I went out to the woods yesterday to kill myself by terminal dehydration, after having spent a week making preparations. The place I went to is a total wasteland, full of mud, thornbushes, and ticks, and within earshot of a bunch of racket like workmen hammering and buzzsawing, freight trains coming and going, and eighteen-wheelers cruising down the highway. The reason no one has ever built anything on this vacant lot is that our town has no sewers and the ground is too poor to support any more septic tanks.
One of the first problems I noticed I had was that there was really only one place where I could pitch a tent and have much concealment, and it was (1) in the middle of the sun, so that I would bake in the tent on sunny days, and (2) right on top of a stream, so that the whole area became waterlogged whenever it rained. But whatever, beggars can’t be choosy. I figured, “I only have to hang out in this godforsaken shithole maybe 14 or 21 days at the outside.”
A week earlier, I had pitched a tent there, and covered it with a tarp to help keep out the sun and the rain. As the week progressed, I made stealthy trips out there in my camouflage outfit, bringing more and more supplies for the 2-3 weeks I expected I might have to stay out there. I would wait till my mom was at work on the weekdays, and on the weekend would slip out during the morning twilight while she was dozing on the couch, with garbage bags full of clothes, pillows, foam, etc.
I brought like 15 books with me to read, in case I got bored with some of them and needed to switch. And I began keeping a notebook of my thoughts. The weather was breezy at first, which was fine, but then it got so cold last night that I proudly said to myself, “Aha, I came prepared,” and put on a really thick jumpsuit that’s served me well through year after year shoveling and playing in the snow. Somehow, even that, and my coat, and my blanket, and my sleeping bag, weren’t enough to keep me warm. I was like, “What the fuck?!” But I thought to myself, “I may not have good practical sense to think of stuff like bringing a second sleeping bag for warmth, but I’m stoical like a good soldier, and I will tough it out through this. I am a hardened killer, even if the only one I’m killing is myself.”
Then today, the sun came up and it felt nice; but by the afternoon, I realized, “It’s actually uncomfortably hot now, so I better lift the tarp and open the tent door so the breeze can come in.” So I did that. I was actually glad for the hot weather in a way, because I knew it might speed up my dehydration. I started noticing some creepy-crawling stuff like spiders coming in, but I was like, “Whatever, I don’t care; they’re harmless.”
Then I happened to glance up from my book at the tent door and was like, “Is that a fuckin’ TICK crawling in?!” Sure enough, it was a tick. I hit the tent door to dislodge it, in hopes of knocking it to the tent floor so I could scoop it up with a piece of paper or something and squash it, but it vanished immediately, somewhere inside the tent. I started frantically throwing stuff out of the tent that it might’ve landed on, and then got out and started sorting through it, looking for the tick. I couldn’t find it.
I started spraying 40% DEET all over the place, but was like, “You know what? Night is going to fall, and that tick is just going to wait like a vampire for me to fall asleep. I can’t handle this; I have entonophobia.”
So, I went ahead and grabbed up my books in a garbage bag and headed back to the house, and aborted that suicide vacation.
I just need to find some wilderness area that isn’t tick-infested. But, I’m gonna need help for that. What I’m learning is that accomplishing anything significant in this world tends to require more than one person. Otherwise, it’s easy to fail in one way or another.
If Meshelle were here, she probably could’ve said, “Oh, you just rig up a mosquito net like this, and it’ll keep out the bugs.” Meshelle loves mosquito nets; they use them a lot in the Philippines, and even in the U.S., she never sleeps without one, because they’re like a security blanket for her. She would’ve known how to keep the ticks out. But she’s not here; she preferred to just get a divorce rather than assist my suicide.
My sister is an expert camper, and has spent weeks or months in the wilderness out west, where there aren’t so many ticks. I’m sure she could find a suitable place to do this. She’s probably not going to want to be implicated in helping me die, though.
Maybe I’m just stuck here till my mom dies, at which point I can just die in my air-relatively tick-free house as my leisure. Unless, of course, without her income, this place gets foreclosed upon, and I end up having to live either with roommates or in some group home where I don’t really have privacy to kill myself by that method.
Anyway, I’m tired of these suicide quasi-attempts for awhile. I seem to fuck it up just like I fuck up a lot of other stuff.
I went out to the campsite this evening to continue removing my stuff from the tent and bringing it back home, and as I was leaving, I saw a tick on the outside of the tent right next to the tent door. Maybe it was even that same tick as before! I tried to hit it with the shears to knock to the ground so I could kill it there, but as soon as I knocked it down, it vanished. That’s the second time today that a tick has gotten away from me. (I just didn’t feel like reaching out and touching it with my fingers if I could kill it some other way, but my alternative method failed.)
It just goes to show, though — they’ll wait in ambush right where you would be entering or leaving. Maybe even if I’d gotten rid of it from the tent, it would’ve latched onto me during the night when I went out for a piss or something. I hate those fuckin’ things.
I was thinking, walking back and forth, dismantling the campsite I set up, maybe I’m just multiplying my chances of getting a tick on me, but at least my home is part of my domain, whereas the woods are the tick’s domain, where he has the advantage; so I’m better off going to bed here than in the woods.