I drove into town. Do I pick up the prescription or do I just drive to the bridge and get it over with? I felt calm, relaxed. It was no longer an option to just jump off the railing; someone had installed perhaps eight-foot high inverted fencing against the three or four foot railing. I had it all planned out, though. I could visualize myself climbing over the wrought-iron bars of the neighboring fraternity driveway and carefully hiking along the brittle frozen shrubbery to climb, from the outside, to the bridge railing. I would inch myself along until I was over the gorge, and then all I had to do was let go. It seemed so simple.
I was, I guess, a little bummed that I was giving into temptation, but my suicide was inevitable, right? I mean, if someone offered you a super-awesome brownie ten times a day for the rest of your life, don't you think sooner or later your willpower to decline it might falter? Most people take it for granted: this conscious choice to keep living, to keep plodding through perhaps mundane, unfulfilling, or despairing lives, day after day, after day.
For some reason, instead of driving up the hill to the gorge, I stopped at my psychologist's office first. I figured it would be like flipping a coin. If he weren't there, I would head to the gorge, and if he were, well, maybe he could help me figure this out.
His car was parked next to the back door. I opened the unlocked door and sat on the landing at the bottom of his stairs for a while. I rested my head against the wall, listened to the noises of energetic children, clanking pots and pans, dinnertime noises. I must have been up against someone's kitchen apartment. I sat there a long time. I watched the sun go down. Eventually it grew dark. The wind blew against the outside screen door. I was becoming cold, my butt getting numb from sitting on the floor so long.
I decided to walk up the stairs. Dr. D opened his office door, startled, and asked if he could help me, as if maybe I was some kind of invading burglar or a lost homeless person. He turned on the lights in his waiting room, his face softening when he recognized me.
"I know you said to call if I needed to, but I didn't have my phone."
"Sit down, sit down." He ushered me to a seat in his waiting room.
He retreated to his office for a moment, and then the door opened and the patient he had been seeing left.
"I'm sorry, I didn't mean to mess up your schedule." I muttered.
"We were just about done."
I sat on the floor. I don't so much remember what we talked about. I don't even remember if I told him where I was planning to go, what I intended to do. I must have told him something about these thoughts, these burrowing, insistent, relentless thoughts.
We talked, unhurried.
Eventually, he convinced me that I needed to go back to the hospital; that I needed to be admitted again as a psych patient if only to be safe, get some better medication management, take a break.
I hated the idea of all of it. We spent a while kind of passively arguing about it, but in the end, I realized I didn't have a choice. We walked outside and got into his car, and I sat in the front seat, my teeth chattering, as he drove to the hospital.