It’s always the same. I load the weapon. I raise it. I stare down the barrel for a moment, as if it had something to tell me. I point it at my left temple (yes, I’m a lefty, so what?). I take a deep breath. Screw up my eyes. Wrinkle my brow. Caress the trigger. Notice that my index finger is moist. I slowly release my strength, very cautiously, as if there were a gas leak inside me. Clench my teeth. Almost. My finger bends back. Now. And then, as always, the same thing happens: a burst of laughter. An instantaneous laugh so raw and meaningless that my muscles quiver, forces me to drop the gun, knocks me off the chair, prevents me from shooting.
I don’t know what the devil my mouth is laughing at. It’s inexplicable. However downhearted I feel, however ghastly the day seems, however convinced I am that the world would be a better place without my annoying presence, there is something about the situation, about the metallic feel of the butt, the solemnity of the silence, my sweat dripping like pills, what can I say, there is something impossible to define that I find, in spite of myself, dreadfully comic. A millimeter before the trigger gives way, before the bullet travels to the source of rest, my guffaws invade the room, bounce off the window panes, scamper through the furniture, turn the whole house upside down. I’m afraid my neighbors also hear them, and to add insult to injury, conclude I am a happy man.
Devote your life to humor, a friend suggested when I told him of my tragedy. But except when I’m committing suicide, I don’t find any jokes funny. Continue reading