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The Third Try

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This is based upon the true story of a man that I’ve never met. I’d seen him walking down the street, I’d heard the stories of his previous two attempts of suicide, I listened to him die alone in a home right down the street from mine and I watched as the ambulance took him away soon after. I have seen family and friends die but this man’s death will haunt me until the day that I die.

He tried to shoot himself three times. I never understood, or came to understand, any reason why someone would try the same excruciating thing a third time after failing the first two attempts. In this story it is more important to try to understand what this man went through in his life, what provoked him to want to end it all time after time, more so than it is to just read the words off of the meaningless page. Unless we take the time to learn from our mistakes, to understand what others are going through, we truly are all doomed to repeat and copy the same mistakes as each other over and over.

In a room lays a man, crying, arms slumped miserably holding up his withered and depressed face, distorted by pain and regret. There is a knock at this man’s door followed by the hollered pleas of strangers that may well, apparently, at one time have had love for this man but now he knows not even love for himself.

As the door bursts open, shedding a stream of light in this world of pity so dark, a silhouette of shadows is cast upon the depressed figure as the sound of a gunshot resonates through the ears and hearts of these all well meaning innocent people.

These are people you’ve known all your life. These are people whose faces your subconscious refuses to forget. Yet these are people you don’t remember ever meeting before. They are on your block, they are in your home, they are your closest unknowns, family and friends and you are holding a pistol you don’t remember owning.

You don’t remember entering this room. You don’t remember who or, for that matter, why you are. You can feel nothing but your labored breathing and the weight of the gun relieving itself from your hand as all sound and light in your vision is rendered pointless. In a sudden jolt you feel your very sight is snatched from your awareness from the primary to the peripheral. You feel a sharp thud and then a far too warm emotion floods whatever remains of your awareness. There is a faint smell of sickening smoke in the air that overpowers what‘s left of your few remaining senses; a sickening smell that would never leave you.

We venture further to a time when wounds heal and memories of pain are long forgotten by almost all. A time where what once would have been a man blessed by God for a second chance is now a man of scorn doomed to live a life he does not want. Yes the world changes as does our morals and hopes, but in the end we’re all doomed to stay the very same.

This man lives only to lie down again, crying arms slumped miserably holding up his withered and depressed face distorted by pain and regret. He sees nothing, he hears nothing, but the echoes of his own mind haunting him, and he feels nothing anymore but a numbness manifest through drugs and his own conscience slowly shutting down. He feels only pity for others who still have to feel. He knows no hate bar the hate that he sees every day from others who can still themselves feel.

He sees only the barrel of the gun. This time there is no one to save him; no one to help him. He is now alone; he is now at peace. This time he attempts something different. He watches his grim deed intently through the reversed image of a vanity mirror. As he looked he realized that he did not know the man in that mirror.

He pulls the trigger over and over in his mind; focusing on the final ecstatic charge of unimaginable adrenaline and ecstasy coursing at that very last crucial moment.

Click.

This gun is empty.

He screams an entombing bloodlust of inhumanity firing a different, loaded, gun firing at every shattered reflection falling to the ground as he could still remember, the only thing he can remember, of the life he once had; the very end.

He lifts each pistol in a maniacal display of indecision firing two rounds from each at his ever expanding enemy of reflections that keep firing back at him and ravenously teasing him. BOOM, BOOM; CLICK, CLICK; BOOM, BOOM; CLICK- and in one sudden unexpected and arrhythmic sweep pulls the trigger to a trembling and broken expressionless soul.

BOOM.

He will live to see at least one more miserable day. This is the valley of darkness, and he is not alone for the shadow of death walks him, goads him, forward with temptations of a light ahead concluding this darkness abound.

He awakes in familiar surroundings as a rush of air, light and tools are violated through him. John Doe. Surely they would recognize him from before; he recognized them. Then again he recognized everyone in the world anymore except for himself. So why should anybody know him if he does not even know himself?

Whenever he arrived back to his pit he just waited. For the longest time he just waited, lying on the floor, watching the light twinkle off of the guns and broken glass. For thirty-six hours he sat and imagined other lights in the world. Lights he would never experience again.

We venture further to a time when wounds heal and memories of pain are long forgotten by almost all. At this place and time you live in a nice but small bungalow overshadowed by a quaint forest of evergreen and peace. You sit alone on a porch facing the wilderness. In the dark you slowly count the dissipating stars as the suns first dark blue rays fill the early morning sky whilst you therapeutically grip a small sawed off shotgun under a crocheted blanket.

You can feel the weight of the weapon resting on your lap; your hand gently nuzzling the trigger. You can feel the cold metal of the weapon stinging your fingers. You can smell the thick Pennsylvania air of greenery and pain. You draw vacantly from a filtered cigarette blowing small smoke rings into the oblivious horizon. As the last star twinkles out of sight, as goes the last hint of smoke into the sky, you pull the trigger for the final time.

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