“You know what, son? You are going to fuck up your future.”
The words my father said to me on the night he discovered I took a broken bottle to my arm.
God love him. He was frightened. I remember the fear in his eyes. And I remember that he called me “son”.
Stupid recollection, I know. But in that moment, I had an epiphany.
- He recognised me as his son
- He had no idea that I rubbed vinegar into my arm to make it hurt worse
- He was capable of fear
- He was capable of giving a shit
- He cared
On the night that I slit my wrists, I remember my mother taking control..
“Gerry – ring for an ambulance”
She stood over me, watching me bleed into the mattress.
My father, standing in his underwear (it was 2.30am) seemed uncertain. He looked at me.
“Ring for an ambulance”
Upon his hearing that, he sprang into action.
I slowly bled out on the mattress. My artery wasn’t open (tho I thought it was – I took a pair of pliers to my arm to hep things). I calmly smoked a cigarette with my good arm. I was waiting to die. I was ready to go. I was ready to meet my maker. And in that moment, even the smallest details take on huge proportions.
I looked at my mother. You know what I saw?
She was in control. My father, the strong one, faltered on that night. He was the one who baulked. He was the one who could not accept that his son was bleeding out.
My mother was so controlled. So calm.
She smacked lightly me on the face.
“Oi!” she called lightly.
“Oi. Stay awake. Stay awake!”
I didnt manage to hit the artery, but the blood loss was making me weak.But my mind…………as usual. it recorded everything right up to the end.
The paramedics entered my room. They scooped me up, and off I went. I became a case number. Another sad episode in the history of the world.
I don’t know what happened my mother and father after that. I only know what happened me. I was surrounded by angels.
The paramedic who scooped me up was an angel. He sat with me during the journey. He talked with me like I was just a normal guy. He was normal. He was brave. He was cool as a cucumber.
The nurse who took me in was an angel. She held my hand. She told me everything would be ok. She talked to my parents.
The doctor who stitched me up was an angel. Despite the fact that I ripped all the tubes out of my arm, he remained perfectly cool.
“Hey! You are only going to need….. “he made a quick count…”16 stitches!”
I looked down at my mangled wrist.
“Yeah!” He beamed at me.
“Goddamit. I love this world sometimes.” I remember thinking