I tried to kill myself once. I was about four or five years old and in a store of some sort with my mother when I spotted a huge Yogi Bear coloring book. Now, you have to understand, I was obsessed with coloring books as a child. From the earliest I can remember I took great pride in coloring inside the lines and I would start from page one then on to the last, never skipping a page no matter how boring the subject matter. Once completed, I would file them in the bookcase in my room, occasionally taking them out to gaze upon my work in awe. So on this particular day I noticed a special edition Yogi Bear coloring book that screamed at me to take it home and when I asked my mom for it she simply said “No, you have enough coloring books.” I tried to reason with her, being careful not to whine, because she hated whining. I told her I didn’t have THAT one and if I had THAT one I’d never ask for another thing ever in my whole life because my life would be complete. She didn’t believe me and the next thing I knew we were leaving the store bookless and getting in the car to go home.
I silently stewed about it on the drive home. I’d close my eyes while the wind from the open windows blew my hair into knots and tangles and all I could envision was lying on the floor with my Yogi Bear coloring book, coloring each page methodically. I could hear songbirds in the background in this vision and I’m pretty sure there was a rainbow that ended right on the coloring book itself. I had to have that coloring book.
After we got home, I waited a few minutes and I went up to my mom again and asked her to go back and get me that coloring book. She looked at me, shook her head and said “No.” I sulked to my room and buried my head into my pillow, crying silently. “Why did my mom hate me so much? How could she do this? Life is so unfair. Wait, maybe she doesn’t really understand how important this is to me. I’ll go ask again.” So I did, and I got the same reply and was told to go to my room. I did and I immediately buried my head back into my pillow this time muffling cries of frustration. “How dare she not get me a coloring book. She is so mean. She’ll be sorry she never got me that coloring book when I’m dead.” This is when I knew I had to teach her a lesson. I stood up, dried my tears, and marched back downstairs to confront my mother.
She was sitting on the couch watching TV and I walked over and stood beside her and said “Mommy I need that coloring book.” Her eyes never left the television and she said something to the effect “Didn’t I tell you to go to your room? You’re not getting that coloring book and that’s final.” Tears started streaming down my cheeks because I knew when she said “that’s final” that things were indeed final. I had one more card to play. “If I don’t get that coloring book I’m going to kill myself and I’ll be dead and you’ll be sorry.” I saw one of her eyebrows go up and she slowly turned to look at me. “Oh yeah is that so?” “Yes.” I said and we stared at each other. Then I thought about how I would kill myself. Should I throw myself down the steps? No, too painful. Should I stab myself with a pair of scissors I saw sitting at the table? No, again too painful. No, I would hold my breath until I died. So I took a big inhale and held it. “Man oh man” I thought “she’s going to start crying any second, hug me, and then she’ll go back to the store and probably get me TWO Yogi Bear coloring books.”
But that never happened. And I never could hold my breath until I died. I did, however, hold my breath a few times long enough to get a little lightheaded, and then I pretended to collapse in death’s grasp at her feet. I stared up at her as she continued to watch television. When her show was over, she stepped over my “dead” body, turned off the lights and went to bed, leaving my “corpse” behind to rot on the living room floor. I lay there on the floor, staring up at the cold, dark nothingness and realized, years before I heard the wise words of Mick Jagger, that you can’t always get what you want. I got up, smoothed my hair with my hands and went on to bed.
I never did get that Yogi Bear coloring book.59 Comments