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Another "poetic interview" - an experiment in writing, from the anthology, Complaining to the Clock, a work in progress. This idea came to me out of nowhere, but I decided to go with it. This work took two days to complete.
Interview with The Most Beautiful Suicide -Evelyn Francis McHale - May 1, 1947
So Evelyn, yours is one of the most famous of suicides, since you chose to jump from the Empire State Building in 1947, landing on top of a black sedan, and then four minutes later, having your corpse photographed by Robert Wiles for Time Magazine. When did you come up with the idea of jumping from the Empire State Building? Do you remember anything about your suicide?
I suppose it behooves me to say something about it,
since I’m quite famously dead now, 70 years hence,
the moment I heard the rush of the death wind,
swishing by me like silver lightning,
I fell downward as a restless anchor would,
hurtling forever it seemed, when finally
the black deafening crunch of my body erupted
like the explosion of a dry bomb;
then I felt the eternity of instant death.
How is it then I could hear the voices of many astonished men,
men with trembling boney fingers pointing at my tranquil corpse?
This flight of a white scarf and my squished body,
had come to a sickening end, and I was the star for once,
draped like a passing movie princess in Barry’s pearls!
And yes, I knew this would get attention,
having planned it all in tormented desperation,
while on the train to Penn Station that morning,
sitting and staring out that grimy window,
my depressed shaken mind sinking deeper and deeper,
as the city and my very life went by, forever
clicking over those imprisoning tracks,
for what seemed a lifetime of miles,
my tears concealed by a Lilly Dache’ net,
then realizing reluctantly,
I could never marry the man.
Evelyn, in your suicide note you mentioned your father, and that you had many of your mother’s tendencies. Could you elaborate?
My mother was a depressed person,
A shrewish woman impossible to live with.
There were times in my youth
when she would scream bloody murder at us, her terrified children;
seven needy siblings in a small house in Washington D C.
Her sad days often led to angry nights with my father,
horrible screaming matches and uncontrolled cursings,
thrown about like hot potatoes with salted thorns.
I too showed a sad tendency as young as four years;
and as with most depressed souls in this world,
whether alive then or now,
no one knows of the private tortures endured by these afflicted.
No one can possibly know of our demons,
the same who told me repeatedly I was worthless;
and so, in 1947, I believed them.
Evelyn, talk about Barry Rhodes, your fiancé. What do you remember of him?
What does one say after so many years?
Except, he was the only love of my life,
A love my shrill heart wanted no part of,
for his excessive love of me was the very stone
I ceased to desire, and instead of heaving it away,
I separated myself from it, and left it up there on the 86th floor,
with my folded coat, and a life lived in want of joy.
Barry was too fond of me, and although I saw
a bright future being married to him, I also saw
the upcoming years as his servant;
just a cleaning girl, and I would not endure this alive.
Before I left him that morning for the train,
he gave me a string of pearls,
and a June date for our nuptials;
then I kissed him goodbye,
knowing what my inner voice was saying to be true,
that I was not designed for this man’s hand,
or his future child’s needs.
A final question, Evelyn. Any regrets?
Frankly, I am fine in this state of pre-resurrection.
It is preferable to working everyday, and being sad.
As requested in my final note,
I wanted no remembrances or funeral services for my remains,
and thankfully no grave in which to lay my smashed head,
only to be feasted upon by the earthworms of death.
Now my beautiful dust travels with the wind
like dandelion seeds in search of sunlit earth,
finding forgetful solace amidst the skyscrapers and the landfills.
Must we continue this?
I am not entirely comfortable with this interview,
this curious asking of these personal questions.
Please, let me be dead and forgotten.
Ahh, but thanks to Mr. Wiles and his camera,
I still live on, though in silent protest,
not that my life had anything worth dying for, but
a photograph of my dead smashed corpse?
This is my legacy? Please!
Let us end this interview now.
Copyright © stark hunter | Year Posted 2019