Schopenhauer says to live is to climb a mountain and when you see what is waiting for you on the other side of the mountain too early in life, you can never climb it the same way. I saw what was on the other side and decided I was simply not climbing that mountain anymore, unless pushed the way up. You wouldn’t realize that just by looking at me then. You wouldn’t see that I had quit. I would wake up, take showers, eat (actually there would be a lot of eating), go to work, do whatever obligation I was supposed to. I would even go out with friends or family.
But if you looked really closer, you would realize I was only automatically responding to demands, except for the food. Food became my only source of pleasure. How was all the rest performed? At work, if there were tasks and deadlines, I’d do them, using no more than the basic skills required. As to my social life, it rested on the plans of others. They would say when and where to go. They would pick me up and bring me home. I would smile, have conversations… and eat.
Seeing me there, at work or with friends, you could think life can go on normally, even when horrible things happen to you. You could feel hopeful. But if you had seen what was going on in my mind then, you would have contemplated a different picture. As soon as I arrived somewhere I had an urge to leave. I could not focus on what they were saying so my mind wondered. I pretended to listen and just observed the line of ants on the wall. I payed attention on how the little creatures simply knew the direction to follow and I smiled at my friends. The fact is that nobody wanted to talk about the only thing that really mattered to me. They all wanted me to move on, to forget, to be happy. I wasn’t happy! I had no interest in what they were talking, I had no plans for the future and I couldn’t careless about anybody else’s plans. They didn’t know. I doubled.
At home, I would watch movies with my husband and he would cook for me. Lying in bed, I would picture myself dead on the bathroom floor, wrists cut, a river of blood… Relief. Relief was what I felt picturing that scene. I would also pass by a long bridge on my way to work and imagine: “what if I make a sharp turn to the right and just let the car fall down the lake, let the water slowly fill it up... Relief. They don’t know, my friends, but once they tried to cheer me up and took me hiking. I was still weak and walked in a much slower pace then they did. Now and then they would remember and would slow down for me. We reached this large canyon with beautiful waterfalls and I admired their magnificence. “What if I fell”, I thought.
I also doubled at work. I didn’t smile much anymore, but all responsibilities were up to date. While, I emailed people, worked on reports and had meetings, I looked around at the furniture, the PCs, the piles of paper and simply saw myself insanely throwing them all to the ground, screaming, and kicking them around. Sometimes, in this scene I imagined there would also be the throwing of PCs through the windows of the 9th floor where I used to work. At that time of my life I had a secret murderer living inside my head. I would drive and see a bunch of people crossing the streets, all together, going about their lives, in movement. I would stop and wait for them to cross, but the thought would cross my mind: What if I speed up, what if…