Having finally made his decision after weeks of deliberation, including long sessions of pacing, breaking into sprawling, silent walks from his apartment to the piers to the bridge to the square and then back, all the while considering implications and ramifications and whether it would be stronger to or stronger not to, and if strength even factored into the equation at this point, since he had long ago expended his strength struggling and relapsing and sweating, and long hours spent making lists of what he owned to be divvied up among friends and family and ex-girlfriends, especially Ramona, who probably needed what little he could give her more than anyone else he know, since last he heard she was living with someone her friends called a junkie, which, when compared to him, was certainly saying something, who was very into barbed wire and self-inflicted punishment and recently had taken to seeing Ramona as simply an extension of himself, given that he more or less owned her, considering how little of her own will she exerted anymore, though it would be pretty incredible for her to demonstrate a significant force of will considering how ecstasy and crystal meth had almost literally carved chunks out of her brain, and the poor thing basically took everything he doled out on her, never left the house, and was at this point little more than bones and skin and ligaments, so if he could throw anything at all her way, she would maybe see that there was emotion behind it, real love, and instead of pawning it for another hour of rolling, she might take the cash to that co-op she used to frequent and buy some vegetables to make soup with, using the rest on bus fare to get back uptown to her parents and the clinic, though he understood that that was entirely fantasy, and that she won’t even be lucid long enough to pick up the packages showing up for her, much less make it outside to get to the pawn shop, leaving them out for the junkie to intercept, using half of what he’d sent for crack cash and the other half as found objects in another installation that the city would take down within twenty-four hours, and that would be the end of any final efforts made on his part to reach the girl who’d pushed him away, though really, they’d pushed off each other and were now drifting in opposite directions like astronauts flung from an exploding shuttle, hurtling toward the void, away from their one possible anchor, which was a mental image he could get behind, since it implied that what he was now doing was euthanasia, ending what would otherwise be a prolonged period of unnecessary suffering with swift and decisive action, rather than some desperate attempt at a quick way out, a tacit and final admission of every character flaw she and others had identified, rather than choosing to persevere like someone of admirable stock might, having absorbed all of this and compartmentalized it for the occasion in a back room in his brain, he began another walk, forgoing the piers and heading directly for the bridge, leaving his apartment key and wallet in the pocket of his nice jacket, since when would he need them, really, and pinning a note, written the previous night after a fifth of Powers, in an envelope, sealed with the understanding that what was written was, in some base way, the truth of the matter, in a plastic sleeve to the front of his sweater, a job he had done sloppily, with the result that now the pin was digging into the flesh of his chest, but he didn’t mind much, really, filled with the focus that comes only when what you want is directly ahead of you, entirely within your power to attain, and he knew that every step was the right step, with more certainty, he believed, than he had ever known anything up until that point, so he took one more step.

Do you enjoy reading the Nass?

Please consider donating a small amount to help support independent journalism at Princeton and whitelist our site.