Just Thoughts

by PonyAmorous

Chapter 1: Ideation

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I could leap right in front of that train before anyone could stop me. Then SPLAT! Quite a bit of mess though, and not great salvageability.

I wait patiently on the yellow safety line as the lumbering steel behemoth of the 4:00 pm light rail car pulls into the station to take me home from the city library. I close my eyes and let the wind rush over me as the train's brakes screech to a halt. I quickly step aboard and find a seat. As it pulls out again, I stare out the window at the tops of the skyscrapers and imagine leaping off one.

Pretty much the same drawbacks, just shifted to a vertical reference frame.

Not that I actually have any intention of killing myself. I'm not suicidal. I'm not even depressed. My life is actually pretty good, all things considered. It's just the occasional intrusive morbid thought. Like when you're standing in a high place near an edge, and suddenly start thinking about what would happen if you stepped off. Or driving on the freeway and realizing that with a simple jerk of the wheel, you could ram straight into the center median or into oncoming traffic. You're not going to, it's just a little flight of imagination. A quick little cause and effect simulation in your mind.

I read up on it, and it turns out it's actually a lot more common than people think. A lot of people are just too afraid to admit it. They find it disturbing or think it makes them weird. I'm not bothered by it though. I find them almost...amusing I guess? Which makes me wonder if I'm categorizing them right, because a large part of the definitions I've found seem to be about them causing distress, and the subject fearing they'll somehow follow through on it. But I know there's a zero percent chance of that happening. That there's a world of difference between ideation and action. So I continue on with one of my favorite commuting pastimes, trying to figure out the "best" way to commit suicide.

There are five categories in which to score.

Accessibility/Ease of execution: The logistics of some methods, such as falling into a volcano or launching oneself out an airlock into space, are prohibitively difficult, while others are astoundingly easy for anyone serious enough.

Painlessness: Pretty self-explanatory.

Mess: It's important to recognize that you're going to leave behind a corpse, and somebody is going to have to deal with that. Killing yourself and forcing someone to clean up your remains is inconsiderate enough as it is. The least one can do is try to make it a bit easier by not leaving too much splatter over too large an area.

Salvageability: This one is quite important to me. I'm an organ donor, as everyone should be, and I'd want to make sure that as much of me as possible could be recovered and used to save lives, or be used for scientific research. Honestly, if anyone thinks they have a use for a piece of me when I'm dead, they're welcome to it. I certainly won't have any need for it.

FInally, Style: A hard to pin down, subjective category relating to how "dramatic", "cool", "poetic", or "original" a method is. This pretty much always conflicts with the other categories in a big way. Anything that would be remotely original, or at least not done to death (no pun intended) already, is almost by definition going to rate poorly in the first category, and almost certainly in the second as well, else more people would have tried it. Humans have been offing themselves for all of history.

It's quite hard to find something that scores well across all or even most categories. Drifting off with alcohol and sleeping pills would be a top contender for ease, painlessness, and low mess, and is even decent on style. Unfortunately, it's pretty much guaranteed to wreck your organs beyond usability. Similar problems with exsanguination (along with the thought of slashing veins making my skin crawl a bit). I know a lot depends on how fast medical personnel can reach you, so you could possibly call them while in progress, but that's toying with the chance of failing the attempt entirely.

Eating a bullet is one of the best in that category. It's instant and does minimal damage to any other organs. Possibly the worst in terms of mess, though, unless you considerately cover the room in plastic first. There's also the issue of obtaining a gun. Even if you're of legal age to buy one, and in a location where doing so is fairly easy, unless you're already a collector or competitive shooter or something, that's the kind of sudden shift in behavior that sends up a giant red flag to those around you, as well as any halfway competent mental health professional worthy of being called such. Unless of course you're "lucky" enough to live with an idiot who keeps an unsecured firearm around the house.

As much as I try to find something else this time, it looks like hanging wins the technical score count again. Assuming you do it right and break the neck instead of asphyxiating, it has all the organ preservation and instantaneity benefits of the bullet, with significantly less mess. It also doesn't require much in the way of materials. A rope, a strong enough support to hang it on, a quick tutorial on knot tying, and a half-dozen to a dozen foot drop depending on body weight. Definitely the most friendly to those on a budget.

Unfortunately, it's just so...boring! So trite and uninspired. I don't know why, but I always place it last in the style category. I know that's the least important category, that it hands down wins the score count with all the others, that there's a reason it's been a staple in suicide and "humane execution" throughout history. My brain knows all that, but still, I know which one I want to win with my heart.

For some reason, I've always been partial to jumping. Something about free fall just speaks to me. Maybe it's that wonderful tingling "zero G" feeling in the stomach. Maybe it's the wind whipping past my face. Maybe it's just my inner physics nerd that loves those simple kinematics equations. I don't think I'm just an adrenaline junky like Rainbow Dash. True, my heart is pounding harder by the end of those free fall carnival rides, but when falling I'm not gripped by fear or tension. I'm relaxed. Peaceful.

I remember going to a fair a ways back where they had a particularly unusual attraction for the brave and daring. They'd strap you into what was essentially a chair, haul you up about 200 feet into the air with a crane, and just let you go to land on your back in a large net. I still remember the world growing suddenly silent, save for the sound of wind rushing past my ears and whipping my hair into a frenzy. The freeing feeling of weightlessness. The people in front of me in line had screamed in terrified glee, but I had just smiled. It had only lasted 3.6 seconds, but they were probably the most serene seconds of my life.

Maybe I should look into skydiving at some point. Though they probably make you do a lot of assisted training jumps with an instructor, so it would be quite a while before I could enjoy that isolation and just fall in peace.

I dismiss the thought and grab my bag as I see my stop approaching. I've got a hefty stack of engineering, history, and a little light fiction to delve into once I get home. The only reason I don't read it on the train is that I'd almost certainly get so absorbed that I'd miss my stop.

Later that evening, the alarm I set goes off and I reluctantly close my book and crawl into bed, knowing that if I don't, I could easily spend all night reading and completely wreck my sleep cycle. It would be far from the first time. As my head rests on the pillow, I imagine the bed and floor beneath me dropping away and sending me plummeting through an endless open sky. I feel my whole body relax and begin drifting off to sleep.

Author's Note

Just an idea that got lodged in my brain and became so distracting I had to write it out. May possibly end up being the most fucked up fic I write.

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