Would you kill yourself?
Would you follow all the steps in a suicide manual and follow them through? Or would you give up halfway? “Coward.”
Would you strip yourself in the cold and bury your breasts in the snow, telling yourself over and over again, “this isn’t pain, this isn’t pain yet” and proceed to wait for frostbite to eat at your skin?
What if you died in another way – what would your skin look like in a fire?
What would you give to behold the spectacle of your own flesh and eyes melting in the flames without feeling any pain?
How, then, would you do it?
Does the choice of the suicide define you; is it the metaphor of the story you wish you could have put down on a page, only to find the road to be a better canvas?
Does the way you die form part of your identity? Choices, choices, choices.
“Jumping from a building is so cliche, I wanna die glam.”
Today I talked about a woman’s suicide I witnessed and remembered how my mother told me it was a doll on the ground.
“No Ma, it’s a woman.”
She shut her eyes and told my father to drive up to the guardhouse to report it.
The woman was pushed off the building.
I spent the rest of the night covering my face under the sheets thinking I’d see her face at my window. After all, Penang is a spiritual place.
I told my father to bury me in Penang should I die before him last year. He snapped back, saying “but Singapore is your country.”
Would you kill yourself in an unfamiliar place just to spare your family the grief?
Or would you kill them back? “You unfilial child.”
Every time I died, Penang would revive me. Apartment #29-07 was a safe place for my thoughts, my desires and my pain. A female ghost lived there when we were away according to a medium who informed my aunt. When I was a young girl, I heard her scratching at the door once. I was scared shitless, but I think she wanted us to know she was there. I wonder if it was the ghost of the woman whose battered body lay lifeless in front of the rubbish dump.
There was a teacher in my school who died. Days before her death, I remember watching her bolting towards the school gate with her hair bunched in a low ponytail, her hands clenching onto her work bag and her long skirt flapping in the wind. She was late, but she was so alive. She had climbed over the ledge but changed her mind and started climbing back to safety, only to slip and fall to the initial death she planned.
Isn’t suicide such a privilege, compared to the ones who couldn’t and can’t choose?
Ken says it’s stupid, only cowards do that.
I find it brave.
But he knows how general consequences hurt a person, I don’t. I am fleeting, and it’s not romantic.
In the play The Map Maker’s Sorrow, Death is portrayed as a beautiful, seductive woman. She was my favourite character and I still want to try playing that character.
Is suicide romantic?
I once watched a documentary about the Hiroshima bomb titled White Light/Black Rain with my theatre mates.
A Japanese woman reflected, “I have the courage to live, my sister had the courage to die.”
At the age of seven, her sister flung herself onto train tracks after being unable to bear the reality that her parents had died from the atomic bomb.
I honestly didn’t know how to weigh the pros and cons for this one, and haven’t thought about it since.
But seriously, would you kill yourself?
And does this question solve our identity issues?
Does suicide solve anything?