Tuesday, October 07, 2008


It has been running through my mind a lot since I had that dream last week, not the thought of doing it, just the memory of what it was like to be swinging.

I don’t have a very good emotional inventory from that period of my life; I don’t remember what made it seem like a good idea. I do, however, very much remember the physical sensations. I remember exactly how my body felt and reacted.

No one was home. I was on the couch, wrapped in a blanket and the darkest depths of heroin withdrawal. The chills were frighteningly powerful, my teeth chattered like they did waiting for the bus to school in the cold Wisconsin winter as a child. Felt sick, threw in the garbage can next to the couch. I started to get hot again. Felt sweat beading on my forehead. Blanket cast on the floor, shirt removed, water ingested, puking again, coughing.


The garage floor was cool on my bare feet. The cigarette was hand rolled, harsh, aromatic.

“Is this really the shortest extension cord?”

Garage door slammed, caught the cord in it.

“Not in the garage,” I thought, “that would be too much.”

My mother’s words played over and over in my mind; the echo still rang, hours later.

The ceiling fan didn’t have much give when I pulled on it. Plug smacked me in the face when I whipped the cord over the fan. It wound around slowly as I manually rotated the blades.

The note was already penned, I placed in on their bed, neatly written, sealed with wax.

Three times wrapped around should probably do it. Don’t want it to snap. Rotate blades some more, stand up on stool, rotate some more.

Stood there for an eternity. Cord was cold. Kicked stool.


It was an immediate feeling of regret, like jumping into a freezing pool. It hit me with the force of a freight train…regret. Hanging there by my neck from the ceiling fan in the living room, I spun slightly to the left. The pain was incredible, I felt it pull my jawbone upwards and my eyes bulge. I reached up grasping for the cord to pull myself up. Time was running out but it seemed to stand still all the same. Legs kicked violently. Lungs gasped for breath when there was none to be had.

“Help me.”


“I don’t want to die.”

I heard a crack. Then another. Dry wall hit me in he face as I fell to the floor, the fan coming down on top of me, hitting me square in the forehead.

Mom came home from work early to find me unconscious in the living room. I woke up to her crying. She knew I was still breathing…but she worried for how much longer.

To whoever caused that fan to break, I promise I will never go swinging again.

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