Suicidio – 17

[Jonathan Trupp]

I got up in what seemed to be the middle of the night. It was the obvious conclusion to be drawn, for the room was submerged in total darkness. I could see nothing. The space beyond the opened window was equally obscure.

It did not take me long to remember that the sun would never shine through the window and into my room. That was the nature of Suicidio, after all. Continuous darkness. It could be any hour of the day by now. Maybe I had slept one hour, maybe two days. There was no way to tell.

Dell & Ramm (1882) have very convincingly discussed the disorientation, driven by constant darkness, that overtakes newcomers almost immediately upon their arrival. Such disorientation is indeed key to understand Suicidio. We will leave the subjacent physiological mechanisms involved in this phenomenon to the researchers of the mind, but the resulting functionality is straightforward: disorientation pushes the already feeble mind into the territory of frustration and detachment. Although I have argued that disorientation may not be the all-explaining panacea that Dell & Ramm (1882) defend (Trupp, Unpublished a), their general thesis has nonetheless some merit. An important caveat to consider, however, which I raised in my novel commentary (Trupp, Unpublished a), is that newcomers arrive to Suicidio already disoriented, so it is not trivial to differentiate between the already existing disorientation and any further disorientation driven by darkness inside Suicidio. However, if even an objective and equilibrated mind like mine could suffer the effects of disorientation so quickly, after the first set of slumber, one should consider much more seriously its importance. Disorientation exacerbating desperation. Desperation disorienting the mind even further. And so on.

Laying in bed, I considered whether I should allow desperation to overtake me. As an academic exercise. If necessary, I could facilitate such a process by concentrating my mind in negative thoughts. In principle, it was a sensical plan of action. I could let myself be eaten by the darkness, as some poets would put it. Be one with the purpose of Suicidio. Be an instrument and allow the present to play me. That would definitely be an alternative approach for studying Suicidio, albeit I soon understood that it would not be an appropriate one. Not in an academic sense at least. One needs to keep some distance from the subject of study. Such a distance, such separation renders objectivity and a clear path to analysis.

I sat on the bed because I did not want to think of any other stupid idea. I extended my hands in front of my face. Initially I could not see my hands but after a while I could start discerning the boundaries of my palms and the space occupied by my fingers. Then I could see or I imagined I could see the box by the bed and the candle standing on it.

I remembered a question that had been bothering me, as I prospected for the matchbox that was somewhere near the candle. “Why to allow candles in Suicidio?” Any candle had the power to dwindle the smothering darkness. Indeed, when I managed to struck one of the soggy matches and lit the candle, even the disgusting walls and the trash accumulated in the corners of the room were a pleasant sight, a relief.

The light flickered, threatening to die at any point. It was a poor quality candle, not to be trusted to keep away darkness for too long. Maybe that explained the candle, a source of comfort so short that its disappearance would redouble the anguish of being imbued in darkness, each candle distributed in Suicidio another device of frustration that would dampen the spirits. Maybe.

While the flame lasted I had time to put my clothes on and head towards the door. The candlelight finally went off as I was reaching for the doorknob.

In the corridor, darkness was absolute. I heard some weak rattling, as if someone were scratching the wooden walls with a thin straw. I used my hands and feet to feel my way. My eyes did not discern anything until I reached the street.

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