I have no patience with people who want to kill themselves, and even less patience with people who talk extensively and lyrically about wanting to kill themselves, yet, poor unfortunates, never really manage to get it right. Try, try until you succeed, like my mother said, but as with all courses of study, half the battle is arming yourself with the correct textbook.
The author is one Mister Geo Stone, and the book, 'Suicide and Attempted Suicide'. This delightfully organised work begins with a 'Background' and proceeds to 'Methods' where it systematicaly summarises common methods used to kill oneself and proceeds to evaluate them on a pros versus cons basis. The major arteries are detailed, along with the bones they lie alongside, for easy identification. The angle of slashing is explained. If you're still in practice, he helpfully suggests locations to cut that will result in least social attention. And if you'd rather slash-and-tell, more prominent places as well.
The book is full of these gems:
"..You may prefer to use an ankle vein in order to avoid wrist scars, and subsequent tedious cocktail-party conversation."
"As methods of suicide, cutting and stabbing have little to recommend them: compared to lower-trauma asphyxias (see "Hanging" and "Asphyxia" chapters) they are, generally, more painful, and no faster or more reliable. Their major advantage is that (depending on site and method) you may, after the injury, have some time to change your mind."
Apart from the excellent and commendably detailed instructions, also very entertaining glossary section (H: Hanging (suicide, attempt to; see also Method (impractical), Method (slow), Method (unsuccessful) ), I find it supremely refreshing that there is no moralising.
A short and precisely worded Background chapter makes a classification of the persons who are likely to attempt suicide and some speculation as to their reasons. There is no Bible thumping, none of the usually inevitable and wholly tedious Right to Die argument, no sympathy, no justification. Just no emotion at all.
I loved it.
Another self portrait
2 months ago