Jente Posthuma

{EN} What I’d Rather Not Think About – Jente Posthuma

1. According to him, the urge to kill yourself was a sign of true intelligence and sensitivity, a desire to escape the suffocation of the ego. For those who recognised the pointlessness of everything, suicide—or total surrender—was the only alternative.

2. He said I was naïve and that he’d never, ever use painkillers to end his life. The risk of failure was too great.

3. Suicide is an aggressive act, Elza recently said. If you’re capable of ending your own life, then you must at least have the capacity for violence.

4. If you tell yourself, I’m going to remember this moment for the rest of my life, then you will remember it. You have to focus on your thoughts while simultaneously absorbing everything around you but if you do this, then the moment will stay with you forever, no matter how insignificant it may seem.

5. I enjoyed being so naturally present in a friend’s life that I’d become almost like a piece of furniture in their house. I needed this to feel like I was a natural presence in the world. Aside from my brother, I’ve only ever had that feeling with a handful of people. And eventually, it’s always ended. To be a natural presence, you shouldn’t take up too much space, which I always found easy at the beginning of a friendship. It felt nice to reshape myself into precisely the right format until the moment came, usually once I’d shrunk to my minimum size, when I got moody. I always have to be careful what I say around you, my friends would say.

6. Sometimes anger can be an expression of sadness, Elza said. And a way to push people away. But I’m not pushing anyone, I said angrily. They all choose to leave.

7. A no is always stronger than a yes.

8. According to Leo, natural law dictates that there’s always one person who loves more than the other.

9. I understood how you could feel so unimportant that you could only live vicariously through someone else. And when you’re sitting too close to someone, you’re incapable of seeing them clearly.

10. What is comforting to one person can stifle another.

11. I thought about all the love we have inside us and how only a shred of that reaches the people we care about.

12. I only realised how distressed I’d been once the distress was gone, after my brother drowned himself.

13. The love between parent and child is like every love affair, I said, repeating what Elza had told me earlier that week. In the beginning it’s very physical. Then it becomes verbal, more detached. As children grow more autonomous, they become much less a part of you.

14. I was way too much. And still, I hadn’t been enough.

15. Elderly men tend not to attend performances that have the word women in the title because they think it has nothing to do with them, that women don’t engage with universal issues, like how to carry on after your brother has drowned himself in a river.

16. One advantage of loss is that you get to put it behind you. You’ve lost, so you can relax and breathe again.

17. Three weeks before his death, he’d already known what he was going to do, that’s twenty-one days of him pretending to involve me in his life. In the letter, he’d written that he loved me and that he was sorry. Sorry, he’d written. And he’d given me instructions. Don’t get angry, don’t fret, don’t blame yourself. Don’t feel stupid, I thought. Or lost, betrayed, abandoned.





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