I don't want to go into my reasons, but boy, did I have my reasons. I had many reasons and plenty reasons. I had more than enough reasons. I had ten lifetimes worth of reasons. I'd been to the bridge just two weeks before, pacing up and down the path, not wanting to jump. My behaviour was childlike because I was torn between dying and living, like a kid having his favourite toy taken away. Second time was different. I was determined and wanting to go. I picked my spot and sat down. No rush in dying. I didn't contemplate jumping down onto the road in case I landed on a car and killed the occupant, or caused a traffic accident. They say that when a person is close to being capable of taking their own life, then that person is close to being capable of taking someone elses's. In other words, suicidal tendencies are similar to murderous tendencies. I can see an element of truth in this, although I personally would never consider endangering the lives of innocent people. I'd find it hard to punish the guilty people responsible for my sabotage, those who had forced me to this perilous precipice, because I don't even believe in a life for a life. That would make me no better than them (although it's hard to be worse). I don't believe in murder, full stop, but that's exactly what my suicide would have been: Induced suicide. There's a crucial difference. I said I don't want to dwell on my reasons, but extreme covert harassment pretty much sums them all up. I would never consider kicking my own bucket if not from the persistent evils of powerful enemies, because life, ordinarily, is just too good, it's not in my biological typeset. I'm an ever-optimist writer who sincerely enjoys life...ordinarily, without the harassment. But that's all a different story and I won't go into it here. The reasons were real and I had had enough. Utterly and totally had more than enough.
So. I'd decided to go. The plan was to topple forward onto my skull and splash my brains all over the concrete. That may sound a bit brutal, but I'd become convinced that a 'quick splat' was a fairytale ending compared to the never-ending insanity of eternal hell. And one unfortunate belief system I've become sympathetic to is this: Although the promised Heaven of the bible is an outright lie, the possibility of Hell on earth is a reality. A quick splat, compared to being drowned, preserved, skinned, crucified, skin sewn back on, etc etc, over and over for the rest of time, was an absolute dream, a ding-dong no-brainer. Psychosis can be a ghastly business.
Moving on...I'm sat there on the pathway with my legs crossed, gazing out towards the horizon. I'm pleased to see they have started work on the new bridge; they'd been talking about that for years and now it was finally happening. The cranes were huge above the water, testaments to the ingenuity of man. I'll never get the chance to cross that bridge, I thought, and I'll never get to go on a plane. Now, with the advantage of hindsight, and the benefits of having come thru it, I can't wait to cross that new bridge, and I can't wait to go on a plane. Roll on me holidays...I deserve one.
Quietly I counted all my reasons, and the consequences should I decide to stay. People passed by me, on their way to and from work. A few cyclists, too. One lad stopped and gave me a final smoke. One girl sat down with me and asked if I would like to walk with her to safety towards the end of the footpath. I shared what was, in my mind, a couple of special moments with these passers by. I implored them not to ring the police. The police had come and collected me last time, and I didn't want them to come again, even though I knew that eventually they would. It was inevitable. Sooner or later, they would be alerted.
I checked the time on my phone. I'd been sat there for over an hour. All my psychotic symptoms were still with me, right there until the very end. I tried to think of the positive memories in my life. Some of them made me smile, filling me with uplifting strength. It was important to be thinking nice stuff when my head hit the deck. I knew, however, that the longer I left it, the harder it would become. Surely I couldn't fail twice. But I could. Because I was leaving it too long. I kept glancing towards either end of the footpath, expecting the squad. And it happened. I saw the familiar dark attire of a police constable heading my way. I kind of knew I would need a little coercion, a little push, so I got to my feet, put my hands on the rail, and yelled, “Stop! Don't come any closer!” He obeyed me, keeping his distance of maybe twenty yards, looking laid back in his sunglasses, almost cool. He asked me if I was a red or a blue, after me telling him that I had to go. He radioed thru to get the traffic stopped because he couldn't hear me. It was the most surreal thing, having no traffic, let me tell you. I didn't realise how noisy it was until the sound was removed. Deserted and empty, the bridge was actually peaceful. It was just me, the cool cop, the stillness, the water, and the wind. It was practically beautiful. It made a fitting exit strategy to any life.
Next came the mediator. He wore civilian clothes. I climbed up onto the rail, dangling my legs over the other side. It was very windy and not easy. After three nights without sleep or food, my balancing skills weren't at their all-time best. I was in danger of slipping at this point. I didn't want to fall and make ungainly shapes in the air; I wanted to glide gracefully down into a nice and smooth forward topple. I manoeuvred myself into various seated positions on various poles extending off the bridge, trying to calculate exactly how and where to fall onto the slanted mass of concrete below. It wasn't going to be as straightforward as anticipated. I realised that I should have been practising this from a ten metre diving board if I wanted to bow out professionally, but who the hell does that? There are no dress rehearsals for high drops into sudden death.
I noticed, in West Bank, a whole street full of people who had come outside to watch the jumper. It added some extra pressure, as I didn't want to disappoint all my spectators...not to mention all the emergency services, also patiently waiting for me to plummet. Police, ambulance, fire services and a rubber boat team were on standby. I was acutely aware of holding up the traffic and delaying the already busy schedules of ordinary everyday motorists. The bridge could be a bottleneck anyway, without some dallying suicide freak shutting it down into a mile-long standstill. I had halted the economy.
The mediator was shouting at me by this time, but I wasn't listening. I could hear his voice but not his words. I heard the cool cop's words though; he said that the last one had survived. He was talking almost to himself, and my doubts, with that one comment, were actualised: I was going to balls this up and be a cripple from the neck down for the rest of my sorry life. So I climbed down. I climbed down and rested my head in my hands. It was done. I wasn't gong to do it. It was a long walk back to the waiting police car, a long and lonely walk back.
I'm still here.