Suicide Is Many Things

It’s an idea. It’s a dream. It’s a nightmare.

Paul Fuhr
Human Parts
Published in
14 min readMar 7, 2019


Illustration: Daniel Stolle

Everybody here’s got a story to tell,
Everybody’s been through their own hell.
There’s nothing too special about getting hurt,
But getting over it, that takes the work.

Glen Phillips, “Duck and Cover”

It’s just a matter of a time.

Seconds, really. In a matter of moments, all the pain will be over.


That’s what I’m hoping for, anyway. That’s what I’m drilling into my cerebellum: This will be quick. My brain is a fully sprung coil, stretched and useless. I lack any potential energy. I have no bounce, no drive. I wander the length of the Hoover Dam in Westerville, Ohio — a 3,000-foot concrete slab buffeting Big Walnut Creek — going back and forth over it, twice, in the dark. I’ve been out here countless times with my kids. I am drawn to its power, its fury, its constancy. I easily hop the chain-link fence and walk along the muddy banks of the reservoir, pissed that I didn’t bring dumber shoes for the occasion. The place smells like rotting fish, which is somehow closer to how I feel than I want to admit. I huddle inside my sweatshirt, drawing it close to my body…