I took a blanket and a bottle of wine and a pack of cigarettes to the beach. I was determined to walk into the icy waters of Puget Sound and either freeze or drown or both. It was past midnight. I chose the most beautiful part of Alki beach.. the very private and lovely Lowman Beach. On a very secluded street, I parked in front of the Rubber Ducky Museum, which is a favorite landmark amongst locals and my daughter especially. It is extremely precious. Sidewalk fountains adorned with rubber duckies of all styles, tiny water slides into a little pool, a shrine for the rubber ducky. …. amazingly never touched by vandals.. I thought of how my daughter loved that place as I parked there planning my exit from the world.
I sat on the beach for a while, drinking straight from the bottle. Smoked a cigarette. And then proceeded to walk into the water. It was amazingly NOT cold. I swam out pretty far from the shore. I turned onto my back and floated, looking at the night sky and the moon. It was beautiful. Then I remembered why I was there and tried to force myself below the water. I could not. I kept emerging. My self wouldn’t let myself annihilate myself. I floated for a long time. It seemed like hours. Time was frozen. The tide carried me down the beach. I became disoriented. I swam to shore but I was now in an unfamiliar place on the beach. Nothing but rocks and craggy sharp edges. I could not stand. I think my muscles had frozen from the cold. I kept falling and cutting my hands and legs. Hitting my head on the rocks. I tried to crawl. I was getting nowhere. I laid there and decided I would just die from exposure. Then I started crying out for help. There were houses up the hill. Nobody was around. I was alone and cold and wet and bleeding. I gave myself one last push to find my way back to where I had started and somehow crawled and stumbled back there.
A couple was sitting on the beach by the driftwood logs with bottles of liquor. The girl wanted to help me. The guy seemed incapacitated – he could not get up either…funny…and he kept telling me to come lie down by him. I just sat there crying. The girl had a cell phone and asked who she could call to help me. I had her call my ex husband. I tried to find my purse and blanket which were nowhere to be found. I had no cell phone, no nothing. I figured the tide had taken them out to sea. Time had no meaning. I was lost.
After making the call, the couple decided they’d better get the hell away from me. Certainly I was trouble. They gave me a towel and left. I was freezing. Frozen solid sitting on a driftwood log. I decided to try to go to the street to see if my ex was looking for me. A resident of the hood was walking down the sidewalk , all well dressed and handsome. I can only imagine what he thought seeing me stumbling around the sidewalk with soaking wet sandy clothes and a towel wrapped around me. He asked what I was doing and I told him I had tried to drown myself. He called the only two numbers I could remember. Again the ex husband and the ex boyfriend. No answers. He called 911. He called his wife to tell her he had found a woman who had tried to kill herself and he had to stay till help arrived. I went back to the shore to look for my stuff. I couldn’t see or feel my limbs by this point. My glasses had somehow managed to stay on my face but I still could see nothing in the dark. There was nothing.
Eventually my husband arrived and explained to the good Samaritan that he would take me home. No 911 needed, although they were on their way. He drove me home. He left me alone in my apartment. I took a really long steaming hot shower and then put on my warmest pj’s. It took hours to warm up.
I brushed myself with near death. Stupid. Selfish. Self-centered. Wanting out of the struggle. But then I couldn’t do it. I am still here. And write here for your entertainment. Feel my pain. I want you to. Things will be better in the morning. I’m sure of it.