If I Snorted Your Ashes Would You Remember His Surname | Cameron Patton


I like to think of myself a modern-day Smith Weatherson. Smith died in a freak accident, he was attempting to commit suicide by jumping of a building and shooting himself on the way down. Weatherson had spent most of his time at the library. Smith would look at the books, touch them a bit, wiggle them around in their slots. “This is life. We are these things that have our space. I can move them within the space, but once they’re taken away from the space, checked out, they’re no longer the same books” Weatherson never ordered a library card. He spent his non-literature molesting time in the news section of the building looking through tales of suicides and near deaths. He’d learned that most people who have survived falls had immense feelings of dread and regret towards dying. In the reference section (these books never checked out, you can move these books) he’d learned that some people have survived gunshots, even to the head.

Despite his intentions Weatherson wasn’t unhappy. He enjoyed activities and people. If he were forced to live inside a motionless body trapped with his thoughts as company he would need the end. Weatherson just felt like life was done, he wanted death but didn’t need it. It was something different. He couldn’t remember things before he was born and he wanted to know.

This page has stopped. There was an error message and it’s gone now. The book on your desk is also no longer there. Your desk isn’t there either. You’re on top of a 10 story building and the wind is more present than you imagined it would be. You didn’t think about the elements involved in the process. You never took into account the settings, only the plot. Did you think that the building and street were in a void? That blackness would surround it and that you and the pistol purchased at the Wheeling Gun Show would be the only things in existence. God the narcissism of the suicidal. Of course there are people on the street, there was also Miss Tyler in the hallway. Miss Tyler and the tumor in her head that creeps through each neuron and synapse slowly destroying everything that makes her sentient. Did it remind you of death? Did you stop feeling that it was a weekend pass-time? Of course not, she will die and you will die and all will die. At least you’re breaking the narrative and taking care of god’s work.

Well look. I fucking said look Weatherson! At the family of four parallel parking underneath the building. Take a look at the doorman whoflirts with every woman without regard for their appearance, pleasantly reminding each that someone still sees them. There’s a young woman who’s never left West Virginia pushing her 1-year-old, four yards from where your brain matter will compress into your neck and like a parasite attach itself to this mother and child. As your personal narrator Smith, I can tell you that after she cleans your remains from her face and bleaches that blouse, she’s going to run a warm bath in the motel room. I think it’s room 121. She’ll cut deep enough into her pale slender wrist to bleed but not die.

She’s not like you Weatherson. She only cuts to produce a result: the red stained ring on the tub and the hued water that left it there. She’ll take the 1-year-old and for the second time today, allow it to be covered in the colors of an outsiders inside. The baby won’t cry it won’t squirm it’ll just hold it’s form, and go to where these things go when held faced down in a tub. That ring will be there until the manager of that particular room takes out a loan to remodel the bathrooms. A loan that he’ll never be able to pay back because of the gruesome associations his business will have. Now look her in the eye from 10 stories above. See the events of the future deep in there, in the iris, in the twitches in her face. You can’t see them Smith, soon the idea of sight won’t occur to you. Why bother? The course texture of the roof ledge won’t matter either. The cloudy atmosphere, the smell of stale beer left on the rooftop, the horse made of dicks and semen drawn on the heavy grey door you opened 30 minutes ago. They’ll matter as much to you as the price of gas did to the chromosomes that were in your mother and father.

It’s weird (that’s redundant). For every thousand people who live only 1 of them kills themselves. I’m an outlier in the world I’m a statistic, but a rare and noteworthy one. I’m better than the amount of people who die from cigarette related illness, or car crashes, or being fat fucks. I’m superior in my percentage of the world. Probably shouldn’t put things in terms of the world. It’s uncouth to speak ill of the dead and since I’ll be the dead the world will inversely be the dead. I’ll stop speaking ills. There isn’t a need for theatrics, I didn’t leave a letter or a phone call. Why divulge a plan to a self that already knows it?

The gun taps up against my teeth as I insert into my mouth. I’m sure there is some sort of Freudian analogy to be made of the sexual nature of this act and the idea of suicide. The jump or fall, not sure how to define what just happened, at least not accurately to produce a clear mental image of my experience. The jump or fall or leap was much easier than I thought it would be. I once pissed in my school pants on purpose when I was a child. I wanted to see if I could do it. Fighting those instincts was difficult. I thought that’s how the jump would be, but it was more like forgetting about the last stair while descending. When I fired the pistol there was no fight of instinct either. I guess triggers are really sensitive because with the same force that one would use to remove an ant from a table the gun released the bullet. The bullet moved down the barrel. I could feel the tip brush my lips (Freud again). I guess the gun must have slipped a little bit out of my mouth during the fall. The bullet caressed and tore the lip, removed my canine from the gums and hit the metal cap in the back of my mouth. It then left my mouth through my left check. Even in my descent I could see it hit the window, and the father who sat reading a novel he’d written years ago and never sent to anyone.

You’ve killed a man Smith. The wine that his wife purchased 5 minutes after the store closed and 3 minutes after she begged the owner to let her get the drink for her anniversary, that wine will stain the white floor that it is going to break on. She’ll have a scar from when she tries to clean it up for the police, soaked in tears without the ability to focus on anything but the presentation of her home.

If I had time to mourn I would have, I would have cried and buried the shame and regret under childhood memories of eating egg sandwiches with my mother at work. Beneath the time that my father asked me to tell my mother that I needed cereal, to allow the young girl Tiffany time to leave the apartment without alerting the woman of the house. It’d fit next to the time I masturbated in the public restroom of a Denny’s. There’s no time for that now only time for the part 2.

You’re a goddamn idiot. How do you screw up two suicides in a period of seconds? Remember that time that you prematurely ejaculated twice on that girl from the bakery, the one who thought that you looked like her friend from high school? Well you did it again. You came, you saw and you lost the use of your legs. Well, you could probably use them as a back scratcher of something. They separated almost unscathed, with the obvious exception of their connection to your body. Now you’re sitting there, standing there? What does a man do when he is there but no longer has legs. Whatever the verb is that’s what you’re doing. Funny thing is there aren’t many verbs that you can use anymore: running, jumping, tripping gone. As your narrator Smith I’m not happy about the limit I’ve been given to your actions. What can I do with a protagonist who is so damaged? Whose head bounced instead of crashed into the pavement. A leading man whose brain can function at slightly less of a capacity than the 5-year-old boy who just witnessed a man killed and another crippled in the time it took for his father to get to the meter.

Smith wasn’t remorseful and he never had to go to trial. At first three visitors a day would come see him. People loved him. They loved him the appropriate amount that you must love someone after they attempt to kill themselves. After three weeks his mother would come only on Thursdays at 2:45 pm; after her soaps and before she went to get dinner for Smith’s step father. The widowed wife came three months after the incident (around 3 weeks after Smith’s most recent visit from his mother). She looked him in the eyes from 10 stories up. She looked deep into the iris and didn’t blink. There wasn’t a future behind those eyes, well no personal future. Sam didn’t have verbs anymore, not many at least. She wiped the water leaking out of his scarred mouth and walked away without saying anything. She didn’t come for vengeance, only knowledge.

You’re a fucking cunt Smith. I wanted to write a novella, I wanted a reason to be something and now after less than two thousand fucking words my main character can’t feed himself. A movie about you wouldn’t even make the community film festival. I could market it as a reboot of that movie Andy Warhol made of a sleeping man, but you’d probably fuck it up by having your handicapped spasms and stress dreams. Dreams that you won’t even fucking comprehend in the morning.

I like to think of myself as a modern-day Smith Weatherson.

Cameron Patton

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