i can do sad.
this is writing exercise from my class. i hate run-on sentences, so i challenged myself to complete this exercise: some flash fiction in one sentence. and of course, it’s sad, and it’s about suicide, because if there’s anything you can expect from me, it’s that i’m going to talk about hockey or suicide.
It took everything I had left in me to get out of bed in the morning and brave the traffic up the Peninsula, my small sedan apprehensively lurching amidst the long lines of the other cars that were full of people with actual places to go and actual lives to keep living, off to places that were occupied with people who got up every morning without every bone and muscle in their body filled with pain, people who didn’t think that their lives had gone on long enough and that today was the very last day they had to live, but I arrived at my destination right after the morning traffic had dissipated and it was nothing like I had expected: the big bridge they never stopped painting in a color called International Orange wasn’t vacant and begging me to climb over it’s parapets, but instead the walkways were filled with Japanese tourists taking pictures with their signature peace sign poses, middle-aged women in sweatpants out for a morning workout, and a group of schoolchildren in bright sweaters strung together like Christmas lights as they walked hand-in-hand, under the warm spring sun that melted away the fog that I had hoped to find lingering there, like a soft cloud that would carry me from the bridge to the bay–but without that fog to guard me from the kids, i just couldn’t do it, I can’t risk jumping in front of them, I can’t make their poor teacher explain that the nice man who smiled at them a few moments ago had jumped off the bridge because he was sad, to put it lightly, and nothing else he tried had helped so he asked the bridge to make everything stop, I can’t do it now, I can’t let the kids see, I can’t fuck up all those little lives, so I took out my phone and pretended that I had someone to talk to, prepared to say “I was just passing through the city, I wanted to see the view” if someone suspected something and called the Bridge Patrol on me, and to just fake it again, one last time, and drive the fifty miles back home and see if anything got better the next day…but it didn’t, I am home and nothing has changed, my body still aches with that indescribable pain, so tomorrow I’m going back to the bridge, and tonight I am praying for fog.