THE SUICIDE LETTERS OF JACK MONROE
Susan Jordan awakens at her Santa Fe apartment, cloudy and disoriented. Her clothing is unfamiliar. Where has she been? Her nose crinkles as she smells his scent. Jack's back! Rubber filled legs brace against the stone cold tile floor as she reaches for the pile of mail haplessly setting on the table. Dozens of letters! Jack Monroe never stops. Susan wishes he would just leave, take his advice and go back to Detroit. He's gaining too much control! He's taking over!
I have nothing against suicide. I just hope itís for the right reasons.
Thereís been no word from you since my arrival here in Santa Fe, and Iím wondering how you are. As you know, I came to the Southwest to try to talk you out of going through with your plansóper your requestóand Iíd hoped to have seen you by now.
I understand, though. Your life is in an upheaval, and Iím sure you donít know which way is up or down, and believe me, sister, I know what youíre going through. I wouldnít be here right now had it not been for the saving grace of something unknown.
Anywho, I wonít get into that right now!
I donít know how you can stand this dry, hot air. I can barely breathe, and every time I do, I inhale dust. My tongue is all white and cracked, like dried curdled milk. Give me a stale Oreo, and Iíd have a snack.
And the architecture! Whatís with the mud huts? I donít get it. Personally, Iíll take the dusty, crime filled streets of Detroit; at least thereís some action there. Maybe thatís part of the problem. You need a change of venue. A new environment. A place where your blood can start flowing again, and you can take in some oxygen.
Now, donít get me wrong. Iím not suggesting you move back to Michigan. Iím just saying maybe your senses need a different scene.
Guess Iím not giving Santa Fe a fair chance; Iíve only been in this town a few days. Maybe the right vibe just has to set in. After all, some locals say this place is magical, that thereís a huge crystal right below the foundation of the city. From way back when, guess it began to form right after all the volcanoes blew up. Believe what you must!
I think with the two of us working on this problem, we can brainstorm and figure out what you should do with your life. Then you can decide whether or not you want to end it.
Believe me Susan, as I said before, since I opened my business, Suicide Letters by Jack Monroe, Iíve lost no clients; few though there were. Plus, you have to remember it was you who contacted me; so deep down, in some hidden way, you must want my help.
Iím roasting as the hot Southwest sun rises over my shoulder, streaming into the side of my eye. The brightness blinds me for a moment. I see silver sparkles dancing against a black setting, kind of like a bad reel-to-reel, flickering like a strobe light. I glimpse pictures of myself as a child, young and fearful. Wondering about the moment death gives birth to finality. Did I know then what I donít know now?
Susan, did I ever tell you about my first client? Probably, but here goes again.
I had just started an advertisement in this rag magazine called ďThe Dank, Dark & Disgusting.Ē The clip read: Need help writing the perfect suicide letter? At a loss for words? Contact Jack Monroe , CEO of Suicide Letters by Jack Monroe. P.O. Box 753, Hazel Park, MI 48030. All inquiries answered.
At first I didnít get any responses. Iím sure people must have thought I was nuts. But then this young girl wrote to me, describing how she was depressed after her boyfriend dumped her when he found out she was pregnant. She rushed into an abortion, regretting the procedure immediately. Her grief was unbearable. All she wanted to do was kill herself. Quickly!
Jessica (not her real name) was barely eighteen, and her despair was heart wrenching. I tell you, Susan, I was nervous. I knew if I said the wrong thing, wrote the wrong words, sheíd murder herself for sure, thatís how determined she was.
Time was of the essence, so one dim night as I sat quietly in my kitchen, head bent over a yellow legal pad, blue pen in hand, I composed her suicide letter.
It went something like this:
Dear Mom and Dad,
First and foremost, I want to apologize for all the hurt and pain Iíve caused you in my short lifetime. Mom, Dad, it isnít your fault, I just canít stand the thought of living with this feeling of regret and dread. I assassinated my baby! How can I go on?
I can hear you now, Dad, if I was there, weíd be talking, you telling me what a wonderful young woman I am, and this is just a mistake, one of those life lessons a person needs to learn in order to gain character. And Mom, your loving, but sorrowful eyes, welling up in fearful tears for the little girl you lost, and the tainted daughter who now stands before you. Youíd tell me not to worry, that I can always have more children when I meet the right guy, and then Iíll know what true love is all about.
And of course youíre right. Then the two of you will try to comfort me by saying, ďtomorrow is another day.Ē No truer words can be spoken. But today itís hard to face the beautiful dawn sky; the pale purple horizon with its mirrored moon setting in the west, while the sun ascends into the mellow morning.
Please forgive me!
Your Loving Daughter,
I donít know what happened, but she decided not to take her life. Now honestly, Susan, do you see anything special about this letter that would make Jessica change her mind? I think seeing the words in print, really brought it home; opened the door to the reality of what she was truly planning. Gave her a sneak-peak at how she would ruin the lives of the people she loves.
All I know is sheís alive today, and has two beautiful little girls.
Not to toot my own horn, but I feel itís important to let you know Iím good at what I do. And if you would just give me a chance, I think I could really help. Trust me when I tell you, though, it wonít be all roses and vanilla ice cream. This subject is very delicate and fragile, filled with hidden emotions, some which will scare us both. So, when you do decide to work with me, be prepared.
Okay, then, Iím going to sign off now. You know where I am, please call me or come by whenever convenient.
I think Iím beginning to like this altitude. I know in my last letter I was pretty harsh about everything. But now that Iím starting to acclimate, Iím feeling better.
Everything is so laid back here, except for the bustling tourists cramming the streets.
Some of them are quite comical. Looking so lost and out of sortsónot sure what is where, or where is what. Makes me chuckle! Iím sure there have been times when Iíve gotten those same looks and expressions. I wonder what shmuck was laughing at me.
I worry sometimes that my coming here might be pushing you away from me. Scaring you from my assistance. And thatís all I want to do, Susan, is be there for you. Believe me when I tell you, there are no other motives behind my intentions.
At times I think the reason why you donít contact me is because you know I might change your mind, and right now you donít want that. Okay, fine, Iíll just keep writing. And if you donít care enough to check out my advice, then just throw my letters away. Maybe one day, though, Iíll annoy you to the point where youíll call me just to tell me to leave you alone. At least then Iíll know youíre still alive!
So, I guess in a way, I do have reasons behind my actions.
Do you know what I wish? That you would just tell me what has brought you to this place. Is it a man? A woman? Your family, or the way you look? Are you lonely, depressed, just out of whack?
There has to be a why. All we have to do is tap into it, and then we can fix the problem.
See how easy this is going to be?
Plus, my fees are reasonable!
The one thing we donít want to do is keep ourselves isolated. In my opinion, isolation feeds our fears, torments those demons residing within. We need to be out and about, communing with nature. Oh, and throw in some people; they give us the re-assurance that, no, we are not alone. That, in itself, should make you start feeling better!
Hopefully down the line, these letters will have an impact on both of us, and we can better our lives because of them.
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