WILLIAM BLAKE: [offstage] Those who restrain Desire, do so because theirs is weak enough to be restrained; and the restrainer or Reason usurps its place and governs the unwilling.
XXXXXXX: So, I guess it was around 12:30 in the morning when we went down to the Depot, the one on Washington Ave., and I said, you know, hey, why don’t you get us some drinks, I’m gonna go out back and have a smoke real quick. So she says okay, and I just needed to step outside and catch my breath and think for a second. I could feel myself kind of, I don’t know, giving into it I guess. All I could think about was getting a plastic bag over her head. That was always how I wanted to do it, you know, I liked the idea of seeing her… I guess him, whoever, kinda suck in and not have anything to breathe out.
XXXXXXX: And you did it?
XXXXXXX: Yeah. She came outside looking for me and I said we should go back to my place and she said okay. We took the drunk bus, the stop is a few blocks from the apartment. When we got in she sat down and asked for a drink and I knew it was my chance. So I went to the kitchen and stuck a grocery sack in my back pocket and, well. You know what happened next.
XXXXXXX: How long did it take for her to stop breathing?
XXXXXXX: I honestly have no idea. Time just became sort of irrelevant. I was just in it. Nothing else was on my mind. I just know eventually I felt her kind of give up. She slumped. I felt her die.
XXXXXXX: Do you regret it?
XXXXXXX: Why not?
XXXXXXX: I think if there was a way for me to get in contact with her now, she’d thank me. I really do.
XXXXXXX: When I was 14 I remember my grandmother was basically comatose. Catatonic, whatever the word is. And she had this stay-at-home nurse. But he was gone for a few hours, and I was just there helping out. Turning her over so she didn’t get bed sores. And I went over to fluff one of her pillows, and while I was holding it, it occurred to me that I could just put it over her face. I wouldn’t even have had to hold down for very long, or very hard. She was so frail. And I honestly thought about doing it. Not because she looked miserable, not because it was the humane thing to do, but just because I wanted to. And right when I was about to do it she opened her eyes. I think she knew. She died a few days later.
XXXXXXX: Eric and Dylan made Doom levels that looked like
their high school.
XXXXXXX: Have you talked to her family at all?
XXXXXXX: They came to visit once. I wasn’t expecting them, and I wasn’t sure what they’d say. It was just the mom and dad. The mom was the one with the phone, and the dad just stood next to her. He wouldn’t look at me, but she did.
XXXXXXX: What did she say?
XXXXXXX: We just looked at each other. I don’t think she had anything she needed to say.
XXXXXXX: Why did she come?
XXXXXXX: I think she just wanted to see me.
XXXXXXX: Did you know the girl was only 17?
XXXXXXX: Would you have done it if you did know?
XXXXXXX: I don’t think it would have made a difference.
XXXXXXX: His uncle took over a TV news station once. He wanted to be broadcast, he had a message or something. But he had this stutter, and when they started filming he couldn’t get it out. He could only say like half a sentence, he would get stuck on a word and just say it over and over again before moving onto the next thought. He got so frustrated he cut off the interview about halfway through. Nobody got killed or anything. Except him I guess.
XXXXXXX: I saw that live.
XXXXXXX: That’s the thing, they never aired it. It wasn’t live. They just aired commercials while the police were outside, waiting to bust the door down.
XXXXXXX: He had already killed himself by the time they got
XXXXXXX: Do you remember how it happened, exactly?
XXXXXXX: She was working at this factory hospital, just birthing babies one by one, so fast. The mothers were completely unconscious, and she would just pull them out in one go, clean them off and they’d move down the line. All day long, eight hour shifts. At night she’d go home, and all she could think about were babies. She finally decided she’d had enough, and she threw one through a window. Then all the women on the line started doing it too. Infants flying through the air, soundless. The foreman couldn’t stop them, they had to shut down the whole plant.
XXXXXXX: I’ve been stuck here for, I don’t even know how long.
XXXXXXX: When did she start sending you letters?
XXXXXXX: I guess probably two years ago. The first one she kind of talked through her feelings, she, what’s the word, excoriated me for me for doing what I did. For killing her daughter, I guess. There were some details I picked up on that seemed strange for her to tell me. Like, she casually mentioned she and her husband were having problems since it happened.
XXXXXXX: Do you talk about that now?
XXXXXXX: Yeah, it’s funny, she says she didn’t intend it that way.
XXXXXXX: Years later my best friend was dying, he had multiple sclerosis. When he started going downhill, it was so fast. It was like, I remember him having aches and sort of walking funny, and before I know it he can’t get out of bed, he’s having trouble breathing. One day I was visiting him and he told me he didn’t know if he could take much more of it. And he asked me if I would do him a favor, a really important one. I said sure. He asked me if I’d kill him. He wanted it to be over but he didn’t think he could do it himself. I don’t know if he meant physically or emotionally. I never asked. But I said shit, that’s a lot to ask of someone. He told me to think about it. So, I did. A few visits passed, he didn’t mention it. But one night I went over there and he asked if I’d thought about it again. And, you know, I had, and I said I would. He asked if I’d do it right now. Nobody was with him, I was one of the few people who came by. He said, please. I thought really hard about it, and finally I decided that yeah, I would. I told him I was gonna smother him with a pillow, because that would look the least suspicious. No blood anyway. He said that would be fine. We watched a few episodes of something, I don’t remember. Not important. Then he said, okay, I’m ready. I just held it down as tight as I could. He barely even struggled. I wasn’t sad at the time. I was very sad after. But when I was doing it, all I could think about was my grandma.
XXXXXXX: The town was completely deserted, save for this one guy. He walked around to every house. He looked in every window, knocked on all the doors. Went in every shop. Looked in all the cars parked in the street. Checked under desks. Opened up manholes, went in the sewers. Called all the businesses in the phone book. Spent months looking for someone, anyone. All the electricity worked, the Internet worked, everything. Friends in other states would respond to
his calls. But everyone in his town was gone. He didn’t tell anyone, and no one seemed to notice.
XXXXXXX: What time is it?
XXXXXXX: Hey, I’ve been looking for you. What are you doing
outside? I got us drinks.
XXXXXXX: By the fourth or fifth letter, she had completely opened up. She opened one up by describing to me how conflicted she felt. She was having sex dreams about me. She described them in meticulous detail.
XXXXXXX: It wasn’t just her though.
XXXXXXX: No, her husband had been sending them too.
XXXXXXX: Same thing?
XXXXXXX: He was more forthright about it from the getgo. They must have been talking about it for awhile. By this time I had been in prison for maybe a decade. They started asking if we could meet again.
XXXXXXX: Is it processing, do you think?
XXXXXXX: I’m not sure what it is for them.
XXXXXXX: I don’t think we have much time left.
XXXXXXX: Are the three of you happy?
XXXXXXX: Yeah. I think we are.