In the emergency room the doctors all snicker at you for not only being lame enough to kill yourself but stupid enough to fail. They point at the scratches on your wrist that’d seemed like such accomplishments considering how hard it was to hold the box cutter against your veins, and they tell you how you barely even nicked yourself. They don’t even put a Band-Aid on it. And even though there’s almost certainly pills or even injections that would accomplish this more pleasantly, they’ll have you drink a cup of soda full of charcoal to get the pills you tried to OD on out of your system. They’ll tell you they mixed the charcoal with Coke, but they didn’t; it’s some kind of off-brand soda that they nevertheless charged you $50 for. And you have to drink it all.
You’ll keep slipping out of consciousness, which you think would be nice, like dozing on a Sunday afternoon. But you’ll be so terrified of dying (oh now you’re scared, the nurses will sneer) with so much mortality-adrenaline tearing through your veins and infecting your mind that you’ll keep jerking awake. Painfully alert.
Hospital beds are not comfortable, and you don’t know how the fuck you forgot that. Imagining the flowing white sheets of a bed on a detergent commercial while you OD’d in the bathtub, that was a mistake. The bed you’re strapped to, it’s plastic with a flimsy mattress, all these levers. They don’t use leather straps anymore, but they hook you up to so many electrodes and IVs—not to mention the catheter—that you couldn’t leave even if you weren’t fading and out.
Every time you come back to consciousness, first you feel the weird hard bed, all the tubes. Then you notice your corpse-pale mom in the corner, staring at her feet, and you remember what you did and say you’re sorry, over and over and over, until you drift away for a few seconds more before you snap back and start this again routine again.
You got sick of pushing the Sisyphean boulder tried to opt out, let it roll over you, but it only knocked you out instead of crushing you to death, and now the hill back up is twice as tall. And they will deliberately leave some machine on in the background that chirps endlessly and starts taunting you like the ding ding ding of your turn signal when you’re stuck in traffic. You won’t be here for long—they’ll transfer you from the ER into the regular hospital pretty quickly because, as some doctor will so sweetly inform your mother, they’re trying to save lives here.
You’ll keep hoping and hoping that a doctor will be nice like they are on Grey’s Anatomy but instead they’ll all act personally insulted, like your suicide attempt was a big fuck you to the medical industry.
At 6:00 pm the night shift will arrive and your family will leave. Your night shift babysitter—once they’ve got you in the hospital for hurting yourself, they keep a babysitter on you at all times, to make sure you don’t cause some lawsuit—she doesn’t speak much English and keeps nodding off. Wired, you’ll stare at the ceiling while the late night talk shows play, and then the infomercials after them. You’ll stupidly ask for a sleeping pill out of desperation, but they’re like, haven’t you had enough?
This is not even the bad part, though. In the morning, you’ll belong to the mental hospital.