This is a suicide note, which means there is no twist at the end, or an extension of any sort beyond the last word. This is a suicide note, and that means there is no redemption, and there is only one ending.
I am writing this because I have always wanted to be a writer, but I have not written much. I thought this should be the last thing I should do. My mother or father may be the first to find this, but they cannot read English. My brother or sister – when you see this you do not have to explain any of its content to them. You should burn this. I am only writing this for myself, to nobody in particular, for no good reason. (Now that I have written to the third page, I want to add that I am writing to see what remains in the last moments.)
I wonder how many who took their own lives in Singapore shared the same potential as David Foster Wallace. Acute awareness of the self and of others, intelligence, and unyielding self-integrity make a lethal combination anywhere in the world, but I am sure I am not the only one who would rather be him than us. Surely the fame, posthumous or not, and more importantly, his experience of life so much greater and more beautiful than our own, stymies the pain a little. Surely.
How I can be so sure that I want to die? Because of the fact that I feel so old, so very ancient and exhausted, even though I am barely 26 and know full well that I have experienced but a scratch of the human experience, and that that fact no longer hurts. The fact that I have never felt alive here, truly alive, whatever that means, no longer holds a tension in my heart. The fact that my hatred for this place has come and gone, and I do not know if I should miss it. But wouldn’t you want to be David Foster Wallace? Every day I know I will wake up to the “sameness”. The Chinese coffee shop chain where I buy my coffee; the same small concrete space we call home; the same lame people working in the small; almost homogeneous but cultureless, colourless, featureless society; the same people who do not see what I see. I do not believe they choose to blind themselves with their 3.5K-paying jobs, with their girlfriends or boyfriends and their families, with their churches and their Thai clubs, with their shiny cars or new shoes, or the latest concert in town. I simply believe they do not see. But Wallace, on the other hand, lived in the U.S.A. No, I do not know much beyond what the Internet has told me about him. I got through a third of Infinite Jest before believing I did not have the necessary experience, literary and life, to properly appreciate it. Both I know I cannot get here, and it remains somewhere in my room should someone want it. But he could have gone anywhere before he died. He must have experienced so much more; in Boston, in New York, in his vast and open university halls, in the Grand Canyon and the mountains and the lakes and the lives of hobos and the wide streets with genuine musicians masquerading as buskers. Wouldn’t you want to be him; to have at least lived his life and seen what he had seen and walked the streets that he had walked in his own country, before you died? Couldn’t anyone who had had that kind of freedom, the freedom to feel, have better odds at being a writer? Who here does not want to be him? I certainly do. Already I can imagine people say, “the grass is greener on the other side.” Then they simply don’t understand, and they truly deserve to live here. I want to walk in leisure, I want to be alone and, above all, I want space; all of which are contradictions to what has defined this place. I want to live without feeling cringe and disgust at anything I see, then the momentary guilt and self-doubt, then again cringe and disgust at the people who created them, then at the industries and institutions that created those people, then, finally, at the geopolitical history that created everything. I do not blame this place for what it is. Circumstances have led to it. The need to survive has moulded this place beyond hope of change. Ironically, it is now too small and successful to change. I have accepted it, in my own way; that this is not conducive and in fact detrimental to what I am, and is in sharp contrast to the environment I want to live in that I have pictured in my head. Perhaps it is this, along with my mental condition, that forced me to make a final choice. As I write this I realise it’s all very brief and general, but I don’t feel like going on any longer.
Anything local. The word local has long ago become repulsive. I do not want to be local here and if I could choose, I would not want to feel this way. I do not want to feel this way. But there is no choosing what to feel.
My friends for the recent years have been telling me when we meet at the prata shop that they are bored out of their minds; the prata shop being the only place I visit because it is the only place open after midnight with little people around. But even then I cannot face the evening straight. I do not feel anything for my friends who tell me life is boring. I hope they meant to say they feel meaningless and dead and do not know why they cannot bring the words out. I hope they are not just bored. For those who are bored I already know how their lives will turn out. Other friends are either satisfied with the daily challenges they face at work; which pays them enough to not think about how it feels to be a cog in a company like Goldman Sachs, enough to quell the money-mindedness built into politically resigned traditional Chinese parents, or those who are clearly tired from juggling their dead-end admin jobs and night classes at private universities but still looking forward to the weekend. Actually all of them look forward to the weekend. A voice inside tells me that I should not be taken seriously for wishing every day was like the weekend. But I am not. I am not lazy. I was hardworking once, but my own parents did not see that. They only want results. I wonder if David Foster Wallace faced similar issues. Surely we shared some semblance of mental illness with varied magnitude, but socially speaking, would his problems when expressed sound as childish and straightforward and hopeless as mine?
I have not slept for a week; probably a few hours when sleep found me without me having to search laboriously for it. Those are merciful hours. I said I have not felt alive, but when I am asleep the world is bliss. So I am very tired, but I know sleep will continue to elude me. My father will wake up soon. So I am done, with writing, and with everything else.
I hope it will not hurt.
Weetee consumes copious amounts of Radiohead, Dota2, Neil Gaiman and Kazuo Ishiguro, and has a short story published in the collection Petua, which was sold in Kinokuniya, Popular and BooksActually. He has written, edited and interviewed for Campus magazine, Family&Life magazine, Jetbay and publications such as obscured.sg and 5minutemusic. He was also the Literature editor for obscured.sg, a writer at Click2view, Pico and Formul8, and is currently writing freelance while working on fiction.