It feels

These days, my dad sits in his chair, shrivelled and yellowing, like a leaf curled in on itself, waiting to die.

He was jolly, once. Whisky drinkers often are. Red-nosed and big-bellied back then, he made everyone laugh. I drank with him.

My mother rattled around in her tacky jewellery, a chattering stick of a woman. She ignored me, mostly. This turned out to be a kindness: I couldn’t miss her when she was gone. I stole her pills.

A procession of experts tell me how to stop. Social workers, doctors, counsellors. They bully, cajole, ask pointless questions.

They ask me why I do it and I laugh at them. I don’t know what they’re looking for. They present me with other options, paint pictures of their idea of a better existence. I don’t want it, I don’t want it, my insides scream out.

They think they can frighten me but I stare death down every day.

They ask me why I do it but no-one has the sense, or the balls, to ask me how it feels.

It feels like falling and flying and being perfectly still, all at once.

It feels like arms around me.

It feels like love.


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