This evening, whilst having a clear out of three desk drawers crammed full of magazines, papers, leaflets, documents, notepads, stationery and sweets, I came across something.
This something was to be the last thing I ever wrote.* It was addressed to “Everyone / Family”.
I still remember that day, as clear as crystal. No matter how much alcohol I had consumed, I still remember my sister’s boyfriend finding me sat round the side of the house, in the dirt, re-reading a letter over and over again. I still remember the tears streaming down my face; my voice a hysterical, broken, incomprehensibly-sobbing splutter.
I’m minded now to look back on something else I read, only today. They are the words of Lopez Mendez, a Cuban friend of Ernest Hemingway’s. Lopez speaks of “hav[ing] been so disappointed in love, marriage, friendship, everything.”
For a while I was thinking I should kill myself. Then I thought, if I kill myself that will do me no good. I must forget and make new friends and start over again.
Arnold Samuelson, With Hemingway: A Year in Key West and Cuba (London: Severn House Publishers Ltd, 1985 ), p. 87.