived a life fulfilled.
This is the beginning. What you are reading was pounded out with each key, one click at a time. Click. Click. Click. Follow me. Not like you have a choice, but you do, don’t you? You could flip through to the end if you wanted. You could flip to the middle. But that wouldn’t complete the picture, that’d just give you another view of it. To get the full scope, the full picture of it, you need to read one letter a time, one click at a time. You can hear the click, can’t you? Click. Click. Click. Sure, they aren’t going like that. That’s slow, isn’t it? They’re going fast. Real fast. Clickclickclickclickclick. Maybe faster than that. Maybe like cliclicclickclcliclickclickclccccccclk. I’ll slow down. I promise. Promise. Keep moving. Imagine spilling marbles onto the ground. Letting them fall out hitting the concrete pavement, bouncing up and down like kids on a trampoline. Who am I kidding, you probably don’t know what marbles are. They’re so old. Kids have phones nowadays. Imagine rocks tumbling out of a vehicle going ninety on the freeway. The truck is right in front of you. With the bumper sticker on the back sign saying “if you can read this, back the fuck off!” You can read it alright. It’s small, but hey, you’re close. Real close. Real fucking close. Close. But when the bed gate opens up and the rocks flow out, you can’t hear them, can you? Noway. Your windows are rolled up, music blaring. Rap, hip hop, maybe rock? Whatever your fancy is. The bass is pumping, your heart is kicking. Maybe you’re screaming or singing your lungs out. It’s going good! Your car is even shaking. Shaking fucking hard. Real hard. But those rocks, you don’t hear them but you see them. Tumbling out. You see them, and by seeing them you hear them. You hear them coming. You hear that thump, or maybe a crackling sound. Thunder. You twist your wheel but it’s too fucking late. You catch a few small ones under your tires and maybe, just maybe, a pebble or two only hit your windshield, but that isn’t what concerns you. What concerns you are the big motherfuckers, the basketballs blazing through your windshield. But not basketballs, these damn things are bowling balls. They weigh some pounds, tens of pounds, they’re freaking heavy and when they come blazing through your windshield they’ll be landing between your shoulders like a dog finding the perfect position to sit in on the couch between the cushions. Yeah, that’s the spot. That’s where the bowling ball lands, right between your shoulders. And your head? It’s fucking gone. Like baseball, what are they called called? Umpire. He’s extending his arms “FUCKING OUT!” And there you are, gone.
But let’s get real, you didn’t come to read this because of the interesting premise. Who knows if it has a premise? Shit, you can probably make one up if you wanted to. Look into it, read it, read between the lines and think of something interesting. Real interesting. Real fucking interesting. There’s something there. Bowling ball, maybe. What does that represent?
My friend killed himself last year and it seemed to have gone away. Forgotten. It hit hard then. Now? Now I forgot about it until a damn bowling ball reminded me of his death. That evening before he did it before he put a pistol to his temple and blew his brains out over his wall behind his computer like he was jerking off after we went bowling. Sure, that may sound extreme, but he was the fucking guy who killed himself at his computer after midnight. Not I. Or is it me? Fuck it. The point is, I was walking downstairs and turned a corner into the hallway that I found myself in less and less over the month – the hallway to my laundry room. The time between washing clothes extended itself weekly. Dirty laundry laying out like a bum at Venice beach. The one where I kept the bowling ball on the ground instead of in a closet or something, the one where I hit my toe on and damn near broke it. Shit. I did break it. The toenail hung there all gross like, so I ripped it off. That sounds extreme. It was painful, I was in agony, with my toenail hanging there, so I grabbed it and wiggled it off. The pain ceased. Thank god. Lower case. I didn’t even go to the doctor when I hit my toe on that bowling ball. I googled it. I scoured the internet for clues, for expertise on what to do with a broken toe. “What to do with a broken toe.” and click search. “Nothing, you broke your damn toe, you idiot. Don’t do it again. Take aspirin” And I didn’t plan to, thank you internet you have been most helpful today. Jerk. And if you are reading this, you know for sure, one hundred percent, I absolutely did not break my toe again. Shit, I still have a broken toe. I’ll take it to my grave.
Anyways I hit my toe on the bowling ball, breaking it and losing the nail, and thought about Liam for the first time in almost a year. Less than that. First time in less than a year, since his funeral. Since I drank enough alcohol to kill a small cub scout. Or whatever the hell they’re called. I stared at the bowling ball. Number eight was written on it. No, not number eight. Infinity. The bowl laid sideways. The infinity sign faced sideways. Eight. My favorite number. Infinity. Not eight. Back to bowling. We went bowling that evening. He bowled happily. He was fucking cheerful. We flirted around with some girls there, had some drinks, flirted with some more girls after the first group left and more came in. We had some nachos. A few burgers. Small ones, less than a quarter pound but all delicious and shit. It was cool and all. I kicked his ass at bowling and I wasn’t even that great at it. Not really. Not like he usually was. But that night, that night he fucking sucked and he had a blast. Funner than he ever had from the looks of it. If he knew he was going to blow his brains out at his computer later that night I guess the way he looked at it if he knew that he may as well have a fun fucking time. And he did. I did, too. I never really saw him so happy. It was strange then, almost unnoticeable. Afterward, I noticed it. Hell yeah, I noticed how freakishly happy he was.
That made the next day, well, it wasn’t a day, it was like five days before they found his body, but it made the next day all the more confusing. He sat at his computer for five days with a hole in his head before anybody wondered where he was. He was dead at his computer. Funny enough, probably not the longest length of time Liam spent at his computer. Liam and I, we fucking dazed ourselves on all sorts of drugs playing dumbass flash games on whatever free website from Chips to that fucking Monkey one. Whatever it was called. You had to free the encaged monkeys like from a zoo but it was weird. It was fun. Five days later his mom called me to tell me. “Stephen… are you alone?” Then she broke the news. “Liam is dead.” Three small words. All enunciated perfectly. Liam. Is. Dead. Say it again. Liam. Is. Dead. “How?” I asked. Calm. Fucking smooth. I was so calm. I breathed slowly. “He shot himself.” Bam. Boom. Bam.
Now I was stopped shocked. Never has that happened. I mean this one time this girl flashed me and that pretty much had the same effect. It’s insane how things can have an opposite similar effect. It makes no sense. See some tits, hear about your best friend shot himself after a fun night at the alley. Same. Drink to forget, drink to remember, drink to celebrate, drink to mourn, all the same. It makes absolutely no sense. But here we are. Humans. Making no sense.
So Liam’s mom called me and told me my best friend Liam had shot himself after a night at the alley, at his computer, probably after jerking off, I didn’t know, she didn’t tell me that, but I guessed. I didn’t tell her that. God no. Upper case. Nobody went into details like that. Fuck no. That was disrespectful, rude, and just downright inappropriate. It’s something I wouldn’t do.
I kicked that bowling ball, broke my toe, lost my toenail and thought about Liam and what it all meant to him. Why did he do what he did? He didn’t have a girl, but he loved lots of girls. Not in a romantic way, but he wasn’t heartbroken or anything. Fuck no. Not Liam. He was more heartless than I was. And I, my dear reader, could be pretty fucking cold. Stab me in the heart with a thermometer and it’d read “fucking cold.” And he wasn’t searching for romance or any sort of long term relationship so I knew he wasn’t depressed about that shit. We weren’t in High School so it’s not like he was being bullied. In college that shit didn’t exist. Sure there were hazing, but that’s if you tried to be social. Join a fraternity or some dumb shit. We weren’t that dumb, we weren’t smart, but not dumb. Forget sports, forget all that supposed college bullshit. He had a job, we both did, coincidentally at that very alley we played our last game of bowling together before he decided to see how a bullet fit in his head. He went to school, we both did, we both were majoring in math. We figured we could be some damn account or software programmer. We weren’t exactly stupid, despite all of this and how it sounds – or how it is read. Yeah, nevermind all that, we’re pretty stupid. But we had dreams. Start our own website. Make it big. And never really work again. That’s the dream job of all people, to never work again.
He killed his little brother. I should probably mention that. He stole his parent’s four-wheeler when he was about eight years younger, just before starting high school. The reason he moved and the reason our fates intertwined. His little brother, six years younger, rode on the back of it. He did a tight turn on a cliff he shouldn’t have been riding near and swoosh his brother, Noah, went flying off the cliff and smashed his head, and all of his bones pretty much, on the rocks below. Fucking crashed landed like Neil Armstrong on the moon. Probably more like Buzz. Neil went in like a champ. Like a hero. Buzz probably went in like “where’s the party at?” That sounds messed up but that’s how he told it to me. He didn’t sound messed up about it, not really. I was surprised, I would be pretty messed up. But he was young and young kids did stupid things and his parents shouldn’t have let him ride the thing. Well, nevermind, he stole it. It was his fault.
That’s how it started. That’s how my life went from there to here. Or at least, began to go from there to here. That’s how my life went from living ordinarily and minding my own business to one day deciding to do what Liam never did. That fucking guy. I’ll miss him. I loved him like a brother and that’s what hurts the most, not knowing why. We all have an itch, an itch of knowledge of needing to know why things are the way they are. Because of Liam, I’m writing this. That’s why I decided to write a suicide note.
That’s what you’re reading now. My suicide note. I didn’t want to title it as such and didn’t want to address it “To whom it may concern.” Cause, who the fuck is concerned? Not that I’m being depressive and dramatic. I don’t mean to come off that way. Not at all. But seriously, who will be concerned? My parents, sure. Yeah, they will be. That’s pretty damn standard. But do they really matter to you? Not my parents, but “your” parents. Do parents matter as much as we think they matter, especially when we enter High School or College? Fuck no. There’s sure to be some gushy people out there that say shit like “my parents are my life.” Most of us can’t wait to move out. Most of us can’t wait to getaway. Most of us are embarrassed by our parents. And we have absolutely no freaking reason to be embarrassed. We just are. It makes no sense. Absolutely no sense. You live your entire lives with them and can’t wait for the moment to be free.
So I’m not titling it to whom it may concern. And I’m not going to advertise it as a suicide note. I’m sure somebody will find this and read it and associate it as such and that’s okay, that’s what this is. No lie. A suicide note. And hopefully, inside I’ll explain exhaustively enough for you why I did what I did (speaking for the future, if you’re reading this, I’m no doubt, fucking dead). To those who may be saddened by this suicide note, I’m sorry. I really am. Do I care? No. Obviously not, that’s why I did what I did. You can be sorry and not care. We do it all the time. So many times we make mistakes and still say, “I’m sorry.” But do we give a shit? Of course not. It’s human nature. And we’re all human, aren’t we?
Anyways, enough of saying that, but that’s all I have for my introduction. I just wanted to talk about Liam, get a little bit off my chest about him and explain why I’m writing this. If you didn’t catch what I threw, I’ll say it again, I’m writing this because I’m pissed off Liam didn’t write why he did what he did. And I want to explain why I decided to go down this road. The same familiar road many, including Liam and now myself, go. I didn’t want to take you out, whoever you are, to a nice game of bowling, drinks, catcalling, and then go home and shoot myself in the head at my computer. You might think I did jerking off. But if I were to go out that way, shit, if Liam went out that way, it’d be bullshit. You know why? It’d be autoerotic asphyxiation. Much better than jerking, then shooting yourself. It’s hard to jerk and hold a gun to your head at the same time. I’ve done it. Just to see if that’s how he went. But I didn’t want to be a jerk like Liam. I wanted to explain. He was so random I thought. We had it all. It seemed. So my intent with this is to comprehensively and entirely explain why I decided to kill myself. And if you’re reading this, well, good for you. You probably liked me, and I probably liked you. So to you, reading, this letter, or note, or whatever you would love to call it, I can wholeheartedly and honestly say to you. I’m sorry. I hope you find peace like I found peace.