The first time I died, I was six. The muddy eyed man who had constantly buzzed around the peripherals of my life had just entered my room. It was a Sunday. I didn’t want him in my room and I told him as such. As I was only a small and frail child at this point, having only recently recovered from a year long illness, the man succeeded in ignoring my violent protests as he pulled me out of my room and down the hall.
I was thrown into the bathroom. At the doorway my legs jumped out from underneath me and the grimy beige tiled floor reached up to catch me as I fell. I clenched my teeth and rolled onto my back in order to gaze hatefully up at the man above me. His face disgusted me and I proceeded to tell him this also. He was dirty. Everything about him from his burnt ashen breath to his yellowed, waxy nails was dirty. I hate dirty people. I don’t mean physical dirt; I once spent three months living within a makeshift house of fly tipped rubbish. No, I mean the kind of dirt that can’t be removed with mere soap and water. It has to be cleansed through greater means. Whenever I think of the muddy eyed man I shudder at the thought that he is out there somewhere and long to cleanse his disgusting sinful body with kerosene and flames. I suppose this is what people mean when they talk about ‘the one that got away.’
Anyway, I despised him. He put his dirty hands onto my arms and dragged me up off the bathroom floor. We were face to face and as he screamed illegibly at me I grimaced at our proximity. I’m not sure what it was that he was screaming about; something about how I made everything too hard. I was far more concerned with the flecks of spittle that he was depositing onto my face.
He told me that I was having a bath. I didn’t want a bath. I’d had a bath that morning and I told him so. He threw me into the bathtub and forced me under the water with his filthy hands. I remember struggling against him but then I must’ve blacked out because then there was nothing except a remarkably loud bang. I never saw the muddy eyed man again.
The next thing that I remember clearly was waking up in what I was told was the hospital. There was a lot of fuss which I deemed unnecessary. A nurse then explained to me that I had drowned and I was very lucky to be alive. Strangely enough this was also when I was told that my father had shot himself. I didn’t care as I had never met my father and I told the nurse this.