Sunny Haralson is currently serving ten years in the State Pen for accidentally stabbing a truck driver in the face with a ball point pen. She is making all of these stories up. Click here to find out more about her Kickstarter Project- "Beauty Tips for the Bereaved"; http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1119226392/beauty-tips-for-the-bereaved
Follow by Email
Friday, August 30, 2013
My book is now published on Amazon! From midnight tonight until midnight on Monday it will be free so please be SUPER AWESOME and share this link right here-
with everyone you know so a bunch of people will download it and then I can finally get invited over to Oprah's house for kombucha tea.
Here is an excerpt-
It could have been any day. I chose a Tuesday. I had
forgotten my lunch and the cafeteria was serving Sheppard’s pie. I downed a
bottle of Advil instead, just to see what would happen. After experiencing no
ill effects, I decided to go for a walk. I left the high school grounds,
searching for peace, something that would make the pain that was rising in me
recede. Not finding it, I continued to walk, across town, through yards, over
fences, across railroad tracks. I never felt tired, I never felt whole. When I
walked through the front door close to midnight, I knew what I had to do. My
mother was so angry she couldn’t speak for a minute.
“What is wrong with you?” I shrugged, “I wish I knew.”
“Go to your room.” Once the door was shut I pulled out a Ziploc bag
of stolen codeine, a half-empty bottle of stolen Jack Daniel’s, and a handful
of Tylenol just to be thorough.
As I lifted the
handful of pills to my mouth and swallowed them with burning gulps of whiskey,
an overwhelming sense of peace settled over me. I picked up an X-acto knife
from my craft table and drew slow, hot circles into my wrists, deeper each way
around, watching the red blood bead and stream. It was so pretty. I wished that
I could replicate that color in oil paint.
I felt a moment of deep sadness for my Granny
Pearl, then let it go. “See you soon,” I had said the last time I hugged her
goodbye. Now I was alone.
The decision to commit suicide doesn’t arise
solely from madness. It’s deliberate. It’s calculated. Perhaps you begin to
notice that each second ticking by feels like a slow weight, your heartbeat
sending signals of agony to your brain. It isn’t just that you decide the
future won’t be any better, it’s that the present has become so unbearable you
cannot stand another second of it. You see no avenue of deliverance but death,
so you take what is available to you. People who have never experienced
clinical depression are blind to this logic.
If you are so
depressed, why not run away? Why not hitchhike to Borneo and help some orphans
or hop a Greyhound and start a new life?
explanation is simple. You can’t escape your own chemical stew. You can’t just
walk away from your own mind, which is so very sad and sick. Sometimes the only
way to stop the pain is the sleep of an overdose, a flying jump from a
building, releasing your blood to fall into a puddle on the floor. I thought of
my father, saying I should tell myself a new story. “I guess I’m not a very
strong person,” I thought. “I’m sorry, Dad.” I stood up, clicked out the lamp,
and crawled into bed. My stomach clenched up in pain like a crying baby.
“I should have written a note,” I thought.
“Something clever. The Troll could have read aloud at the assembly.” I couldn’t
think of anything. I could barely keep my eyes open. My arms and legs were
rubber. At the last minute I grabbed an orange felt tip pen and wrote,
I should never have switched from scotch to
martinis, and dropped both
pen and note to the floor. “There,” I
thought. “It’s not original, but Jessica will get it.”
“It’s Tuesday,” said the intake nurse.
“The cafeteria is serving Sheppard’s Pie.”
“You’ve got to be
kidding me.” My mother had found me on the floor again and, again, yelled,
“RICHARD!” and now I was here, about to enter a prison.
When the nurses
admit you to a psychiatric care facility, the first thing they do is search
your belongings. They look for the obvious—knives, pills, needles—but also
subject to confiscation is mouthwash, perfume, and astringent, anything with
trace alcohol in it. They take your shoes, impairing your ability to escape.
They take your bra, lest you pull out the underwire and use it to cut yourself.
It happens. They strip you. You stand in the empty room in your underwear while
they go through your hair with a comb and shake out all your clothes. You walk
through a metal detector. Then you’re in.
I would soon come to
realize the ward looked the same day and night. The only indication of the time
was the absolute, carpeted quiet of lights out. As I lay in bed looking out at
the highway, the reality of how much of this could not be undone settled onto
me. The girl in the bed next to me moaned with grief like a toddler. Sleep
finally came while listening to the cars on the overpass fly past our cuckoo’s
Psychiatricwardsarenotgenerallythoughtofasvenuesto showoffone’sbestself.Betweenfluorescentlightingwashing outyourskinandstrictpoliciesforbiddingyourfavoriteskin careproducts,confinementduetomentalillnesscanreally takeitstollonabeautyregimen—nottomentiontheCompulsive
Shoplifterinnarcoticswithdrawalwho’svomitinginthebed nexttoyou.Tryhoardingpacketsofsugarandsaltinthecafeteria.Yournewroomiewilllikelybedelightedtohelpwith this project. When you have enough,
you can make your own facial exfoliant and salt scrub for the bath.
The next morning as I lined up to receive
medication and a paper cup of water, I met my fellow inhabitants. I’d imagined
a place filled with walking wounded like a zombie film, but on the surface they
all seemed normal. Except for the hospital bracelets, it could have been summer
camp. In front of me was Tony—14-year-old, Gay, Substance-Abusing Suicide.
“Oh, I’m a Suicide, too,” I said. We shook hands
briskly, then laughed. He was on Watch because he’d stabbed himself in the arm
with a pen a few days earlier. “What does that mean?” I asked. It sounded
ominous. I looked up at the ceiling for cameras and thought of my dad.
“An orderly comes by
to make sure I’m not dead every fifteen minutes,” he said. “It sucks at night.
They shine a flashlight at me to make sure I’m in bed and not, like, hanging in
the shower or something. It really puts a damper on jerking off.”I laughed.
Tony peeled back his
bandage to show me the deep indigo and magenta gouges running lengthwise down
his forearm. “See? It’s just like a tattoo.”
“I can draw,” I
offered. “You should let me do a teardrop tattoo. A girl in my Pre-algebra
class had one. It means you killed someone in prison.”
“And ruin this
perfection?” He waved his hand over his pale, chubby countenance dramatically.
“Did she really kill someone?”
“No. She just stabbed someone in juvie
last year. Sharpened a sfork. ”
“Hmmm, I never
thought about sforks. They make me check out the pencils now. Cocksuckers.” He
loudly directed these comments to the nurse as we neared the front. “What’s
your story, Gorgeous?” I peeled back my own bandage, revealing the long thin
lines slicing around my left arm. “I did mine with an X-Acto knife.” Tony
I got to the head of the line, I swallowed the pills they gave me, opening my
mouth and moving my tongue from side to side so they could see I wasn’t hiding
anything. I sat down Indian-style on the floor in the common room next to the
nurses’ station. Tony joined me a few minutes later. We sat in silence, already
comfortable next to each other as though we’d been friends for years, and
watched the rest of the group as they stared at the big television and waited.
The elevator doors
opened and a giantess stepped out.“That’s Dr. Crull,” whispered Tony in awe. “She’s the shrink.”
“Time for group!”
shouted an orderly, pointing to an open door in the far corridor. We stood up
and followed the others down the hall, single-file into a large room with a
dozen chairs arranged in a circle. Crull came in last, holding a clipboard over
her large, round, very pregnant belly. “She’s huge,” I whispered to Tony, as we
sat down in the tiny plastic chairs. To my left sat a gray-faced girl, rocking
back and forth slightly, muttering to herself, and looking down and sideways.
She caught my eye, hissed, formed a fist and punched her thigh. “Hello,” she
said to me. “I’m Dr. Crull. You must be Sunny.”
“Nice to meet you.” I held out my hand, thought
better of it at the last moment, and gave her an awkward wave. Her expression
remained neutral. Despite her long, sleek curls that were drawn back in duck
barrettes, I couldn’t force myself to believe that she was actually pregnant
with a human baby. “Who would like to start?” she asked. Silence.