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majority of those who do carry it through have threatened

to do so, and they’ve talked about it over and over. There

are also, however, those who have never talked about it.

“I think I can recognize a suicide when they walk through

the door to my office,” she says, adding: “And you’re not

one of them.”

I sigh, I don’t know if from disappointment or relief. But

then I realize one minor detail:

“But I’ve never been to your office,” I tell her.

She remains silent, the reference to her work darkens her

expression, shrouding it in doubt. For days she’s been

telling me that she lacks perspective when it comes to me.

The strong bond between us doesn’t allow her the

detachment she needs to assess how I’m doing: She can’t

treat me as a patient because I’m a friend, and she can’t

treat me as a friend because she sees a potential patient in


Yet, perhaps she’s right when she says she doesn’t think I’m

suicide material. Though it’s not something I ever plan, I do

have constant recourse to a powerful weapon for keeping

my death wish in check: words.Words can sculpt an idea

and shape it until it becomes a manageable paste, a soft,

manageable suicide paste, increasingly less serious,

increasingly more comical. Words strip the death wish of