My best and my worst friend, Suzanne, killed herself last night. She put the gun in her mouth, pointed it toward her brain and pulled the trigger. When they found her, pieces of bone and brain and other parts of her head were sprayed all over the wall behind her bed. Blood was everywhere. The parts of Suzanne’s face that were left were unrecognizable from the beauty it once held. Now Suzanne was no longer Suzanne….she was a bloody piece of meat.
Suzanne was a troubled woman who began as a troubled girl. We grew up together, so I knew her better than anyone, and I knew all the details of her life.
When Suzanne was a baby her mother loved her very much. Suzanne had no memory of her mother because Suzanne’s father took her from her mother when she was just 18 months old and he fled with her. When Suzanne became old enough to ask questions about her mother, none of them were answered. The only thing Suzanne’s dad would say about her mother concerned the day he took her. Suzanne’s dad said, “She (Suzanne’s mother) came in one afternoon and said, you go upstairs and get Suzanne and YOU TWO GET THE HELL OUT OF HERE!”
Hearing that, I suppose, stifled the desire to know the answers to any other questions she may have had. Questions like…did her mother love her? Or did her mother think about her? Suzanne never asked those questions. In Suzanne’s mind, they were already answered in the statement issued by her father.
Suzanne loved her father with every beat of her heart. Suzanne thought her daddy hung the moon and the stars. To Suzanne, her daddy was a god.
Suzanne’s daddy was not very nice to her. He made fun of Suzanne from as early as she could remember. Before the age of six, Suzanne had no memories, at all, of her father, except for a few really bad memories.
I remember Suzanne telling me this one memory she had about taking dance lessons when she was two and a half years old, going on three. Suzanne lived with her father and grandmother, at the time, but she said she has no memories of her father, whatsoever, at that apartment where the three of them supposedly lived. She only remembered her grandmother and she could recall, photographically, many events and times and things and places that went on in her life, even at such a young age.
Here is one of the very few memories Suzanne told me, herself, of living at her grandmother’s apartment, which included her father: “I took dance class and every year they had a recital. I was in the recital, my grandmother bought me the beautiful costume. The dress was white with small green and red polka dots all over it. Underneath the skirt were several layers of green tulle, which made the litte skirt flare out just like it would on a princess!”
“The recital was held at an auditorium at LSU and I was so nervous! The head piece, which matched my tutu, was very large and combersome. It was shaped like a huge oblong semi-circle, twice the length of my face, and I remember my grandmother and my aunt having a hard time making it stand on top of my head.”
“I remember being onstage. I was the first girl in the line, or the last, depending on perspective. I messed up a whole lot. I think I was just out there doing my own thing. I don’t remember feeling embarrassed. I don’t remember anything else about the show until we were back at my grandmother’s apartment that evening. I do not remember anyone telling me I did a good job or any praise. I do remember my dad saying he had a surprise for me. I was very excited about that! My father then showed me the pretty thick program which listed, with photographs, every dancer at the school and their recital pictures. I asked my father where my picture was and he said, “right here”, he thumbed to a page about half-way through the book and pointed. There was my face, a picture he had cut from one here at home, glued to the fattest girl in the whole book.”
Suzanne said nothing more about that.