A fictional account of Sarah's Kane's thoughts before her suicide.
Four forty-eight. Fucking four forty-eight! Why does my clock always read four forty-eight when I open my eyes? I want to sleep! I would sleep if my mind would fucking shut up! But once the mind's awake the body soon follows, and I'm stuck awake again for the rest of the fucking day. I only got to sleep a couple hours ago! Fucking great!
Since I was awake I figured I may as well get up. If I stayed in bed I knew I was going to start thinking of other things, darker things. I often think about dying, and why not? I'll do it one day anyway, why not get it over and done with? Life is nothing but pressure. Pressure-pressure-fucking pressure; pressing in and pressing down. There are times I'd give anything to end it all. There are times I've tried.
Who wants to live? All I have are my plays, and even those get slated. Am I really a despicable person? Is that what my plays reflect? Other writers say differently, but is that because they don't want to see the darkness in themselves? I'm sure a lot of writers are told their plays are terrible, but does that reflect who they are? Is it only psychotic people who write psychotic plays? Then what of Shakespeare? How many tragedies did he write? How many comedies? Does that make him a tragic comedian?
God I'm tired, so fucking tired. I haven't had a full night's sleep in months, not even in the fucking hospital. Either I'm not getting to sleep and waking up early or taking drugs and waking up unsatisfied. Drug induced sleep, legal or not, is no substitute for natural sleep. The dreams are never the same on drugs. Legal ones take dreams away, and illegal ones cause such strange and terrible dreams that I wish I hadn't taken them at all.
The first time I took drugs to sleep I had such a horrible dream. I was wearing a black wedding dress, surrounded by groaning, bloodied wedding guests, all in black. They writhed on the floor of the church while I stood looking down at them, and then there was a single person. He was different to the others; younger, rougher, and dressed in white. I was furious, and I have no idea why, but I hurt him. It was almost as if I was watching myself; I had no control over what I did, I was completely detached, but I hit him, rubbed bleach into his skin and watched it burn, and then I sliced into his flesh with a knife. The worst thing about this was that I couldn't wake up; it was a nightmare, a drug induced nightmare that trapped me.
When I woke up it was vivid, painfully vivid. The scent of blood and bleach still flooded my senses. I could almost feel the warm stickiness on my fingers and the burning in my throat. Up until then I'd never been so shaken, and it almost put me off drugs for life. Almost. Maybe people wouldn't think I was so fucked up if I'd never taken drugs, but at least with drugs I can sleep; I can get away from the pressure and strain of living.
I used to enjoy life, back when I was living at home, when I believed. I suppose the depression first set in when I realised how stupid I was! Who the fuck really believes there's a man in the sky? It's just something made up for comfort because it's terrifying to think that when you die you're just...gone. It's terrifying to think that one day the world will be there, but I won't. When I lost my faith the depression first began to set in, the full realisation of my imminent death and the full insignificance of my own existence. Perhaps that's why I went into theatre; to leave something of myself behind, something to prove that I existed. I loved theatre; I loved acting. When I was in college I could forget. For a few short hours I could leave behind my own tiny existence and become someone else, but when it was over I'd always return to being that same tiny insignificant being.
As I entered university the insomnia set in, and the depression got worse. I noticed the passage of time so much more when I was away from home, because when I went back everyone had aged. I noticed the lines appear on my parent's faces, and the greys in their hair, and more and more I began to realise that time was constantly creeping forward. My thoughts, unexpectedly perhaps, crept more and more towards suicide. I began experimenting with different drugs to escape the finality for a while, and to help me sleep in peace, but it was never enough.
No matter how I tried to escape it mortality was always there, but it was never reflected in my writing. My writing was so much darker, inspired by those terrible dreams, but shaped and changed to be something more. I liked to think that there was meaning in my work, that I left some small hope in the darkness of my works, but few could see it. That depressed me even more. My work was looked at with disgust and outrage, which meant I in turn was looked at that way.
All the pressure of my critics and co-workers; pressure to change, pressure to stay the same, pressure to continue writing, to make new works; dragged me down. I sleep less and less these days, and I can cope less and less. I need drugs to sleep for any long period of time, but I can't take drugs, not now. My stomach is still fucking killing me, three weeks after leaving the hospital.
I won't lie, I was trying to kill myself, and I might try again. I will try again. Life is so short in the bigger picture, and so long in the small. Do I want to live sixty or seventy years always fearing the end? No. I don't. Do I want to hear myself ridiculed in disgust? No. I don't. I'm sick of being asked to do this and that, to appear here, to go there, and never having enough energy to make it through the day. I feel a rush of despair every time I open my eyes, at the start of every new agonisingly slow day. The years stretch ahead like a seemingly never ending road to desolation, and I don't want to reach the end.
I don't want to watch myself age; slowly, painfully slowly; feeling the aches and pains increase and increase until I can barely walk, barely move. I don't want to hobble along the roadside, a forgotten shadow of my younger self. I'd rather die now and get it all over with. What's the point in carrying on day to day when death is all that's waiting at the end?
Every word I write is a minefield of pain and worry. What will the critics say this time? Will anyone appreciate it? Can I look back on it and think to myself 'I've done well'? The pleasure of writing has faded. The pleasure in everything has faded. My waking hours are slow, painful, and monotonous; while my sleeping hours are short and restless so, though I fear what is beyond, I have no desire to continue living.
I have just one more work to complete, one more, and then I can rest. Then I can say goodbye to this day in day out torture, the agonisingly slow monotony of life. Already my pen is dancing across the page, writing the final tragedy for the critics' eyes. What cutting comments do they have in store? I don't care. Fuck the lot of them! I'm not going to wait around to read them. As soon as my work is done...