There’s a girl I used to know who killed herself a few weeks ago. She was physically and sexually abused for most of her life. Her face was pale, hair black, and eyes glazed over every time I saw them. Sometimes her speech didn’t make sense and other times she could be sitting next to me but yet she was nowhere to be found. She had sex with a lot of people. She took drugs like vitamins. She would get so drunk she would end up pissing on herself. She would cry at the bar and threaten suicide to complete strangers. She was laughed at by friends and by me. She was a mother and a sister. She was twenty-four. Somebody said they saw it coming a long time ago. Someone else said she was selfish for doing it. Someone said they didn’t care. I said we were all to blame. Today I became a better person in the face of another tragedy. I have always thought myself to be a genuinely nice person, and I am, but I am also a hypocrite. I can’t believe I didn’t realize what I was doing. She never harmed me.
October 11, 1999