Day 101: 06/10/2013 Entry
I’m so sad and weepy tonight. I miss Brandon so much. I want to know what happened that night; everything was so normal that day when I got home. So damn normal. He seemed happy and excited about painting the bedroom downstairs. “I have good and bad news, Val. The good news, that wallpaper peeled right off. The bad, you have one more room to paint.” That’s what he said, and suicidal people don’t say things like that, right? They don’t do all this yard work all day, then talk about making some furniture and a damn mug tree out of all the wood he cut down, right? They don’t hug and kiss you like normal, and watch you drive away, waving bye like always, right?
I hate that my mind goes there, to suicide. I guess now is as good a time as any to talk about the dark thoughts that have been slithering around my mind, whispering their harsh and painful words in my ear.
What if it was suicide?
The first weeks I completely rejected the idea. He wouldn’t kill himself, I said. He had no reason to, everything was normal. He was happy, there was nothing wrong, and we had plans, all these plans. Besides, if he was going to kill himself, he wouldn’t let me be the one to find him, I kept saying. He wouldn’t do that to me. So my mind went to homicide, to the possibility of someone walking into the house that night, finding him asleep because he was tired from all the yard work, and shooting him. He was a very opinionated person, maybe he said something to the wrong person, maybe he cut someone off in traffic, maybe he was an ass to the wrong person on the road while trying to “teach them a lesson”.
My mind even went to it being some terrible accident, but not once, not once did it go to suicide for the first handful of weeks. As those weeks rolled by, and I heard things like the police found gunpowder residue on his hands, those slithering thoughts started to creep in. It was around this point when I met Lou on a widowed forum, and found out that his wife woke up one morning and decided to kill herself, with no warning, signs, or reason. Those terrible thoughts slid right in, festered, thrived. Was suicide really as impossible as I originally believed? No, at the end of the day, I suppose not.
If I’m being completely honest with myself, deep down, I always knew there was a part of Brandon I could never reach or touch; it was something that was there, just below the surface, and he would never talk about it. I sensed it, but I never pushed him on it, because I figured he’d talk about whatever it was if and when he was ready to. From the day that he walked into my life, it was always hard to get him to talk about anything from his childhood; I had to use a crow bar to pry any little tidbit out of him. In hindsight, that’s not normal…and isn’t hindsight a bitch?
I always suspected whatever “it” was, was the reason for his heavy, borderline alcoholic drinking. We almost broke up over it on two occasions; one was the day he got into that fight at the river, and the second was just recently when he lied to me about drinking when his brother was in town. I remember I told him that I grew up around alcoholics, and I had absolutely no intention of living with one.
He tried so many times to stop the drinking; he would always not drink a drop for weeks, months even, and then eventually, always, start again. I remember once, at our old apartment, as he sat on the floor in the bathroom after throwing up, he looked at me with glassy, drunk eyes, and said that he couldn’t stop, no matter how hard he tried, that when he wasn’t drinking, he was thinking about it, and he just didn’t know how to stop wanting it. I remember how helpless he looked that night; God, I wish I had realized how much of a problem it really was then. Again, hindsight is a real bitch.
I suspect if it was suicide, the alcohol played a major role. I found a receipt in his car from that night for a four pack of the Hurricanes from Winn-Dixie…I can’t find any sign of them, empty or full and neither did anyone else. Did he have a moment of desperation where he realized he’d never be able to stop, and pull that trigger? Was it my words about not wanting to live with an alcoholic?
While going through his office, I found an alcoholics anonymous book in one of his boxes…I remember we talked about that program, and he said that it was stupid, because the first step is to admit that you are powerless and believe in God (he was very much an atheist, so he’d just laugh it off). Did he read it? Did he try to get help that way? If so, why didn’t he talk to me? Why? I was so taken aback by finding that damn book, because it was completely out of his character, at least the character I knew.
If not the drinking, I know he was unhappy about his dad and everyone else always wanting something from him; always wanting him to go do this or that. He’d get numerous calls each day from people asking him to do things, and I remember he was very frustrated with that, he wished everyone would just leave him alone.
If not that, then there’s his job. True, UPS is a good paying job with good benefits, but he wasn’t as happy as he could have been; I don’t think that he thought he’d be able to get a different job, even by going through school, so he would have to work there for years and years more. Did that depress him?
If not the job, there’s always the money. I just started to make more money than him with my new job; did he feel like less of a man because of that? Did he get tired of scraping bottom, always living paycheck to paycheck?
Was it something from his childhood, the something he never wanted to talk about? Did all of my recent comments about a future family and kids trigger something in him? When we first met, he was always adamant about never wanting to have kids, but me being me just thought that he’d warm up to the idea over time, because hey, at the time, I didn’t want kids either. Was it the talk about kids?
The last two days before he died, he had a hard time sleeping; I remember the day before, I woke up around midnight, and he wasn’t in bed. He later told me he couldn’t sleep so he just went downstairs to the computer until he had to go to work. His knees were hot again, and he had headaches. Was it any of that? Were those symptoms and signs of something I just didn’t see?
So, these are just some of the thoughts that have been rattling around lately. I suppose any one of those reasons could cause a moment of desperation. And, after all, it only took a moment. Just one damn moment, and he was dead. I realize that it didn’t necessarily have to be premeditated; he may have not woken up that day thinking about it, he may not have been thinking about it as I was pulling out of the driveway that evening. It could have just happened in an instant, and that instant changed absolutely everything. Or it could have been any combination of the above, too. Who the hell knows? Certainly not me…it will never be me.
The recurring thought I’ve had all day today is why didn’t he call me? Why didn’t he call me that night? Usually, when I would go out to dinner with my dad, I would get a number of texts from him, asking when I would be home, or just telling me that he missed me. In hindsight, it was very strange and unusual that I got absolutely nothing from him that night, not a single text. It didn’t even occur to me…
Would anything be different if I called him on my way home that night, like I usually did? The only reason I didn’t was because I thought he would be sleeping, since he had such a long day, and I didn’t want to bother him. Little did I know, he was dying as I was driving, taking my time, listening to the radio.