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Superstitious


Pat

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Sometimes I find my beliefs to be very hypocritical. I’m an outspoken atheist, and yet, I’m incredibly superstitious. I never walk under ladders, I never carry a hammer near mirrors; hell, even when I’m playing games with friends, I have a mental list of who’s sides are lucky or will ensure my loss. For example, if I know Judy’s playing, I make sure I don’t end up to her right. I’ve lost a few too many poker games to her to reconsider this.

 

Is it hypocritical? I mean, my reason for being an atheist can also be applied against superstition. I don’t berate Christians over their beliefs, so it’s not like it really even matters, but this question still bugs me when I lay in bed at night, unable to sleep. Then again, I suppose if it wasn’t this, it would be something else. I don’t have the cleanest conscience, after all.

 

Maybe I should start the story over from the beginning. I’m not proud of that night, I don’t really want to put it in writing, but I don’t think I have much of a choice. If I am wrong, and there is a Heaven and Hell, maybe explaining myself will earn me a little mercy (certainly not enough to change the destination, however; I’m quite sure of where I will end up if they do indeed exist).

 

 

•••

 

I had been drinking. That isn’t an adequate excuse for what I did that night - nothing is – but I can’t stress enough that if I had been smart enough to keep my hand away from the bottle, this would have never happened. Maybe I couldn’t have kept it away, though. Maybe this whole thing was just fate’s way of having a little fun.

 

I never was subjected to a breathalyzer test, but I’m sure if I had been, I would’ve been close to the lethal limit. As soon as alcohol touched my tongue, words like “stop” or “enough” were non-existent. Alcoholism ran in my family. I couldn’t think of a single relative who I hadn’t at least once seen blackout drunk. I even have pictures – started a little photo album, which no one knows about (although I suppose after this travels around enough, someone will try to find it).

 

It’s too bad that I wasn’t at a bar at the time. No, the album I kept had made me pretty averse to drinking in public. I stocked up in town and did my drinking in the confines of my apartment. If I hadn’t been so shameful, someone would’ve been there to take my keys. Or maybe I would’ve slipped past unnoticed. Maybe some things just can’t be prevented.

 

I can’t remember where I was so interested in driving to. It was two in the morning, the only fast-food restaurant still open would’ve been McDonalds (because I obviously hadn’t poisoned my body enough at that point) and I didn’t have an ex-girlfriend that I was angry at or anything. No, I just wanted to go for a drive. Or should I rephrase that? I wanted to throw around one ton of German steel completely oblivious to how dangerously I was behaving

 

I don’t remember much of the drive itself. I know I actually made it past a cop once without being pulled over (I still wonder how I managed to fool him), but everything else is a blur up until the wreck. Although it wasn’t so much a wreck, since I came out of it with a broken radiator, fan housing, and passenger-side headlight. Yet another thing that bothers me – my car was a BMW E30, it should have crumpled like a tin can. This was a sixty mile an hour head-on collision – even an eighties Suburban would have quite the battle scar afterwards, let alone a fucking compact German coupe.

 

And as usual, the drunk – myself – got off scot-free. My nose collided with the steering wheel (my car had no airbag) but it wasn’t broken, and everything else that I banged on something didn’t even end up bruised. The guy I hit, wasn’t so lucky. He was in a Corolla, and despite being the bigger of our two cars, his had nearly disintegrated.

 

I don’t think there was any chance of survival. I’m probably wrong, I think I only tell myself that so I feel better about the fact that I didn’t even make an anonymous call to the authorities, much less turn myself in. The guy was unconscious, but I could feel a pulse. And here we are, another thing that I can’t get out of my head – I left fingerprints. Two bloody fingerprints right on the guy’s neck, and I never even got a call from the police.

 

The rest of the story is pretty boring. I got back in my car, and I think I drove home. I know that’s where I was when I woke up, and I know my car was in the driveway, but I have no recollection of going anywhere between the wreck and home. I don’t even remember walking inside and passing out on the couch.

 

So obviously you’re thinking the fact that I killed someone is what bothers me, right? Would you believe me if I told you that you were wrong in that assumption? I mean, shit, it doesn’t feel good to admit it, but the fact that I killed someone doesn’t really bother me anymore. No, what bothers me, is that I killed myself that night.

 

I don’t mean that in some metaphorical way, either, like I killed a part of myself or anything. No, I mean I literally killed myself. You’re asking yourself, “If that’s true, how are you writing this note?” Well, I could tell you, but you wouldn’t believe me. Hell even after I explain it you probably won’t.

 

I wanted to see a psychiatrist, or a therapist, but I didn’t know what to say. At the time I felt pretty guilty, but I wasn’t stupid, I didn’t want to admit to anything unless I knew I had no other choice. As the days went by, talking about the wreck wasn’t even that important to me – I just wanted to talk. My friends kept ignoring my calls, and I had always hated my co-workers, so I was completely alone.

 

I ended up visiting a gypsy in the downtown area. Much like the night of the wreck, I have no recollection of why I went or when. I didn’t know what I was going to ask about, but she took care of that for me. As soon as I sat down, she asked me what I wanted to know. I asked her what she could tell me. She gave me the usual list – predictions for my future, how my loved ones that are no longer with us are feeling (my parents are alive and well, as is my older brother, and I don’t even remember my grandparents), and that she could tell me about my past lives. That one seemed interesting so I went for it.

 

What you may not know, is that the term “past lives” is pretty deceiving. Upon hearing it, you assume that the lives in question have already occurred, but I’ve done research and most seem to be of the belief that we can be reincarnated – so to speak – at any point in time. We may have past lives that ended centuries in the future. Or, that ended while our current life was still on-going.

 

Do you see where I’m going with this? I can’t just come out and say it. My mind would tear in half if I even tried. If you have even a two-digit IQ you should see what I’m trying to explain.

 

I talked to that gypsy three days ago. Ever since that day I’ve been battling for my sanity and I’ve been losing that battle. I have to end it before it goes any further. I’ve considered suicide many times before the events of this past month, but I’ve always been too much of a pussy to actually do anything. Not anymore though.

 

I love you all. Please forgive me, because I assure you, I can’t forgive myself.

Edited by Pat

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Hell, I'm no literary critic (my degree in physics says that), but I only have one word: powerful.

 

That was definitely a strong, emotional suicide note. It actually sounds like something a person with great demons would write just before they would commit suicide.

 

Good work! icon14.gif

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I appreciate the feedback, but is there anything that stood out that you thought might need improving?

 

I haven't written anything for quite a while, and I realized something that really bothers me after I finished this piece: nowadays, all I can seem to write is in the style of a diary or note or what have you. It almost feels like an excuse to write in such an informal fashion, without having to focus as much on the details; almost like it can be blamed on the character, not myself.

 

Or maybe I'm just being cynical towards myself. Wouldn't be the first time.

Edited by Pat

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I must be a complete idiot with a double-digit IQ then confused.gif but what was he getting at? Apart from that I think this was massively emotive, a truley excellent piece. icon14.gif

U R B A N I T A S

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I must be a complete idiot with a double-digit IQ then confused.gif but what was he getting at?

Read it again, but pay close attention to the following line:

 

 

I don’t mean that in some metaphorical way, either, like I killed a part of myself or anything. No, I mean I literally killed myself.

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Oh well, that is actually what I thought when I read it but I didn't want to jump to conclusions there (gypsy was the clue) but the fact he was going to commit suicide threw me off.

U R B A N I T A S

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Oh well, that is actually what I thought when I read it but I didn't want to jump to conclusions there (gypsy was the clue) but the fact he was going to commit suicide threw me off.

That's good to hear. This isn't the first time someone has failed to pick up the somewhat hidden theme in my stories, so it always makes me nervous every time someone says they "don't get it," so to speak.

 

Then again it's always someone with very little literal experience (not you of course). No one on GTAF ever seems to misunderstand. Which is good, because you guys have always been my best critics.

 

As for the suicide, he can't cope with the idea that he more or less killed himself -- albeit, a past version of himself. If you notice, he also mentions one or two times that he's of the belief that it "couldn't have been prevented;" I wanted to get the reader to try and imagine what might have happened if the accident indeed had been avoided. Quite mind-blowing to consider. I wanted to be subtle about it, but now I'm afraid I might have been too subtle.

Edited by Pat

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No it really was brilliant, the subtlety is a very good thing. I was just a bit slow haha but this piece was really excellent and quite unique not the most common theme to read about and it really brought out the emotion in the story.

U R B A N I T A S

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