Gravity

It’s like an egg breaking inside your head;
a sudden flood that controls your mind, telling you
to run to the window and dive
down
down
down
to the soulless ground below.
In the instant before your thoughts recover,
you move across the room, ready
to turn your eggy impulse into messy reality.

Out of step with the moment, you feel
the shock of the drop forcing you
to release all oxygen from your lungs, though you want
to draw a greedy last gasp of cool air before
the end… and then you realise
it hasn’t happened yet.

Grasping for sanity, you clutch the back of a dining chair.
You shudder, knowing how close it was this time,
and you wonder, had you jumped,
how desperately would you regret your imminent death
in the few seconds before the concrete smashed your skull to shreds,
and would those seconds stretch
into eternity?

©Jane Paterson Basil

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62 thoughts on “Gravity

  1. I’ve often wondered this. How terrified jumpers are before the end. How often they regret what they’ve done. It’s a bad choice, I think, giving yourself all those interminable seconds to rethink, knowing you can’t change what has been done. Brutal, well chosen words Jane. Hoping all is well with you xxx

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    1. It must be horrible. On e freezing day in March, when I was 13, a friend dared me to jump in our river. She promised me five shillings if I did it. I didn’t want to, but the reward was too great to refuse, so I stood way back and ran towards it, knowing I wouldn’t be able to stop even if I wanted to. I was regretting it even before I jumped 🙂 She never gave me the money! She was always doing things like that to me. 😀

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      1. I had a friend like that, though I was an adult at the time and should have been less impressionable. Still some people have a charisma that makes others do things – I’d like to learn the science behind that because it’s something I’ve never mastered! 🙂

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        1. I think the art of manipulation is something you’re either born with, or you learn while you’re sitting on a parent’s knee, and it’s rarely used with virtue. It doesn’t surprise me that you’re useless at it 🙂

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          1. I kind of wish I was good at it sometimes. People with that natural charm and ability to manipulate often seem to have an easy life. Though perhaps not an easy conscience? Nah, who am I kidding. People like that sleep just fine.

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    1. Thank you for taking the trouble to send such a thoughtful message.My thoughts of suicide aren’t rational. They come to me suddenly – like an attack from within. I’m confident that if I reached the window before coming to my senses, stepping onto the sill would bring me round – but it’s a frightening thought. I have people who love me. I want to live.

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      1. It is more than just having people who love you though that is very important – it is knowing that you are worth something as yourself. Being able to express your thoughts as you have done here has proved your worth to me, I hope you have proved it to yourself too.

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            1. I changed my GP only yesterday. It was almost impossible to see my previous one, who was useless anyway. I have confidence in my new GP.
              I used to post every day, but am having trouble writing at the moment… It will come back to me.

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              1. I am sure it will come back but chatting online with your followers is good too. I find some of the photography on here totally inspiring as well as the poems. Every day I try to get out even for between ten and thirty minutes and find something amazing in nature. Despite the weather there is always something even it is someone’s dog which they are walking! I take photos as I go of what I see. For me this is uplifting.

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                1. I’m afraid the photography all comes from Pixabay. My father and grandfather were professional photographers, so there’s no excuse. I like to manipulate photos – make them look like paintings – but lately I don’t even do that.

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  2. Hi Jane, you have captured it so well. I can remember standing at the edge of a pier, a long drop down to the ocean, and a sudden irrational thought was urging me to take a leap. I had to fight it – and I’ve not ever been suicidal. I have often wondered where that impulse came from. You have been on my mind a lot of late, Jane. I’m sorry to hear it’s been tough – you know there’s friends out here in the blogosphere too, who love and care for you. A lot 🙂

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    1. I’ve taken the worst dip for years. It’s been hard to communicate, but I think I’m coming out of it now. Finally – after thinking about it for eighteen months or more – I hanged my GP. It’s a big step. Now maybe I’ll get some help.

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        1. My new doc is also my oldest brother’s GP. She gave him a thorough medical a few months ago, uncovered hidden health issues and gave him some useful advice. It’s made a huge difference to his health. I dread to think where he’d be now if he’d been registered with my ex doc.
          It’s a great comfort to know you’re there, but at the moment, I get twisted up just thinking about explaining things. It will all be OK… xxx

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    2. Oh – I didn’t hang my doc – I changed him. Bit of a Freudian slip there 🙂
      My previous doctor is a very nice man, but a useless doctor – and the medical centre he he’s with makes it impossible to see your GP anyway – especially if you have anxiety issues, and are becoming confused to boot. These days we have to make an appointment FOR A PHONE CALL, and he prescribes over the phone. When I told him that one of the drugs he prescribed tends to lower the blood pressure (I have low BP already) he said “That’s OK. We’ll see how it goes.”

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      1. Oh don’t worry about keeping up, I’ve found it impossible to keep up, especially if I’ve been busy at work like I have been lately. 😊 I get home and I’m so tired. Actually I nearly missed your post completely. Xx

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    1. I’m trying to stay calm. My youngest daughter gets married in nine days, and that’s wonderful, but my son is in a very unsettled state. I think he’ll pull through, if only for his sister’s sake. how are things with you? Life has been so frantic that I haven’t been keeping up with anybody lately.

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