To Susan:

By Bryan

Enclosed you will find a USB stick containing “Please, Please, Please Let Me Get What I Want” by the Smiths. Please import it into your media player of choice (it’s non-DRM) and play it as you read this. The song is rather short, so you might want to set it on repeat. At no time, though, should you read this without that song playing, or with a different song playing, even if it’s by the Smiths or Morrissey solo. Also, I used this USB stick for work, so if you find anything else on the drive, such as some spreadsheets or PowerPoint presentations, please ignore them. In fact, they’re technically company sensitive materials, and as you don’t work for my company, you’re not privy to them, so please delete whatever you see, to DOD spec (seven wipes).

Press play now.

Susan, you’re receiving one of several personalized suicide notes I’ve produced for this occasion. There is one master note that will be what should be published to the press (and which does mention you, by name), but people I think played a substantial part in my choice to end my life are getting their own personal notes. For years, just your mere existence has caused me endless suffering and misery, and I can honestly say had you died a while ago, I wouldn’t be at this point. But you continue on, so I cannot.

Maybe you’re wondering why I’m saying these things, and trying and failing to think of anything you’ve ever done that would have possibly caused me such grief. I’m not surprised: that’s the same old Susan, completely oblivious to others (especially me) and absorbed in her own world. Maybe you’re thinking that I was merely a casual acquaintance and we never had a kind of relationship that would merit this attention from me in my final moments. Once again, S.O.S. (which I’ve come to use in my journal as shorthand for “Same old Susan”), never considering others (especially not me) and always taking interpersonal relationships for granted.

You probably don’t even realize that over the past five years, we’ve spent a total of 27 hours together. Do you understand how much time that is, Susan? Probably not, because to you time is merely something to be wasted, and whose company you spend it in is irrelevant. But let me try and break that down for you: that’s 1620 minutes, or 97,200 seconds. Now I want you to do an exercise: close your eyes, and count to one. Now imagine doing that almost ONE HUNDRED THOUSAND TIMES, and you’ll have an idea of the true amount of time we’ve spent together.

Now that you have some perspective on the extent of our relationship, maybe I can help you understand the misery you’ve made me endure. See, Susan, I may only know you through Jim and Sarah, and our interactions have primarily been through parties at said friends’ home, along with the occasional Facebook message or email survey (which you NEVER respond to) but every moment we’ve spent together has been, for better or worse, monumental.

Remember when we met, at Jim and Sarah’s Christmas party? Probably not, you inconsiderate bitch. Sorry, I’m a little emotional right now; killing myself, remember? You probably already forgot that, too. But there was something special about that night; I thought we really bonded as the night went on. We talked about preferences towards modern Christmas music (post-1960) versus the “classics”; I told you about the different novelty Christmas ornaments I had growing up; and I even went and made you a cup of hot cocoa. Did you realize I made it, and that there wasn’t some kind of magical hot cocoa pot in the kitchen? That I took the time to pick out a perfect mug (did you even notice? It was festive, but reserved; not classy, but classical), heat it to the right temperature, add in the marshmallows at the exact moment where they’d melt slightly but not all the way, then cool it off for you to a digestible temperature. You probably thought that this just happened, but guess what Susan? Not everything just works out perfectly in this world; sometimes you have to work for things, not like you’d know anything about that.

Sure, that entire interaction was under an hour, but in some way it completely surmised and expressed the entirety of my existence. Birth, life, death, joy, sorrow, pain, pleasure, all contained within that bit of pleasantries and conversation. I know it was nothing to you Susan, and looking back I see you probably gave me your email address as a way to get me to stop bothering you without having to give me your number, but at the time it was some kind of penultimate moment that my life had building up to: the edge of the cliff, over which was either immaculate beauty or monstrous doom. Apparently, the latter was what I was destined for.

The rest of our meetings and communications consisted of much the same script: me making sacrifices, giving all of myself, you barely even noticing. Last month’s encounter was no different, and I would say that it was the proverbial “final straw.”

Another year, another Christmas party: this time, I’d say we interacted for a grand total of fifteen minutes, but had it been fifteen days, the only difference would have been the sun rising and setting. We discussed our mutual hatred of bluetooth headsets, our optimism for this new year and its multiple advantages over the last, and then I went to get you a glass of eggnog. Sure, it wasn’t the venture that the years' past hot cocoa was, but I made sure you once again received an appropriate glass, and I had to open a new bottle just to fill said glass. Then, after our years of playing this game, you couldn’t even afford me the simple pleasantries I’d been granted in past years. As I came back, glass in hand, I saw you, Susan, talking to Greg, sipping some OTHER glass of eggnog. Where you got it from, I have no idea (I noticed no one else in the kitchen, so I have to have assume it was that bastard Greg’s... hope you didn’t catch anything, you whore!) but what does matter was that as I stood there, egg on my face and eggnog in my hand, I knew I’d finally fallen over that cliff, and there was no other destination for me but down.

So here we are, Susan. You reading this, on the fourth, fifth, maybe sixth play through of “Please Let Me Get What I want” (though knowing you, you never even played it once, did you?), and me, lying here, my bowels released and my last breath spent. Maybe now you realize it’s all your fault, but somehow I doubt that. But I’ll know, and so will everyone else (that main suicide note does a great deal to implicate you as almost wholly responsible), and that’s satisfying in these last moments.

And I swear to God, if you don’t wipe that USB stick, I will haunt you and Greg for the rest of your days.


  1. Suicide notes are my favorite written artform.

  2. they're the only "true" written word.

  3. Old Gregg's mangina is the cancer of my existence.

  4. i was listening to "my heart is beating like a jungle drum" by emiliana tarini while reading this - seemed a bit inappropriate actually.

  5. That was the funniest thing I have read today. That is even including reading galligher's book on smashing things as jokes.