Those Things We Don’t Talk About

Reminding everyone, these are random memories with no connection to one another, the only common thread is that they all happened to me or around me.

They say when we age, and we all do in spite of Botox, we remember what happened to us thirty years ago, but not what happened yesterday. I don’t want to make the self-accusation I am getting older, however, all sort of old memories keep dancing in my mind. Oh, I still remember what happened yesterday too but it was totally insignificant.

Today’s random memory

I must have been seven because my parents allowed me to walk alone to school. My way to school was long my Romanian standards, about 20 minutes, through the center of Bucharest. I was crossing the busy Calea Victoriei on what the Romanians call “zebra” (zebra) always on green. I was walking down a steep hill and through the conglomerate of new buildings the center of which was a round-shaped building called The Palace of Congresses. Right before I was to walk in front of this “Palace,” I was to walk by  the Blocul Turn (The Tower Building) which by Romanian standards was the tallest building around but if we took it and placed it in New York City it would hae been among the shortest. About 30 stories, may be less.

This building market the half of my journey to school and I was usually stopped for a few minutes and changed my school bag from one hand to the other.

As I was in the process of my routine, I heard a loud noise and in the street, right in front of me, there fell something in the shape of a person. At first I thought she was a human size doll because there was at the very beginning no blood coming out, just cracks all over her body, as if she were made of porcelain and it cracked, and only after what seemed to be a long time, the cracks  became more and more contoured and brownish and by  the time the Ambulance arrived I could see the blood and understood it was a woman, not a doll. 

Unlike if such a tragedy would have happened in the US, no one came to ask me if I was okay, if I needed help, if I were “traumatized.”  I simply walked to school, told a few friends who weren’t that impressed and the day went on as it usually did, only with me experiencing visions of the fallen woman, dancing in my head, and those cracks getting bigger as the  day went by.

In the evening, at home, I told my mother, who just said:

“Oh, poor woman, who knows why she killed herself!”

“Killed herself?”

“Yes, it’s called suicide, but normal people don’t do it, no matter how hard it gets.”

That was the end of my introduction to the concept of suicide and knowing what I know now, I am asking what does our society consider “normal?” What is that normal?  Who defines it?

In America, I believe now every 15 or 16 minutes someone completes suicide… can we even dare speak about normal when we still know so little about the mysteries of the human brain and when so little is allocated to understanding more?

 No mind is like another, no triggers are identical and as years went by, my winding path took me again close to the mystery of suicide and the unanswered question of why?   My unanswered question is why those close to the person who died tries to make it into what it isn’t? Why do we say, “sudden,” “unexpected,” and I personally I don’t recall ever seeing in a newspaper an anouncement stating “suicide.” So, tha’t the question on my mind today …we understand so little and are determined to know even less. Does truth bite? Changes the image of perfection? Is there such a thing as perfect or is all an illusion created by human vanity?

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