Knife

The rope was coiled and stowed behind the front seat of the truck

After he pulled up he sat there for a while

He could use the knife, he thought again

He had figured out the noose months back

Had been obsessing about it really

Tying and retying it over and over

But he wasn’t sure

Something about it troubled him

So in the end, he said fuck it

It’ll be the knife

He was going to do it then and there

But he thought about how hard it would be to clean up the blood

Since it was the company truck and all

He figured he knew who’d have to do it

So he decided to go into the woods to the tree he’d picked out

Which kind of made some kind of weird sense

He sat on the ground with his back against the tree

Pulled the trusty Buck knife out of the leather holster at his waist

And for one last time went through the shit list

That’s what he called it

All the crap that had been piling up

Like his charade of a marriage

Held together by shared debt and guilty responsibility

The debts were even worse than his unfuckable wife

He owed so much money

No matter that he was making some pretty decent coin

The debt just kept hovering until the next emergency

When it would grow even more

He thought about his shitty job in the shitty company

Fracking

Here he was, really a tree-hugging hippie at heart

Working in one of the worst industries on the planet

Environmentally

It’s like every day he plays his part in gang banging mother nature

Fucking bastards

He thinks

He thinks about all the assholes he’s encountered

On his way to this end of the road

He knows his shit list by heart

He opens his shirt

Plunges the knife in without any more thinking

Right to the hilt and sits there waiting to die

Not realizing he missed the heart

Still, there’s a lot of blood

It hurts like hell

Then it’s like being walloped over the head with a frying pan

Not like any headache he ever had before

It’s an urgent screaming icepick to the brain

Which staggers him awake and to his feet

Stumble climbing up the slope to the road

Where he collapses before reaching the truck

He comes to in the hospital

Strapped into a bed and barely able to focus

Pain claims his attention

Until it’s muffled by the meds

He doesn’t make it easy on himself or the staff

After he recovers enough

They stick him into solitary on the psych ward

Under observation

The walls aren’t padded but its pretty basic

48 hours of coming down into himself

Then it’s back to the ward

Shrinks and meds and nurses

His fucking family all phoning and mouthing platitudes

Saying things that sound like Reader’s Digest dialogue

Scripted by writers that used to work for Oprah

He thinks about calling bullshit on their bullshit

Then decides to forgive them

And starts to forgive himself

Uncoiling and untying the knots around his heart

Sobbing, in relief

 

 

David Trudel     ©  2013

 

 

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