Maybe it’s stretching a point … maybe not. On a physical level, I have never had any kind of urge to walk through the fire or off the cliff. But that’s on the physical plane. My suicidal urges have been less tactile, more psychological, social, personal.

About my second marriage, the one I don’t talk about. I married a man blatantly wrong for me. As inappropriate, abusive, unintelligent and uneducated as anyone could be. That’s what happens when you marry on the rebound. In a foreign country. When you don’t speak the language and you’re lonely. Like the edge of the cliff or the fire, I knew with certainty before the wedding I shouldn’t do it. Bad idea. Big mistake. Why, then, did I?

Hormones? Hubris? Maybe because it was so wrong and such a terrible idea? Did I need to test the depth of the water or the heat of the fire? How long the fall down the mountain? Whatever it was, it cost me.

My mother met him shortly after the deed was done. She looked at me, sadly. “You’ve really done it now.” Cryptic though her words were, I knew what she meant. Knowing didn’t help. I had indeed done it. L’appel du vide describes it as well as anything. It took eleven long years to undo what had been so quickly accomplished. It was a learning experience. Not in a good way. Catastrophic stupidity on my part.


There are many ways to achieve self-annihilation. A long walk off a short pier is less painful and more efficient. I recommend to anyone inclined to doing something highly self-destructive — take the short route, not the long and winding road.