Why Laugh in Ultimate Suicide?

Contributor: Geoffrey Carter

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They say your entire life flashes in front of your eyes before you die. They also say that light travels at a speed of 299,792,458 meters per second. Of course it is easier to tell how fast light is going than it is to tell what you see before death. The only reason people say this is because they believe the ones that go about bragging that they “died for six seconds.”
 It’s like trying to remember how many kids were on the bus on your first day of kindergarten versus how many sharks there are in the sea. I think there were eighteen kids minus the eighth graders who boarded after I did and forced me to move out of “their seat” in the back.
                As for the sharks, the only amount I can give you is number swimming beneath my tired feat. I count one…two…three…four…five…six…seven…eight...nine...ten…eleven…twelve…thirteen. Thirteen of them dashing around like the people in Grand Central Station.
                I am breathing in. I am breathing out. I am breathing in. I am breathing out. I am breathing…..a trick my mother taught me when crying over spilled milk, stressing out over a late research paper or vomiting on the linoleum floor, or, in this case, in the almost black ocean. It was rolling out of my mouth like yellow paint.
                I shut my eyes and flip over like a “Worst Case Scenario” card that says how to swim at sea for long periods of time. The answer to this is, according to the card, is to do just as I am doing now: lying on my back and occasionally kicking my arms and legs. This is a game I used to play with my cousin Greta, but instead of actually playing the board game that went along with it, we would spend hours at a time by the fire at her father’s house just reading the cards out loud to each other in hope of gaining some sort of knowledge of what to do in desperate situations.
Like this one.
I guess the reason for our game was Greta’s father himself. He would never let her have any friends over to his dusty old mansion. Or any relative, for that matter. I would have to sneak out of my own house and meet her at the back door when her dad was out. That was rarely possible.
When we were inside, I could usually catch a glimpse of her backside which was a rainbow of mostly purples, some blues. Or, she would just flinch as a response to my touch.
“My father,” she explained.
 And I understood.
We’d take our mind off things with that only game Greta had in her house. It was kept in the bottom left corner of the dresser in her father’s bedroom. Sometimes we would just sneak around the living room and eventually end up in her minimalized bedroom and stay there until the man she dreaded came home.
                I’m still doing what the card tells me to, staring up at the starry, starry night and holding my breath and letting it out with a loud whoosh. The breaths become closer and closer together until I am back to where I started: A hyperventilating body in the water frantically thrashing my arms and legs trying to stay afloat, but the monsters beneath my feat swam dangerously near and I could sense them smelling the vomit swimming amongst them in the water.
                It reminds me my father telling me how much barf attracted fish. The bigger ones especially. We would always take these fishing trips at my grandfather’s expense in the heat of the summer when the fish were slow and tired.
                I went on the very first one that was offered and was never planning on going back.
                How was I supposed to know I get seasick?
                After I had spent approximately an hour puking over the side of the boat, many fish would swarm like poor children after a French fry was dropped. We had about ten fish that night because that was the limit, and my father made me come the year after. And the year after that. And the year after that.
                They were obviously ore of them now which only made me kick harder.
                Fourteen…fifteen….sixteen sharks join. It only adds to my fear and I begin to tremble. Or It could have been from the ice cold water, I don’t know, but I am beginning to kick my feet again and the only thing to do is kick harder. I remember the card again: Only kick when absolutely necessary. My eyes shut. Forget everything that I know
Except for this.
And then I cry.
Because that is the thing to do.

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I am a junior in high school and really want to be a writer. I took a writing class at a local college for a couple of weeks over the summer and am now taking a year long course in school. Other interests include playing music, crocheting, and skiing.
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