10 days?

Last night before bed, I started reading Tennessee Williams’s The Glass Menagerie. It’s a memory play I’ve always wanted to read, especially after I really enjoyed Streetcar Named Desire. I was only ten pages into it but already felt like Laura, one of the four characters in the play, reminded me of Ed. Laura is the main character’s older sister, and she experiences some illness at a young age that results in her being disabled for the rest of her life. Because of this, she also is extremely fragile mentally. The way she responds to things is like the more feminine version of my brother.

I went to sleep and dreamt that I was home again, and to my surprise Ed was there. I kept thinking in my mind, he is still alive? And suddenly we start having a conversation during which he tells me that he has just ten more days to live before he will take his life. He continues about his business in the house, reading his Bible, cutting and eating fruit, going to the bathroom to floss. I sit there and don’t do anything. I just think. I think of all the ways that I can prevent him from taking his life in the next ten days. Maybe we can do some activity together that I know he will love, and in his moment when he is about to jump, he remembers how much fun we had just a few days before and decides he wants to do that again! Or maybe I can have him listen to Shania Twain and ask him, is this really the last time you want to hear that amazing voice? Or maybe on the tenth day, I could just prevent him from escaping my presence, tackle him, and then just sit on top of him and not get up. Well, it may have worked. Who knows.

I woke up and felt distraught and unmotivated, so I skipped the gym. Again. In reality, he really did succeed in leaving me. I wonder what it would have been like if ten days before July 22, I really did know for sure that he would leave me forever.

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