you'll not feel the drowning

I found some old notebooks the other day. They weren't from that long ago--maybe a year or two at most. I was reading through them, and though it was definitely my handwriting, I didn't recognize anything I'd written. Some of them I remembered but no longer understood. Others were just words masquerading as something that came from my mind.

I showed them to the girl I was dating at the time, who said she remembered them--I showed her everything at the time. "Why does it matter?" she asked, and I didn't have an answer. Over the course of dinner I spent a lot of time thinking about it. By the time we'd gone our separate ways and I was riding a late-night bus back home, I'd figured it out.

I almost hadn't written these at all.

Everything from that time felt alien and remote to me, and it's because they aren't really my memories. They're from someone else, someone I'd long since killed, buried, forgotten. But they still clung to me, their grasping hands shaping who I was. I had to get rid of them. There was nothing else for it.

It's hard to force yourself to drown, but this was a matter far more urgent than life or death. It was a strangely beautiful sensation as the world went dark, and I awoke in a strange hospital all full of tubes and surrounded by concerned faces. They asked why I tried to kill myself, and I said I didn't, I didn't. I kept asking for a mirror. They eventually brought it out, and I looked at my face and just smiled.

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