By Tony Casson
“When you look long into the abyss, the abyss also looks into you.” ~F. Nietzsche
The image of myself in the mirror was blurred by my tears, but I could see where the sharp edges of the razor blades touched my skin.
Time, damn it! Time! I was running out of time!
I remember a sound escaping my lips, but I have no recollection of whether it was a word, or just a sob, but it was then that I clenched my teeth, pressed the razor blades down, and pulled them forward sharply. One time, then quickly again cutting both jugular veins at once, the vein on the right being cut more than the left.
The blood spurted through the breaches in the veins with a force that surprised me for some reason. I took a step backwards and then to my right, moving into the shower.
I turned, slightly dazed, I think–a little stunned, perhaps that I had actually made such a statement of self-loathing, but at the same time, momentarily relieved of the pressures bearing down on my soul.
I leaned against the wall, my blood pumping out of my veins, and slid down to a sitting position. I looked down at the front of my shirt and ran my fingers through the sticky wetness, the blood warm in contrast to the coolness of the tiles. A sadness swept over me–a sure sign that my life was going to end here–in this shower–today–in a few moments. And the sadness was for all the things I should have been, and could have done–for all of the good that I was capable of.
And I remember thinking how odd it was that I felt no pain from my self-inflicted wounds–indeed, there was a feeling that the intensity of my panic and anxiety was flowing down the shower drain with the blood that was leaving my body.
Trying to recount the thoughts and my overall state of mind at this point is difficult, because things seemed to be slowing down a bit. There seemed to be a quietness and a surreal feeling setting in.
I was still crying, but the tears had slowed somewhat. I do know that I started talking to my mother, my best friend in life, and now, it seemed, that she was about to become my best friend in death. She had passed away a little over a year before, and I spoke to her now because her faith in God was as powerful, and sure, as mine was not.
God had not been one of my favorites for many years–since I was a teenager, in fact, and my best friend was killed in a car crash.
I wasn’t sure if lying in a pool of blood from self-inflicted wounds presented the right set of circumstances for reconciling with God, but it looked as if that was what was about to happen.
Speaking to my mother, I also told myself that if I was to believe that she could hear me, I also had to acknowledge that she was with God as she had truly believed she would be. I told her tearfully that I was sorry, so very sorry for making such a mess of my life, and I asked her to help my children understand that their father was not the monster that circumstances would make him out to be, but that he had just lost himself for a time back there somewhere and simply hadn’t realized it until it was too late to fix.
It was at this point that I slid down further onto the floor of the shower, until I was lying on my back.
I was getting weaker, time was passing, and I could hear sounds that told me the FBI had turned their attention from the office to my room–voices–calling my name–sounds at the window–sounds at the door.