Friday, August 22, 2008

Tampons and handguns

After Colin shot himself, and before the police came, I did a number of very odd things. The first was to run in a panic from my apartment; our apartment building had four units in it, and Mr. J lived opposite ours across a small courtyard area. I ran down my stairs and was headed to his to get him. He was our friend, and I knew if anyone could help us, it was him.

He was gone though, having already left for Burning Man. He was, at that moment, in Sacramento with his then-girlfriend, and he couldn't help us at all. I went to his downstairs neighbour instead and pounded on their door. They'd heard the gunshots, though, and they wouldn't let me in. I don't know how long I was outside, but it felt as though hours had gone by. I got under the stairs, sat down on the concrete, and waited. I'm not sure what for, but there I sat. I remember sitting underneath a spider's web, with a very large spider in it. Even my fear of spiders was dead, and I just stared up at it.

I don't remember re-entering my apartment, but the next clear memory I have I am standing over Colin's body, screaming at him and slapping his face. I had the distinct feeling he was not dead, but was playing a horrible joke on me; maybe he was hiding in another room, and had just placed a very convincing Colin-doll on the floor in our bedroom for me. I expected him to jump out of hiding at me, and I kept looking at the door leading into our bathroom. I swiped my finger down the blood on his chest and tasted it; I thought it would be Karo's syrup with food colouring, like in the movies. When my slapping didn't rouse him, I realized he was really hurt. I tried to help him stand, tried to straighten his head; my fingers touched the wound and the bones in his head slid around and I think I stopped thinking.

The rest comes in flashes, unclear images that don't feel connected. I was face-down on my bed, screaming that things were ending very badly, that this had gone all sideways. Then I was running, from one room to the next, looking for something to stop the crazy. I changed my clothes; having knelt in a large puddle of blood I couldn't bear wearing my terrificly comfortable sweat-pants with grodiness on them any longer. I washed my hands, an action that immediately put me into the 'suspect' category during the police investigation that came later. I almost called 911, and I almost called my mom. I was unhinged, and I didn't know what to do. So, I did what any doped moron would do: I packed a backpack with the video tape, my handgun Daphne, and some tampons. I was headed to my mom's house. She also had super power abilities to make wrong things right, and I desperately wanted my mom.

I didn't make it far; someone reported the gun fire, and the SWAT team descended upon me as soon as I hit the sidewalk. I'd never seen SWAT guys up close before, and had the irrational urge to compare handguns with them. They notoriously lack any sense of humour whatsoever though, and weren't very pleased about Daphne in my bag.

I moved in with my parents that night. It was the one time in my adult life I haven't been able to argue my mom down (which I am normally quite good at); she and Dad picked me up from the police station that night, and I didn't set foot in my apartment afterwards. I tried though, I wanted to see what everything looked like without the corpse in the bedroom and all the blood off the walls. A few days later, once my mom would let me out of house, I called my best friend over to take me back to the apartment. I had to turn my keys in, you see, so I had to go back. I tried getting into the apartment, but they'd already changed the locks. I desperately wanted closure, and I felt like seeing the apartment would give it.

I asked at the office, and they wouldn't let me in either. They said it was still being repaired, and no one could go in. I went back anyway, stood on the sidewalk and looked up at our bedroom window. I could see two patches just below the window, two holes filled in with putty. I went back round the office and asked about them, and was told, very nervously, that the bullets had gone through the wall and lodged in the dirt across the small courtyard.

The thought sickened me; those bullets had gone clear outside, had torn through wood and whatever else apartments are made of. Those bullets had gone through Colin's brain, and that seemed almost as bad as him being dead.


Anonymous said...

Oh, sweetie. I have no words, only hugs.

Mantramine said...

Wow...that is one hell of a lifetime experience Jade. I can't imagine the deep source of pain and confusion that must all be.

I want to tell you that reading it was a mixture of smiling and tears - you seemed to have wrote it with a sense of humour towards the insanity but also portrayed the utter horror of it all.

I tip my hat to you for surviving such a moment.

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