365 Days

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August 22, 2018
9:37pm

Last year, at this time, my baby was alive. He may already have decided to kill himself. I don’t know. I was at work. Z was at work, T was in Salem.

He was home, alone, thinking. No one to talk to. Very few bothered. They would have had to go out of their way, taken time. Not even the doctor cared. No one bothered to call him back. He had an appointment for a phone call. No one called. He didn’t matter.

They would get to it later. Tomorrow.

Chris didn’t have a tomorrow.

I knew he was badly off, but he had said he would wait and try this new doctor. Another new doctor. New doctor number 7,822. I set it up. Everything was going to be OK. He promised to wait.

He didn’t promise to wait past the time that he was supposed to talk to the woman at Goodwin.

I came home sometime after 11:30pm. As was frequently the case, he was asleep in his chair in front of his computer.

His computer. His lifeline. When it had broken down, T spent $1000 to get it working again. It was all Chris had outside his family. He had had to stop working. It just made him want to die, even more, being out there, with them. He watched videos that made him happy and he would talk to his friends. I didn’t know that most of his “friends” had stopped talking to him. I don’t know who was left. His good friend was. He and his fiance. They always found some time. Chris had just been in their wedding.

When I saw the wedding pictures, later, I saw Chris all alone, even there. Apart. Standing on the outside wanting to be part. But the urge to die was much stronger. Again, there was no one there for him to be with. Bride and groom made time, on this chaotic day. But, he was still alone.

Your mommy and your brothers can only go so far.

Chris had a mommy who was crazy. That sure didn’t help.

I had gifted him with my bipolar disorder. My genes killed him. Probably my behavior over 26 years of his life. He loved me, but he didn’t like me. I annoyed him, mostly.

When he found pieces of my mother’s ring broken. He had taken it to the bride to see if he could get it fixed for me. He knew it was the most important thing I had. He came to me and told me he had found the pieces and it was going to be too expensive to fix. He had wanted to do something important for me.

I was keeping the pieces. He tried to make me happy; to show me that he loved me. He wasn’t likely to say it. He must have used all of his money to buy me a new one. I like it better than the one before. Prettier, given with love by one named on it.

He tried to make me happy; to show me that he loved me. He wasn’t likely to say it. A movie I had wanted to see but had missed came out. I really, really wanted to see it. He bought it for me and set me up in his ultra comfortable chair and played it on his widescreen TV for me.

A few years before, he had taken a lot of time and chosen 3 movies that I loved and he gave them to me for my birthday. I didn’t watch them for a while because it was difficult for me to use the DVD player.

Much too much later, it occurred to me that he didn’t know why and all that work he had done for me was thrown back at him. I didn’t care. He went, himself, to pick them out and buy them. Then he felt as if I didn’t care enough to watch them. T finally played one for me and the three of us sat together and watched it. I think then he understood.

Just in the year before he died, a game that I had played when they were little was coming out on Steam. A new version. He bought it for me and the controller to play it. He remembered and brought that forward to make me happy.

So, I came home from work and saw him sitting in his chair. I assumed he had been talking to his friends. I kissed the top of his head.

For the last time. I kissed the top of my baby’s head.

In the morning, I woke up late and ran/staggered, half asleep, to the car to get Z from work. We stopped and got him breakfast and then went home. He went upstairs. He passed the room in which his brother was lying dead on the floor. He didn’t look in. He assumed he would be up in the room they shared, asleep in his bed.

I backed out of the driveway to go get Chris some breakfast. He loved iced coffee. It was one of the few things we shared. I often brought them home for him or got one while we were out. I went to McDonald’s and got what he liked and drove home. I saw him on the floor, but he had a habit of sleeping in strange ways in strange places. I said to him, through the doorway, “I brought you breakfast!” He didn’t move. He slept soundly. I went in and said it again. There was something. I wasn’t sure. I didn’t know what, so I poked him. His body moved. I shook him. He was totally stiff.

He couldn’t be dead. Z would be able to wake him up for me. I didn’t want to scare Z, so I called. Then I yelled. Then I screamed. Z ran. I asked him to wake Chris. I couldn’t wake him. Shake him for me. I just can’t wake him.

Neither could Z.

Sometime after I kissed him, he woke up and decided he was done. He took Klonopin and Seroquel and went to sleep. I think he was trying to get out of the house so I wouldn’t always have a picture of him dead in the house. OR he was trying to get upstairs to tell me because he had changed his mind. He had changed his mind before. Or I had found him before.

I am pretty sure that, even in those last moments, feeling, distraught, forgotten, and unloved. He thought about us and how he could make it easier for us by not being in the house.

Yeah.

Alone, forgotten, unloved.

He still loved us.

Last year, at this time, he still existed.

After midnight, that won’t be true.

This is an endpoint for me. Time will begin to loop without him. Last year he was here. In hours, not anymore.

There will begin to be more time that he has not existed.

I still breathe him every day.

Breathe in. Breathe out. Repeat.

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