An Open Letter to My Father (Or: What if Icarus's Death was a Suicide?)

You want to know how I got these scars?

I swallowed my arrogance, but little did I know it would claw its way back up my throat and into my mouth, cutting off every cry for help I could’ve managed.

It demanded I let the power of the seas break my bones over and over, the bone fragments and broken pieces of his faith in me spill out, and with them, the list of reasons why I don’t deserve another chance.

It demanded I sacrifice this body to the oceanic tides, nail these hands to the rocks the waves crash against, and all the while I hoped it would resurrect someone who is strong enough to save himself.

And the moment I started the downwards spiral I could feel a presence in my throat - no! - not my arrogance or my pride, but my heartbeat telling me I couldn’t find the right words to scream out just before my plummeting body made a grotesque sound against the water.

Nothing is holy between these hollow walls, just hidden passages and trap doors.

And sometimes I hope you visit the coast and gaze at the horizon and ponder the “what if”s.

What if I never had the need to know how the rope of a noose felt around my throat?

What if my impulse control didn’t fail me?

What if I didn’t pull the rug out from underneath myself, or more correctly, kick the chair out from underneath myself?

What if I didn’t wake up wanting something that morning, and though I was stuck, what if I didn’t feel three feet closer to it?

What if I didn’t learn on that day how the sudden drop of a body felt against the unmoving force of a well-secured noose?

 What if you didn’t find me and cut me down three hours and twenty-two minutes too late?

What if it was all just a horrible prank and some obscure TV host jumped out and laughed at you after you were brought to your knees by emotions you didn’t think you were capable of feeling?

What if you didn’t learn on that night how perfectly in sync my lifeless body caught up in the basement draft was with the breaking of the tides on the sand?

He asked why.

He cried out, “Why?”

Here’s your answer.

I walked through life with waxen wings fused to my backbone, some abhorrent fiction character come to life.

And yes, I flew too close to the sun, but you must understand why.

Why I did that is because I would rather feel comfort, peace, weightlessness for a few short moments and pretend the fall wasn’t inevitable than back down and feel only a numbness and then face the inevitable.

I would rather pretend I wasn’t destined to die than accept it.

Yes, the crash was hard, fast, and suddenly anything good about my life didn’t matter.

But in the end, I’m here, stuck in place with my wings pinned back like a newly archived butterfly.

I knew the end was coming soon, all too obvious from the drops of wax falling from my wings and creating the connect-the-dot pattern my body would soon follow.

It is always easier to ignore a problem than fix it.

It is always easier to fall than to fly.

So leave me be.

Let me stay here and feel weightless forever. 


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