The Train



Slicing a wrist was too messy. Besides, I had heard it was ineffective unless one got the proper angle of the vein. I imagined it as slow, tedious and painful.  Forget shotguns. I did not own one and even if I did I would not know how to fire. There was drowning. But I knew I was much too good of a swimmer.

What then? To put my head in the oven was not fair. It may cause an explosion leaving a mess for others to clean up after I was gone.  Pills? Again risky.  I’d have to take a boatload of something and even then they might not do the job.  Cyanide, I had read, was the most effective poison, but that was of course nearly impossible to obtain.

That left only two options: hanging or the railroad tracks. Hanging would be cleaner, no blood. But still it was atrocious. Someone must find me, neck bruised and face white, swinging from the stairwell.  They’d get the shock of their lives, a vision so hideous they may not be able to erase it from memory.

And so the train. It happened all the time. At least once a month I heard about suicides by train.  The Metro ran non-stop. The Metro can NOT stop. It’s not like it  would be anyone’s fault except my own.  Oh sure, it would be bloody.  But my blood would soak the land, maybe even seep to the grass as fertilizer, wild violets blooming relentlessly within cracks of the sidewalk.   Dead on arrival they could quickly do away with my body. Simple. A tiny blurb on the news, if that. I hoped not. I hated the news.

I sat on the tracks. Remembered my family. My friends. How I had given no inkling to anyone of my desire. They would be deeply grieved. But they would get over it. Maybe.

Then of course there was my cat. No one to feed him. No one to clean his box. Yet cats are resilient. Nine lives. I pictured him, wandering the house. He’d wonder where I had gone. He missed me when I went away, yet this time I would not be coming back.  I wondered if he’d howl in desperation. My cat, usually so quiet, only let out a yelp if in pain.  This would pain him.


I heard the warning horn of the train.

The night was dark, tiny sliver of a moon glinting in the black sky.  The new moon, so they say, holds new beginnings. Oh but I had tried this beginning so many times before, all to no avail. My life closed in upon me. “Failure,” the voice said. “Failure! Loser! Burden! Not worth the ground you walk on.”

Traffic ran along the boulevard. Drivers stopped at the red light at the bottom of the hill. Cars parked at the Chinese restaurant, passengers staggering with bags of late night chow mein. Voices cackled, television blaring from open doors of the Blackthorn pub.  Were all of them oblivious to the grief of this world?

“Four thousand deaths in Chicago,” Mr. Trump had said in the candidates’ debate. “All by gun violence.” He was right of course. Somewhere in my city, someone was being shot  at that very moment.

I’d pay a banger to kill me if I had the money. If I thought he would do it. He would not. That’s the irony.

“Seven billion people and every single one has a problem,” my neighbor Mrs. Gotti had once told me.  I thought of Mrs. Gotti in her kitchen, apron dusted in flour, hair woven in a bun.  Homemade pasta, she made it from scratch through an old fashioned press. And Christmas cookies, wafer thin, laced with sugar.  I’d never learned how to make my own. What else had I never learned?

The second warning horn blared, deafening my ears.

My cat. Green eyes.  My friend Bjorn. Scruffy jeans, red wisp of a goatee. He had once told me,  “You are an inspiring person.” We’d read tarot together, walked in the woods at solstice, stopped to admire trees.  We played music till dawn, Bjorn beating his drums, me pounding my keyboard like the punk rock Carpenters.  But now. Inspired to die.

The third warning horn sounded, louder than the others.

My thoughts raced in synch with the horn. The shriek taunted.  Now or never now or never now or nevernowornevernowornever



I rose from the stones, gym shoes slipping. Laces untied, they could just as easily have bound me, wedged in the rails like that boy in Fried Green Tomatoes. Then I’d tremble in the few seconds before my self destruction became inevitable.

But no. Not today.

Maybe someday, but not today.  Suicide was a business best left unfinished.





September is Suicide Awareness/ Prevention Month.

Please don’t kill yourself today.


48 comments on “The Train

  1. Phil says:

    That was a captivating piece that drew me in and held me to the last word. Fucking brilliant piece of writing. Loved it!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. toutparmoi says:

    My thoughts are the same as Phil’s. It’s gripping!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Agreed with the other comments. Very gripping, very good job.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Sweet Sana says:

    OMG! I was glued to your writing. Thank you for this wonderful writing.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. theword36 says:

    That was very gripping. Was the same word I was thinking. Wow. You really are good!! Every single time you deliver. Nothing but net. I liked the ms gotti and then too the entrance of Trump!’ Great tale

    Liked by 1 person

  6. spudbudette says:

    Excellent writing. I am glad you lived to write it. Thank you. I also have come close … live on and heal while sharing life with others.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you. I am glad you are here to read it! Although this is admittedly fiction (with some truth) I am no stranger to darkness/ depression. We all must heal and live in peace. Thanks so much for reading and for your excellent comments 🙂


  7. Patchouli Sky says:

    Powerful. You need to repost that regularly. Honestly, that could save lives. Excellent!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Raj Krishna says:

    mind blowing… 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  9. warriorprincesscait says:

    Love love love. Powerful, especially with my experience as a survivor ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  10. TeacherofYA says:

    I won’t. I’ll be around. Thanks for sharing the word. I wish I could’ve saved Pasha, and every time I see these posts, it makes me wonder if there was anything else I could’ve done to save him. This is a hard time of year for me.
    Good looking out. 👏

    Liked by 1 person

  11. craxnews says:

    Nice again, lovely again

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Vicky V says:

    Extraordinary! Your last line is brilliant.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Jay Colby says:

    This was such a captivating post thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. gspottedpen says:

    There’s a nihilism inherent in the writing but then again a life authenticating experience. Anand Bose from Kerala

    Liked by 2 people

  15. Forrest Pasky says:

    My son’s good friend Nanda had his earphones on full blast as he walked home on the tracks in
    Davis, California. At 16 as he wanted…he never heard the train.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh wow. I am so terribly sorry to hear that.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Forrest Pasky says:

        You live enough life you get to see this kind of stuff. I remember when my best friend jumped off the Golden Gate Bridge at 19 after first year of college I was so mad at him for 10 years for not having talked to me about what was troubling him. Since then…I have just missed him and know his pain was something he couldn’t even tell his best friend.

        Liked by 2 people

      • Yes. He was troubled and in that state unable to turn to anyone for help. I have often said that we just have to trust they are in a better place, and that they did the best they could do at the time.


  16. Fantastic job, Christine. This was so well written and very moving. I look forward to reading more of your posts.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. weewilwonka says:

    Wow! You’ve captured the state of mind before the leap perfectly.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Doc Arnett says:

    I had the gun, maybe lacked nerve… while I was contemplating, I thought, “What if I do this to escape this agony of feeling and then find out I have to exist in some nether world in this same emotional state for 10,000 years?!”

    I don’t believe that’s really how it is but I chose not to find out that night. That was 28 years ago… glad I didn’t make the other choice. Love my life now!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh! That is a very moving story and very encouraging. I am glad you chose to stick around here on planet earth 🙂 Glad you are still here and glad you now love your life!! One never knows what may be around the next corner…


  19. Who will miss me? the cat. aw, that’s sad.

    your last line was a punch in the gut. Nice work!

    Liked by 1 person

  20. skullbandit says:

    Very well done. Very intense but light at the same time…if that makes sense, 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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