My Reasons for a Journal

Cover of "The Diary of Anne Frank"
Cover of The Diary of Anne Frank

Dear Diary,

I really have to find a name for you. The idea of talking to a book, (an intangible presence, really), doesn’t appeal to me. Maybe I can find one from one of the novels that I’m reading?

I’ve kept journals before, but it has never worked out. In those past journals, I wrote in a flow-of-conscience style. Maybe if I give a journal a sense of existence, or persona, maybe this time will turn out better. This whole idea of personifying a journal came from Diary of Anne Frank, whose author adapted it I cannot recall, right now. I like the idea of writing about myself, the things that happen to me, my thoughts and showing my “poetic side” so that, when I die, people can read this and gain an insight about me.

Probably another fact that has urged me to start another journal was my brother’s death. He died on Saturday, December 2, 1995 — right before Christmas and the New Year. You can just imagine the Christmas spirit then. He died from the fatal combination of alcohol, sleeping and caffeine pills. These chemicals caused a seizure, then a heart failure. Without any further evidence, we could probably conclude he was “just stupid,” and accidentally took those substances at the same time. But, there was evidence. When my mom came home that morning from the hospital, she found the bottles that contained the alcohol, and the crushed beer cans in his back pack. She traced the cans back to a stash that my father kept for “special occasions.” My dad doesn’t drink much. The beer in the sports bottle (6 cans worth) were stale, meaning he probably planned this, but didn’t have “the guts” to do it. The pills were in a stash, the empty containers in a pile. It looked as though he took more than two, my mother had said. My brother wasn’t that┬ástupid to take an overdose and not know it. Also, he did not drink. If he did, he wouldn’t have poured six cans into two sports bottles, knowing very well the carbonization will go away. It was the duct tape and note that finally convinced me that it was a suicide. My dad swore the duct tape didn’t belong to him, (it did look fairly new). So, my brother must have wanted it kept as a secret. The tape looked as if it was about to be used. It looked as if he was pulling for a strip, but dropped it before he could cut it. So, it was crumpled and wrapped together in a tangle. My guess is that he knew the combination of substances would result in some kind of “noisy reaction,” so he planned to quiet everything by covering his mouth with duct tape. (He studied medical topics and subjects of such sort before he “turned bad”).

The other evidence was the letter, which stated: “Sell my CDs, CD player and my chair for money, (maybe for a tomb)… I’ve reached ‘the point of no return’.” He quoted that last phrase from “The Phantom of the Opera.” He and I loved it very much.

So, when he passed away, I thought it would be a good idea to have a journal that my descendents may read. My brother didn’t keep any journals I could read. Everything I had to “dig up” and analyze and figure out the details. It would have been… easier for all of us if we knew what he was going through. But, I guess when you’re about killing yourself, you don’t think much about anyone else.

Thanks for listening, Miri.

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