Introducing Suicide Weekend
Exactly one year and one month ago, I was working on a piece of writing that I then called 'a random inspiration'. I began writing it on the 14th of May, which was my first Monday off after a semester of senior seminars, thesis discussions, and somehow passing the last few required courses I had put off till the very end. In between all of that, I didn't get much time to write for myself and so, on the 14th of May, I sat in front of my laptop and decided to do some free-writing. I took a concept and ran with it, filling pages as if this was a story I had been planning in my head for years. I wrote for four days straight, finally excited to have found my narrative voice again as I narrated a story about a Pakistani family meeting in a family home somewhere in America because one of the three children had committed suicide. On Friday morning I saw a coherent storyline developing and, afraid to mess it up and unsure of what would happen next, I separated myself from my laptop after five days and decided to go meet some friends. That evening at 8 p.m. I got a call about Bhai in Boston. I ran back home and unpacked all that I was taking for his graduation and replaced it with somber, modest clothes, and left for the airport early the next day. Leaving my laptop to charge on the corner of my bed, I came back another five days later, a different girl who had run out this room last week, picked up my laptop, minimised the window for "Suicide Weekend" and opened anew document titled "Bhai's Eulogy."
It took me a while to get back into writing at all, but it took me four months to open "Suicide Weekend" again. As I read it months later, it became clear to me that the suicide was probably not even meant to be the main point of whatever story I was going to tell - the story was headed in some dramatic, coming-of-age direction that I did not recognise anymore. The story parallels the scariest weekend of my life in so many ways but then again, if I were to write an account of it now, it wouldn't be a dramatic, entertaining novella. But then I found myself unable to put the story down as well, pegging it on 'good writing' for the longest time, insisting that as a writer with too many writer's blocks this was going to be a waste to abandon in some random folder. So I tried rewriting it with my 'newfound insight', I tried changing it, I tried continuing the original piece - nothing seemed to work, it was almost like I wasn't even the one writing it in the first place on the 14th of May; almost like whatever cosmic intervention gave me the inspiration also entered my body and flowed out through the tips of my fingers to warn me of my greatest heartache. Till today I don't have a concrete answer about what made me write "Suicide Weekend" back when I did and the way I did. I cried about how it was perhaps Bhai's last way of reaching out to me and I ignored it. I resented myself when others around me mourned about how they wish they knew, because I guess I had. I feared myself as a writer because I was afraid of what else I may uncover if I continued to write.
Until a week ago, "Suicide Weekend" had become just that - an abandoned document in a random folder on my cluttered desktop. Last week I went back to it for the first time in months and read the story all over again, from start to the incomplete finish, and maybe after watching the full year come to a close, I have finally thought of a purpose that resonates with me. As someone who has used the act of writing to voice out words and thoughts my lips have never uttered, writing has always helped me make sense of the world. Now, I don't know whether to call him a god, or her a goddess, or simply an angel, or just the universe - but I believe some cosmic energy that holds us all upright, trickled itself through my fingers so that once the most incomprehensibly tragedy did befall us, I kept standing. Even when we lost all our words and homes became a rubble of silence, I wrote a eulogy. Even as his birthday rolled around but there ere no new candles to add on the cake, I wrapped my heart in poetry and sent it his way. Writing has always helped me make sense of the world and perhaps that's all "Suicide Weekend" exists for. Perhaps I could never finish it or go back to it because it was never me writing it in the first place. Perhaps it's purpose was not to warn me but simply prepare me. Perhaps it meant to show me the magnitude of my own power that I seem to look past.
And that's why I want to share it with you all today. That's why I want "Suicide Weekend" to now exist with all the other pieces of my heart in this home I created for them. Instead of sharing the complete text, I would like to share some of the unedited and untouched prose that carries the story forward, that lies beneath the actual plot, only existing to reflect an insight I didn't even know I had then, but certainly helped me when the weekend came to life. And perhaps in reading this, someone else may also believe in the great cosmic power that lies within us all but is easy to silence in this loud, chaotic world.