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Death Cab For Cutie was once my favorite band, Plans was once my favorite album but then, all at once, a whirlwind came and switched it all around. When I was younger, death wasn’t any secret in my family. It was known that we would all die and it wasn’t much of a sore subject. Suicide was the same way, when I was in kindergarten I knew well what it was and was exposed to it by my mothers friend. When I was in second grade, I truly realized how little I knew, and how I wish I never knew.
When I was younger, my mum’s friend gave my mum two tickets to see Death Cab for Cutie during their Plans tour, and so she and my sister went together. Living only 2 miles from the venue, and the downtown of Seattle, they walked and dropped me off at my friends. I remember looking at the sun setting that night, it was November and all the trees had changed and their leaves crunched beneath my feet. I used to switch between feeling bad for the leaves, and wanting to crush them. This night I was on the side of the latter.
I don’t remember that night well, not until later when my mum and sister picked me up. It was around one in the morning, and it was cold. Our fingers stung and our noses were red; I could swear my hair was freezing, though of course it wasn’t. My mother had been drinking... a lot. Her path was just about as straight as a 3 year olds line. My sister and I held each of her hands trying to take her home. We finally reached the building where we lived, The Maxmillian Apartments where all happiness went to die. These apartments on 1414 Seneca st. were infested with depression but it was the home I grew up in so naturally, I loved it there.
In the time it had taken to walk those short three blocks she had puked but looking back on it now, that was probably the best thing she did that night. We slowly made our way home. We lived in the basement of our apartment building and walking down stairs didn’t seem like an option for our mum, but luckily, or perhaps unluckily, her ex-boyfriend and still friend lived on the main level so we decided to take her there to sober up. Little did we know that he had a lady friend over, and when my mother saw them, she puked and then passed out, it was quite the scene. Desperate, we asked Dylan to help us carry her downstairs to our apartment. We set her in her bed and that was it, we all went to bed... or so we thought... but she woke up. We heard her cries howling through our paperthin walls as she realized what had happened. My mother was diagnosed bipolar and manic depressive years earlier, so she was medicated and had access to very strong medication. She decided it was best to take a little more than prescribed, actually a lot more, like all of them.
I walked into my mothers room expecting cigarette smoke, lots of tears, and perhaps vomit. But I got more than I bargained for, my mother was sprawled out, a tearstained face, bottles (both pharmaceutical and wine) laying askew about her bedroom, but the worst part was that she wasn’t moving. It wasn’t a secret that she wanted to die, she had talked about it before and us being kids never thought a whole much of it, but she actually tried that night.
This was the night that my mother tried to end her life, and with that choice, she killed parts of my and my sister. She lived that night, thank goodness, we managed to wake her up and she puked up all the pills she had taken, or at least enough to not make it lethal, but nothing was ever the same. To this day, I know every single lyric to the songs on Death Cab For Cuties album Plans. To this day we’ve never been as close and never have we been further apart. To this day I know that Ben Gibbard didn’t mean to, but he changed my life and sometimes for the better but more often than not, for the worse. To this day these images plague my mind and haunt dreams. To this day I know the value of life and how easy it is to lose the will to live due to a lack love. To this day I know exactly what medications she took and I know why. To this day I know what its like to want to die and what its like to live and how fine the line between the two is.


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