LISTENING TO SUICIDE
BY KAREN MOON
I didn’t mean to eavesdrop. I was writing a poem, stirring my tea, pushing leaves of my salad around its white bowl. Chairs scraped on tile. They sat down behind me. Two women I couldn’t see. The first one’s voice a boat sailing on tears.
“They drugged themselves. There were drugs all over the place. And booze. Empty bottles
everywhere. They must have been numb.”
“Maybe. Maybe they didn’t mean to. Do you think?”
“No. They knew what they were doing. They left notes. And all the stuff on their computers.
They’d been talking about it for days.”
“They said they were just tired of it. They wanted to be together. Everyone was trying to keep
them apart. They were tired of fighting. Tired of lying. Jesus.”
“Jesus. When did they find them?”
“Not long. I don’t think. I don’t know. Too late, anyway. I got the call on Saturday, so it must
have been Friday night. Jack said they were both in the middle of the floor with everything
broken around them. And them—just quiet. Like—like a hurricane.”
“Like what? Oh. Like the eye of the storm.”
“That’s what I meant. Like that. She was twenty-five.”
“Twenty-five? Shit. You don’t know what you’re doing at twenty-five. I didn’t. I didn’t know anything.”
“Yeah well. I guess they knew.”
I don’t look up at the choking sound, at the chair scooting back, at the staccato beat of heels clicking to the bathroom. I don’t look up as two blond blurs hurry by. They are less distinct than cars passing me on the freeway.
Ice cracks in my tea. There’s a ring of water on the table when I move the glass. I draw the tines of my fork through it, making waves, squiggles, strange patterns. I think of empty bottles, of hurricanes, of being twenty-five.
What the hell do any of us know then?
© Sagebrush Review Volume V Spring 2010