|The France Nobody Knows About
Author: Octello PM
We never hurt anybody, except for those we did. -One Shot-Rated: Fiction T - English - Drama/Tragedy - Words: 667 - Reviews: 5 - Published: 09-22-08 - Status: Complete - id: 2575366
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
A/N: This was inspired by Leonard Cohen's song "Seems So Long Ago, Nancy," about a woman who kills herself. One of the lyrics is "a .45 and an open telephone by her head." I found that so odd. Why would you call someone, and who would it be? And what would it do to them?
I was always honest, except for when I wasn't. I think that's how most of us functioned. Being Machiavellian never hurt anyone, except for those it did. Didn't matter to us, though. We got what we wanted, and we deserved what we got.
Suzy called me 'beatnik' and laughed at my stories, but it wasn't as though she didn't have her own problems. Raising her skirts for anyone who gave her the eye, male or female… she shot herself in the head three years after we met. I wondered what I could have done.
Nothing. Nothing at all, really.
It was her choice to do it, and she did. But damn, I wish she wouldn't have done it over the phone. What was I supposed to do? Talk her out of it? Talk her down? Talk her sober?
I remember crying when I heard the shot and the sound of the phone hitting the ground. Sitting there in my aunt's house, I stared at the receiver for a long time before putting it down, packing my bags, and hitch-hiking to New York.
Dan was the first one I told about it. He was pretty strait laced, and I didn't want to tell any of my close friends, because I knew they would blame me for not doing everything I could have.
How could I have let the honorary whore die? She loved us all, felt love when we were too cynical about the world to feel anything but anger and sorrow.
"Hey. What are you doing here so late? God, you look like hell. There's these things, you know, call busses, and they take people places…" Dan greeted me with a smile.
"Suzy's killed herself." I said flatly. "I need a sandwich or something."
Dan didn't seem to comprehend. His face twisted into a plastic mold of shock, then horror, then sorrow. "I'll call the cops. Come on in. You need dinner."
I nodded and followed him inside his tenement. "She called me," I explained as Dan made me a sandwich of left over roast beef. "And I thought she was joking. She said she loved me, and she loved Carol, and she loved Rose, and she loved Allen… Then she said that she was tired, and then there was a… bang."
"Right," Dan muttered, "here. Eat this. I'm gonna call the cops."
The next morning, we went to Suzy's flat. There was horrible yellow tape all around, and a chalk outline of where her body used to be. They had cleaned it up, swept it away like garbage and disposed it in the morgue.
Her telephone was beside the outline, still receiver up, and splattered with dark red-brown spots, lighter in places where the blood had trickled down to her fingers. I could almost imagine her hands there. Bits of brain matter, maybe?
I didn't want to think about it anymore. I gave the police my testimony and left. That night, I slept in a bus terminal and cried myself to sleep. I let her die. I let her down. She turned to me, and I failed her.
We had all failed her. If we had been smarter, we wouldn't have just let her sleep with all of us. We would have reigned her in before she got so wild that she couldn't even function.
But that's what we let happen. I was on the final end of that dysfunction; that insanity that we allowed and maybe even caused. But we never hurt anyone, except for those we did.