Monday, September 7, 2009
The Last Bridge
Two days after my father had a massive stroke my mother shot herself in the head. her suicide was a shock-not the fact that she killed herself but the way in which she did it. It was odd that my mother chose such a violent end to her own violent life. For someone who endured years of torture at my father's hand, I thought she would have choose a more quiet way of leaving. Perhaps she would take pills and put herself to bed in a silk nightgown, or she'd walk naked into the ocean at sunset. Instead, she cleaned the house, changed the linens, stuffed the freezer full of food, and blew her head off with my father's shotgun.
I didn't have to look at her face to know it was my mother. I didn't even have to look any farther than her left hand that was dangling off the metal table. I nodded and turned away.
"That's her," I said.
"How do you know?" the coroner asked.
"The wedding band," Hal answered, looking at me for confirmation.
"The tip of her ring finger," I said.
Both men looked closely. "Ah," they said in unison as they noticed my mother's finger was missing the first joint and nail bed.
"Was that a birth defect?" Hal said.
"No...marriage," I replied, searching my bag for a cigarette.
"My mother tried to leave my father once. He found her, brought her home, and cut the tip of her finger off. He told her if she ever tried to leave again, he would cut her hand off. Needless to say, she never left after that. Anybody have a light?"
Posted by Staci at 6:15 PM