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Benjamin Wilder stood on a line between death and rebirth. He had drunk over half a bottle of gin, yet still stood on his feet, too full of pride to crumble. The flickering lights that hung from his ceiling seemed to dance as if they were angelic beings who have come to take him home. His apartment was rather messy, with dirty cloths scattered all over the floor and unwashed dishes piled up in the sink. He hasn’t left his studio room in over two weeks, and his friends wondered if he was still alive. After having to pick up the phone and repeat the phrase “ I’m alright, don’t worry about me” for the past two weeks, he finally threw the damn thing out the window. For the rest of his days, Ben wanted to be alone. The rest of the days however, wouldn’t be a long time, for this was the day Ben had planned to kill himself.

For two weeks he had been contemplating suicide, thinking about how he would depart this world. He spent long hours in silence each day, going over images of his own demise. In one scenario, he would jump out of his twenty-third floor apartment window, shattering flesh and bone onto the concrete pavement. But then he realized that if he did this, he could possibly traumatize an unsuspecting innocent bystander. For instance, what if he jumped down and landed on the BMW that was parked outside his apartment. He would hate to cause any financial difficulties to his neighbors. He wondered if car insurance companies covered that sort of damage. He saw it in his mind now-- theft, accident, and depressed man jumping down from the twenty-third floor. “Of course we offer full coverage for that type of situation Mr. Whatsyourname! Let us wipe the dead man’s remains from your car for you! And that’s because we value you as a customer!” Or what would happen if a nice lady was walking her dog or jogging, when suddenly a man came flying down, splattering his brains all over her Nike sneakers. And then the damn dog would probably start licking the bits and pieces of brain off the floor and her overpriced Nikes, causing her to go through long hours of therapy. No, Ben couldn’t possibly put his neighbors through that type of emotional damage. Jumping out of the window was out of the question.

He also thought about slitting his own wrists, but decided that this wouldn’t work either. He knew that this act would take a lot of courage, something he wasn’t up for. He thought about the pain, the site of blood dripping, and the pure emotional terror of feeling himself slowly drift away. And what if during his suicide, he suddenly thought of his family or the ones he loved? Or what if while he was bleeding heavily, he had an idea for an invention that would help mankind? Or better yet, an invention that would make him filthy rich! Would it be too late then? He thought of himself panicking, rushing to stop the blood. We would run to the bathroom and grab some toilet paper to momentarily stop the blood, but some freak accident would happen in the process, causing his demise just when he had found the will to live. For example, on his way to the toilet paper roll, he saw himself slipping in the bathroom and slamming his head on the toilet bowl. In his pain and disoriented state, he would try to call the ambulance; only he would realize that he threw the phone out the window. He would die in his studio apartment on the floor, with two wounds on his arms, and a very unnecessary wound on his head. There had to be a better way to commit suicide, he thought. Slitting his wrists was out of the question.

What about sleeping pills? No, this wouldn’t work either. In his long hours of reflection, he realized the consequences of sleeping pills. First of all, what if the sleeping pills somehow didn’t kill him, and he woke up partially brain dead. He thought about how he would live the rest of his life not knowing who he was, and not remembering that he wanted to commit suicide. In another scenario, he thought about what would happen if he somehow tried to swallow too many pills at once. Instead of the painless death that he had hoped for, he would choke in agony, struggling for breath, only to realize that it was too late. Ben didn’t want a painful death; therefore, taking sleeping pills was out of the question.

So what then, was left for poor Benjamin Wilder? After two weeks of silent contemplation, eating lousy pizza, and stocking up piles of dirty dishes, he finally had a plan. Ben would shoot himself in the head. It was a simple plan, both quick and painless. Ben kept a hunting rifle in his closet, which he usually used when he went on trips upstate with his friends. He would simply load the gun; point it to his brains, and fire. It was simple yet beautiful. He knew that pulling the trigger would require great courage, but what drove him on was the fact that there would be no turning back. After the trigger was pulled, there would be no regrets or thoughts about loved ones. There would be no car insurance issues or dirty sneakers. No pain. Everything would go according to his plans. He could see it now, Benjamin Wilder, lying silent and peaceful on his apartment floor. It was a perfect plan.

So as the moment came, Ben held the rifle in his hands and prayed that the next life would be better than this one. Tears filled his eyes while his hands shook in agony. Benjamin Wilder, the victim. In absolute terror, he held the gun as straight as he could and put his mouth over the muzzle. The bullet would go directly up his brains, leaving no time for pain. At least this thought was reassuring. He told himself that this was the moment. The moment he had been waiting for. There would be no backing out now. He closed his eyes as tightly as he could, and in his mind, gave himself a count down.

“Oh shit,” Ben said out loud to himself after taking his mouth off the cold muzzle. He put the rifle down on the floor next to a pile of dirty cloths and took a moment for himself. He sat in silence. It had occurred to him, that for the past two weeks, he has thought of every possible way to kill himself. He had thought about every scenario, every detail, everything that could possibly go wrong. Yet now that the moment had arrived, Benjamin Wilder realized something of great importance. He had totally forgotten why he wanted to kill himself. With that thought, he opened his apartment door for the first time in two weeks. He put on a clean shirt, a pair of shoes, and walked off into what he thought was a beautiful afternoon. As he passed the local electronic store he did something that he hasn’t done in two weeks. He smiled. He then thought to himself. “I need a new phone”.

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The following comments are for "Suicide, BMW's, and Sleeping Pills"
by pengster13

great work
I really enjoyed it. You've certainly got talent. I thought the piece on the old lady and her Nike sneakers was pretty good. As was the psychological investigation of suicide. I liked the ending, too. It's so simple and effective. I never would have thought of it. An A-grade piece. You can't believe how happy I am to find a piece I can write a good review of.

( Posted by: Seanspacey [Member] On: August 24, 2002 )

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