Ch. 8: Letter #1. Dear Ruth. July 21, 2007.

Ch. 8: Letter #1. Dear Ruth. July 21, 2007.

A Chapter by Gee Roughin

Dear Ruth,

I'm sorry you had to see me that way. This last lapse was too much for me. I think I've paid enough for other people's sins; I know I'm not the only one, but everyone of us who is fighting has her limits, and I think we have the right to say Kefaya, enough, let someone else take it from here. Maybe it's cowardly, but I don't think so. We pay, and we pay, and we pay; in the end no one knows but our lonely selves, in those deep safe moments, what the cost has been. I would like to give tribute to those who have more courage than I. May humanity and this bleeding universe reap something from their silent tears.

As usual, your visit brought me back to sanity. When you left, they sedated me. I came to again with thoughts as clear as water and I knew that my time has come.

I'm enclosing an open letter to the American people. If you can get my letter published anywhere, I hope it will serve to open some eyes to the cruelty and fascism of this current order. The New York Times...? LOL!! Some of the activist sites may circulate it, especially the ones that defend the rights of the mentally ill, and the prison abolitionists (as few as they may be...)

I'm also leaving the novel with you. I suppose it's not really a novel, more like a fictionalized memoir of those six months when everything happened. Maybe I should have shown it to someone before taking my ticket out. But I have lived my life in isolation. If anything about it is strange, incongruent or distancing, I think it's only fair that the life this bloody society has imposed on me be imposed on my readers. I never asked to be trapped inside my imagination for 20 years. Let them f*****g deal, or ignore what they don't want to see, as always. For me, this novel as been my only lifeline to the moment in my miserable years when I became free. However much they have punished me for my freedom, this is what I have left, and all I care about.

If I had to do it again, I wouldn't change anything--except maybe the fact that I didn't escape to Mexico with my mother when I had the chance. That was so stupid! I just wasn't thinking ahead. How many idiot chaplains and therapists and psychiatrists and psychologists have tried to convince me over the years that I'm paying for my own sins! And not the sins of this stinking social order, "the international of torture." I don't know if you ever came down on one side or the other of pacifism, but I think you know I never even walked that road. If I have any advice to give to those who want to resist with their life and their death, it would be that they shouldn't be too stubborn or proud not to preserve themselves when they can. There are no limits to what they will make you pay if you leave it up to them.

I'm sorry to say goodbye this way. With my pen. To make you feel this small piece of my years of solitary. This desperation of having only oneself with whom to share the deepest agony. Anyway, we all die alone. I have been dead for 20 years. If I had never said thank you during the brief moments of life when you were in front of me in flesh and in eyes, I would find it harder. But you know how vital your sane, pragmatic and fully alive support system has been to me. Don't think you should have or could have done more, or saved me from this decision. Carry on with your beautiful way of being, and I will carry on with dying.

In love, friendship and resistance,



© 2011 Gee Roughin

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Added on July 20, 2011
Last Updated on October 19, 2011
Tags: paranoia, fear, america, 80s, suicide, friendship, letters, paranoid wasp


Gee Roughin
Gee Roughin

Cairo, Egypt

Before spending seven years writing Paranoid Wasp, I studied literature at Wheaton College (IL), Yale University and the University of Chicago. I moved to Paris in 1999. In addition to ten years in Fr.. more..