In the hospital, after I was ousted to the waiting room by the nursing staff once Brooke's dad had called and put the fear of supreme litigious retribution into them were they to let me see my girlfriend as she lay dying, ya know, so he was in control, I just sat dumb-eyed in the waiting room with Brooke's best friend Carla, and answered her simple, objective questions of the previous night's events.
"Did you guys fight?"
"Not really..." I lied.
"Was she drunk?"
"Not... before... not until the champagne..."
And it went on like that for a while until one of the nurses came out to give us an update.
"Well, she's okaaaaay, she's still not really conscious though."
"So how is that okay?"
"Well, we think we got most of the medicine out of her system." You notice she said "medicine" and not "poison." "Does anybody know why she did this? You know..." she looked directly at me, "a lot of times people do this to get back at whoever's closest to them."
And I burst into tears. I mean, of all the fucking things to say in a waiting room, while you're not even allowed to see the person you're worried might die without you being there, this has to be a cake-topper. I mean even for hospitals and doctors, where idiot platitudes and obtuse excuses just come whipping out of their faces like hurricane gales, this, this was something special in its ineptitude. Carla gave the nurse a death-stare (a very nice thing she did for me), and patted me on the back... what else does one do in this situation?
Then this other girl showed up. I forget her name now, but Brooke had been interning at Texas Monthly and this was one of those girls that Brooke had been working with for the past few months. Carla had called her assuming that Brooke and her had become semi-close in that time, and I guess they had, but it was an odd choice, but hey, people don't—no, can't think properly in these situations so I don't blame Carla for calling this person.
These things sorta go in chains, the first person to know is the closest person to the person who is in the hospital, the first person to know after that (other than the family of course) is the best friend, whose position then is to console the lover. Then that person needs propping up (and to tell someone, once again, no fault in Carla's needing to do that, when big things like this happen people need to tell other people, I mean, maybe everyone isn't looking for the excuse of baptizing themselves in shit like I was, but you still need to unburden yourself of it nonetheless) because they're not going to get any propping from the person they need to console so they call whoever may be next. And I wouldn't exactly have called this girl that Carla did—God, what was her name? It was something hideous that would give you an insight into her character immediately were I to tell you, something like, Ellsa (spelled that way of course), or Gwenivive or some shit.
Anyway, Brooke had been interning at this magazine, and since Brooke is a very good writer she had been the first one hired out of this batch of interns for a regular job there at the publication. Well, whatever this hideous little troll cunt's name was that Carla had summoned, we would find out later that after being at the hospital for maybe 15 minutes, she had excused herself from the waiting room and called Brooke's supervisor at the magazine and told her what had happened. Oh, and she also told her that Brooke probably wouldn't be able to come in for a while being in the condition she was (ya know, still unconscious from a suicide attempt) and that, if they needed, she could take over this new opening that they had, ya know, since Brooke might be dead she'd hate for her work to go unfulfilled. Look, I may not be the best person in the world, but I'm not the worst! God I wish could remember this piece of shit's name, she's now writing (and getting paid for it) by the Daily Beast or something, go figure, right? Someone with ruthless ambition moving on up in the world, no way!
Well, that happened, we didn't know it at the time of course, but it was transpiring and it was shit but what could you do? And then, I mean it happened so fast, but I guess it had been hours and hours by that point, but I just wasn't used to a parent having the means or the ability to swoop in so fast, but there was her dad, all 6'5" of him—not that this made him scary or anything, he was actually a meek little turd of a man, but he wore his republican-lawyer-pseudo-intellectual-Chicago-high-rise bullshit firmly on his sleeve, and this all just made him like a sticky fart in any room he was in, just impossible to ignore, but in that same invisible kind of way where everyone's just looking around wondering what's wrong and who's to blame? But, whatever there he was in front of me, from Chicago to Austin in the blink of an eye, and of course, him being a lawyer I wish I would have been able to lay down a wager on what he was gonna say to me once he got there because I would have fucking nailed it—do you wanna guess? You should, I'll give you a few lines, here ya go:
Did you think of anything?
Well if you guessed, "Why did this happen?" then I'll send you a crisp three-dollar bill in the mail!
Why did this happen? You motherfucker. Maybe years of untreated depression? Maybe because you cheated on your wife and that's when Brooke started cutting herself and fucking half of Ireland to forget what a piece of shit you are? And I know I didn't help matters, but FUCK YOU! Fuck. You. You motherfucker. How dare you swoop down and accuse me of this, especially without any hint of blame, I mean, you're her father for fuck's sake, you've known her a shit-ton longer than I have and you on your plane ride couldn't deduce that it might have even the slightest chance of having even a little bit to do with you? I mean, he is a republican so I know they aren't to blame for any of the world's fucking problems, but even in personal matters I thought maybe they could have some humility, or maybe we could—oh I don't know—fucking talk about what might be wrong?
But no. He wasn't going to hear anything I had to say, and let me say again, I know I'm not blame-free in the whole matter, but for him to just come in and that's the first thing he says to me? And look, like I've said before, my life is always categorized by overthinking everything, and trying to rehearse every scenario I might ever be confronted with, because nobody likes to be caught that off guard when an accusation like that comes at them, but if you take anything away from this, it's prepare for the worst. And not the worst that can happen in life, because that's just given, those things you just sort of need to know in your bones, like, that some of your best friends are going to die way young, that people you love are going to get diseases, that you'll have to put your pet or any number of pets to sleep in your lifetime, those awful things that are just unavoidable, but what you really should prepare for are the hideous, ignorant things that people are going to say to you, and always be prepared to defend yourself. Be ready to get blamed. Think of all the things that you, as a (semi-) reasonable human being would never say to someone in a million years, and the things that you think that no one would possibly say because they're just too fucking rude and then take it two steps ruder than that and then come up with responses for those things. Because those are the things that people will say to you when you're at your lowest, and you won't have anything to respond with in kind because you'll be too dumbfounded by the whole experience, and that's exactly when you need to be ready. All that Art of War stuff, well, people don't come at us anymore with daggers in the dark (not as much I mean), this is how they stab us blindly now, and these are the things that will nibble on your soul as long as you still got one so better damn well be sure you're prepared to defend yourself.
As if this wasn't enough, after he went in to see Brooke, he came back out and told me to leave. That they didn't want me there. That Brooke didn't want me there. I hadn't surmised that Brooke was still unconscious and hadn't been capable of even saying that, it's just one of those things that you'll believe because you're not in a place not to. It was a sneaky fucking lawyer trick, but that's the thing about sneaky fucking lawyers is that they're good at what they do. And so I left. They said they'd call me when they "knew something," and with the resin of suicide still all over me, I went home and missed my bottle of Tylenol P.M.