You drive home by train and read a book. Then someone sits across from you. There’s silence for a while but a person starts to cry.
You drive home by train and read a book. Then someone sits across from you. There’s silence for a while but a person starts to cry. When you ask what’s wrong, she tells you that her father has just passed away. And the last time she saw him he told her that he’s not going to get better.
That’s when you realize that you’ve got a problem. You’re trying to read but your eyes won’t focus on the words.
You’re thinking about the woman, the funeral and your own father, and when you look up, it’s night. The train is moving slowly. There’s no other people on it. And you wonder what the hell you’re going to do now.
A friend of mine is a journalist. A few months ago, a group of people were talking about a news story about a young woman who killed herself. She hung herself with a scarf in the ceiling of her apartment. She left a note for her husband and a note for her parents.
The husband called the police and they came to the apartment. They broke open the door and found the woman hanging by a scarf from the ceiling of her bedroom. The police found a note on the table, which they said was a suicide note. The husband said that he never received the suicide note. He said that the woman was fine. And he said that she never talked about suicide.
The police checked the apartment and found the suicide note hidden in a shoe. It was dated over a year ago. The police asked the husband if he had had an affair. He said he did not. They asked if he had threatened to kill himself. He said that he had not. They asked if he had done it because of the woman. He said that he did not. They asked if he thought he had anything to live for. He said he did not.
When the police took the husband to the station, he said that he was going to press charges against the woman.
The police told my friend what they had found on the note. The wife had written that she was depressed because she felt like her husband was no good for her. He had cheated on her. She felt worthless and useless and could not live in the same house with someone like that. She had no feelings of love and warmth for him. And since he was a good father, he had to pay. She had been having nightmares about him. The husband was heartbroken and confused. He was angry at her for hiding the note from him. And he was angry at her for trying to kill herself because he loved her.
My friend went to the station and spoke with the husband. He said that he had no proof that the woman had ever had an affair. He didn’t have any other evidence that the woman ever wanted to kill herself. The police told my friend that they would not file charges against the woman. He didn’t have any proof that she had ever been unhappy.
My friend asked the police if they had ever talked to the woman. The police said that they had. He asked them how it went. They said that they had not talked to the woman. They said that they had talked to the husband. My friend asked if they could find out if there had been a conversation between the two. The police said that they would try.
The police asked the husband to show them where the suicide note was.
Do you ask them if they’re okay?
What’s the best way to respond?
The airline had given me a middle seat on my flight to San Francisco.
I’d had to get up for my girlfriend’s father at the airport in Chicago and was exhausted.
On the flight to San Francisco I was able to sleep, but on the flight back I was seated next to a very talkative woman who was a year younger than I was.
As the plane was landing, I tried to fall asleep, but couldn’t – it was either talk with this woman or go insane.
I just wanted to fall asleep.
So I tried to be pleasant and said, “I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to wake you up.
I didn’t mean to fall asleep on you.”
“That’s all right, it’s not that bad.”
I tried to say something else, but she didn’t let me get a word in.
“I was just telling my boyfriend that my mother is dying and I have to leave for Florida on the next flight.”
Her eyes were wet with tears.
I couldn’t imagine what could be so tragic, but she was going to Florida to be with her mother, and the plane was landing.
I was getting the sense that I had to say something, so I tried to say something else.
“You mean that your mother is dying, right?”
“And you’re going to Florida?
“Yes, and I’m not coming back.”
“Oh, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no.”
I tried to say something else, but she wouldn’t let me get a word in.
“Please don’t leave.”
“I don’t want you to leave.”
She put her hand on my leg.