This is Dom/Elijah PBIP (Pretty Boys in Peril). Seriously, it's... really depressing. And kind of pathetic, in a way. This is the one that uses that gorgeous monologue by Susan Griffin... "If I jump from a window or a bridge..."
Like a Magnet
He thinks his mind is folding in on itself, his thoughts are so jumbled and incoherent and fast, so goddamn fast. Standing on the balcony, staring out at the world, he moves jarringly from trees and shade to melted snow and summer days to ‘hot town, summer in the city’, to Die Hard: With a Vengeance, to ‘birds of a feather flock together’, to swallowing the barrel of a gun and slowly squeezing, not pulling, the trigger. And when he brings his cigarette to his lips, he can see his hand is shaking, but he can’t feel it shake and that’s a little scary. The cigarette trembles and after a moment ashes fall onto the front of his shirt. He brushes them away, absently wondering what it would be like to burn to death.
They’re thoughts that would frighten anyone else, and they frighten him too, but he still feels attached to them, drawn to them, they are the magnet and he is iron while everyone else is aluminum or copper. ‘I am rubber, you are glue, it bounces off of me and sticks to you’, except the other way around. And would his body bounce when he hit the pavement, even just a little bit? Or would he simply flatten, splatter, spray the passerby with blood and brains and tears?
They would frighten other people, so he keeps his thoughts to himself and tries hard to find ways to push his fear from his mind, even when his own voice, echoing within his skull, begins urging him toward the bottle of pills or the razorblades. They say that sound travels better through solid objects then through the air, and the tuneless hum that vibrates in his nasal cavity and surges through his bones is as loud as a fucking earthquake, he thinks, and yet it still isn’t enough to drown out that quiet little voice, his own voice, cajoling him, pleading with him.
If I jump
from a window
Sometimes he asks himself why, but then he always remembers that why is a crooked letter. Because sometimes there is no why and sometimes there are too many whys and they become overwhelming. And he doesn’t want to deal with the whys and the questions and the philosophy; he wants to go back to the place inside of him that can be carefree and fun and that doesn’t worry about what innocent object of human existence will trigger the next great wave of depression that will cause a violent fit of crying in the men’s room of a nice restaurant or panicking enough to make his heart flutter faster than a hummingbird’s while he sits in the deep darkness of a movie theatre.
He just wants it to go away, and he tries every day to wish it away, pray it away. But nothing’s happening, he’s become sure that there’s no one listening to him and that just makes him want to retreat further into himself, into his quiet, persuasive voice and violent humming. ‘God helps those who help themselves’ and he’s become convinced that that’s a specialized kind of religious bullshit, the kind that explains away disbelief when God fails to answer prayers or perform miracles.
or a bridge
He finds himself not wearing his seatbelt when he’s in the car, even if other people point it out. He’ll smile a caustic little smile to himself and take another drag on his cigarette. Who cares?
“Do you have a death wish?” Who cares?
When in the driver’s seat, he cracks the window and watches his smoke funnel out into the open air; he wants to be that smoke, be inexorably pulled by the vacuum that the air whistling past the fast moving car creates. He wants to be sucked up, as if the wind is a Hoover upright and he is a speck of dust in some genial suburban housewife’s new carpet. He wants to disappear, and part of him wants to do so quietly and painlessly while another part wants to leave a bloody, sticky mess for everyone else to find.
It’s pressure and stress, he tells himself on those rare occasions when the thoughts are bad enough to make him fear for his safety in the immediate future. Stress and pressure and expectations, but you’ll get through it, you’ll make it through, you’ll find the end.
It’s one thing to think constantly about death and dying and suicide and how you would go about taking the delicate balance of your life into your own hands, but quite another to pick up the gun, unscrew the cap on the Tylenol bottle, or take that first baby step off the roof’s ledge into oblivion.
or a tall building
in the next day,
He watched The Royal Tenebaums with Dom one day, blissfully unaware of a scene in which one of the characters slit his wrists. But as the plot moved toward that inevitable course of action, he began to shake—just a little—as if the temperature in the room was just a few degrees too cold. And as the blood had welled up from Luke Wilson’s wrists, deep and red and tantalizingly pretty in the bright lights of the movie set, and Dominic had watched with detached clinical interest, his head cocked slightly to one side like the RCA Victor dog, Elijah had stood and left the room. Tears had stung the corners of his eyes as he headed to the bathroom first, but he stopped in the doorway when he realized that there would be razors in there and it would be too tempting. He then thought about going to the kitchen, but logically noted the presence of knives. So he’d given up and gone into Dom’s room, lay down on Dom’s bed, and lit a cigarette. He’d taken the empty water glass on Dom’s bedside table for use as an ashtray and had smoked while staring blankly at the ceiling.
Things like that keep happening, little things that make people follow him when he just wants to be left alone to think about suicide, and maybe someday find the courage to get it over with. Everybody seems to want to get him glasses of water.
Dom asked if the movie upset him and Elijah had said that no, it wasn’t the movie, he was just coming down with the flu. He’d then called a cab and left, because they’d been living in different apartments then, after their fierce polemical split over the contents of the refrigerator and messiness of the bathroom. So Elijah had gone home and sat and smoked in the darkness, watching the burning tip of his cigarette sway back and forth in the air as the sun set. Finally, he’d stubbed it out on his wrist.
Think of me
as in ecstasy.
It came to the uneasy point where he could not imagine living without depression, could not bear to part with the drama of his own emotions. He was thriving on it; the roles he was being offered were subtly changing to the more serious and introspective, and he began waiting for the day when he’d slit his wrists on the big screen.
But then the racing thoughts had begun to settle in—out of panic and fear perhaps—and his attitude began to change. He hopes now that someone will notice and take away the pain. He hopes for this even as he watches an airplane streak across the sky and wonders how it would feel to be sucked into one of the engines and minced into nothing more than dog food.
For the first moments in my life
I will be free.
When Dominic knocks on the door, Elijah lifts his cigarette to his lips. “It’s open,” he calls unenthusiastically, and waits as he hears the doorknob turn and the hinges creak.
“Jesus.” It’s barely more than a whisper, but sound carries in his new apartment, and Elijah knows exactly what Dom is thinking. “Christ, Elijah!” He exclaims and then titters nervously. “I knew you were a fucking slob, but I never knew it was this bad.” Then Dominic is standing right behind him, leaning against the balcony door, and Elijah is suddenly afraid Dominic will make an omniscient comment about the tiny, circular burn on his left arm or about the fact that he hasn’t bathed for nearly a week. But all he does is step silently forward and rest his chin on Elijah’s shoulder, wrapping his arms familiarly around Elijah’s waist. Elijah exhales in relief, blowing his smoke so that it hazes the clear blue sky. His bare feet are cold against the rough wooden slats of the balcony and he half-heartedly wonders how sturdy the construction is.
“Want to talk about it, mate?” Dominic’s voice is very quiet and it makes Elijah’s blood run cold. He stops moving and listens for a moment; he can barely hear Dom breathing and he suspects, cynically, that it is because he is trying not to inhale the scent of his unwashed body.
It is myself,
I am fleeing.
Finally he bites his lower lip and says “I don’t know.” They are silent for a moment, a frozen tableau wherein the only thing that moves and changes is the smoke from Elijah’s cigarette. “I don’t know what I want.”
He then feels Dom’s lips press firmly into the patch of soft skin behind his ears. “Are you eating?” Dom’s words vibrate through his head like another voice, creating a duet within him, soprano and bass, both singing dramatically different parts. Elijah nods his head as Dom’s lips trail down to his throat, gently loosening the caked dirt, sweat, and grime found there. The intimacy numbs him.
“I had some saltines yesterday. And a carton of fried rice earlier in the week.”
“That’s not exactly eating.” He pulls Elijah flush against his own body as if he is trying as hard as he can to physically protect him. “I can make supper for you if you like.” Elijah shrugs noncommittally. “Would you like me to get you a glass of water for now?”
And suddenly that question is the funniest thing he’s ever heard; he snickers and then begins to laugh, loudly and forcefully. Finally, his body is shaking with laughter and it forces Dom to pull away. Everyone always asks him if he wants water whenever he is caught trembling or crying or moping. It’s so funny that he’s doubled up, one hand clutching his stomach while the other holds his still burning cigarette aloft.
Then the giggles begin to catch in his throat and turn to tears and it’s not funny anymore, it’s just sad. And Elijah falls unceremoniously to his knees, one graceful wrist still curved while his fingers loosen and allow the cigarette to fall, as Dominic watches in bemused and uncomfortable horror.
Then death will
surround what is
left of me,
“Do you want me to leave?” Dom shifts his weight back and forth and, unconsciously, Elijah begins to hum the tune of “Footloose” to himself. “I can leave and come back tomorrow, if you like.” Dom’s voice has gone up in pitch from uneasiness. Elijah hiccups once and his voice skips; he pauses to wipe the snot from his face with the sleeve of his sweatshirt. He moves his hand as if to takes a drag off of his cigarette before realizing it is no longer there. He stares at his empty fingers for a moment in confusion.
“If you leave, I think I’ll die.” He croaks, unsure sure where the words come from, but they make Dom stop moving for a moment, make him crouch down to be on Elijah’s level.
“Why, ‘Lij?” His eyes are bright and desperate. “Please, can you tell me why?”
an inert soft form
in blankets of darkness.
Elijah can only shake his head. “I don’t know, don’t know why.” He mutters, staring down at his knees. After a moment, Dom takes his hand and rubs it soothingly between his palms. Elijah blinks and stares between the bars of the balcony railing. “But if we jump now, holding hands, we can be angels together in heaven.” He’s barely aware of the dreamy quality to his voice or his child-like intonation. It makes Dominic, however, pull his own hands away as if Elijah’s skin had suddenly become blisteringly hot.
“I’m going to start running a shower for you, okay?” He asks, not waiting for Elijah’s response. “And then you’ll get dressed and we’ll got out somewhere and have a good time. I’ll call Orli; we’ll have fun. Okay?” He backs away, not really wanting to take his eyes off of Elijah. “Don’t go anywhere. I… I’ll be right back.”
I dream of it.
Elijah watches passively as Dominic retreats; he watches his back and observes every shift in the creases of his black t-shirt as he moves. He thinks about New Zealand and happiness, moving from sunlight to smoke to blood to wigs and ears and feet and knowing exactly where he belonged to how hard he would have to press the razorblade into the flesh of his wrist in order to completely open the veins that would allow him to bleed to death.