My first memory is of a tapered lake shore. My foster sister had brought me to the marina of Lake Superior, the largest fresh water lake in the world, to pass an afternoon in play.
I must have been three years old.
It was April and fragmented ice still turned in the water defying the weak rays of a dandelion sun. Too cold to swim, too tantalizing not to take off those white and pink velcro shoes, remove cotton socks and stretch little toes in murky water. So I did. A biting and unforgiving cold. Then amidst the soft ground something sharp and piercing. I lifted up my foot and a shard of glass, deep beer bottle brown, clung to that baby smooth, unblemished sole. Blemished. I cried and my foster sister swept me up in her arms and laid me on the bank. She cooed and made promises of ice cream if I let her pull it out. So I did. It felt like a pinch, then release, and sticky red oozing from a cut that wasn't deep enough for stitches but earned me a piggy back.
If I twist my body now, twenty odd years later, and look at my sole, the scar of my first memory remains. #memory #nonfiction #childhood
Lover of women and men. Pioneer. Feminist. I admire you so. Sorry to stir you but I need to know:
Was your greatness innate, did talent burn from those fingers to singe the paper
Was it born from the grind of late nights, sore eyes, crumpled up words laid waste in metal bins, never-quite-right hard editing? Did you sometimes feel like you were never enough? Perhaps that’s why...
Are you at rest somewhere beyond or have I roused your tangled soul from the depths of the River Ouse where you held your breath to death? To drown yourself is a dogged suicide – complex, steadfast – and if you had known that your loved ones would search for you for three weeks, your body swept away with the current, would you have chosen a different method? It is said that writers are twice as likely to commit suicide and poets have a rate of bipolar depression 30 times greater than the general population....but I digress.
It’s a pleasure to meet you.
#flashfiction #suicide #virginiawoolf #writing
Below the spotlight's white heat, perspiration collected on Sam’s brow. He was going to die. Sam knew this because he had premonition dreams. The first was while he was at the New York Film Academy. He dreamt he was with his class on the backlot of Universal Studios and a vehicle hit him. The next day the sight of a dawdling shuttle bus made fear wash over him like a cold sweat and he froze. When he tried to move out of the way he stumbled backward into its route. Fortunately, the only thing hurt was his pride.
Recently, he had been having a reoccurring dream. It started with him walking through a gentle snowfall until he reached a set of steep stairs that led to a stage. He began to audition for a Shakespeare play, but he couldn't stop stammering. Right before he finished a spotlight fell and crushed him to death.
He thought about trying to evade death, but Sam believed in the canons of destiny. So, when he saw the audition call at The Bushwick Starr in November he felt compelled and resigned. On his way there it began to snow, the first snowfall of the year and premature. He ascended the steep steps leading to the theatre and entered.
Under the spotlight, ashen-faced, he began his dialogue. A stutter proceeded each word like the hands of death were already strangling him.
“That's quite enough,” said the Director, her face pinched like she was sucking a lemon, “You can go now,” she waved him away.
“That's it?” Sam asked, “I'm done?”
“If you were attending the same audition I was, yes, you're certainly done,” she said.
“B-but I had a premonition. I'm supposed to die here, now,” he said squinting up at the spotlights, “a light will fall and crush me. It’s got to happen. There was the snow, the steps, and dammit you're doing a production of Shakespeare!”
“Suicide by premonition, ha! I've never heard such a thing,” She said dismissively, “listen, kid, this is a classy theatre, lights don't fall. Furthermore, this is an annual Shakespeare production, you've probably seen advertisements for it. As for the snow, well, that's just a coincidence. Now get off my stage or you'll be removed!”
Sam mumbled an apology and left. He walked down the steps glassy-eyed, certain that it had been his destiny to die. So consumed was he by these thoughts that he stepped out in front of an oncoming bus.