New York City, 1989
I look at suicide out of the corner of my eye, too afraid to stare head on, helpless to look away.
I’m only 34 and not ready to die, but the depression is unrelenting. I’ve tried everything. I even tried a little acid, which turned out to be a pretty big mistake. Tonight, with nothing in my system except Cheerios, I can still feel the tears.
“I’m not sure how much of this I can take,” I say to Maria.
“You know we’ll get through this,” she says.
“You should never have married me.”
“Don’t be ridiculous. You think I only love you when you are not depressed, but as I keep telling you, you are the same man.”
“This time seems different,” I say, “and it has been going on longer. Three months and I can hardly function. Some days I can’t get out of bed. And I’ll lose my job if I stay on disability any longer.”
I see no end to it, and I can’t understand how I will survive much more. Worse, I have tethered Maria and Paco to me, forcing them to make this terrible journey as unwitting fellow travelers. Maria has enough on her hands with caring for Paco and working, without having to worry about me as well. Suicide seems a way out of all this, but I’ve always been too frightened of it to carry it through.