For reasons he couldn’t quite put into words, he decided to end his life. It wasn’t just one thing—it was everything. And he knew he didn’t have the strength to keep fighting for much longer. But there were a lot of things he’d never done, so he made a “Bucket List” of sorts. It would’ve more accurately been called a “Pre-suicide Checklist” or a “List of Things Every Person Should Try Once Before Dying” or something along those lines.
He figured he could keep going for another few months, and in that time he would complete as many of the checklist items as he could. He knew it didn’t really matter how many items he checked off, but he also knew that this would give him a reason to live for a little while longer. And he hoped that one of the items on the list might help him rediscover the passion for life he felt in his younger years, back when anything seemed possible and the world was at his fingertips. Now it seemed like the world was just past his fingertips, in sight but always just out of reach.
He headed out the next morning to begin working on the list, which he had ranked from easiest and most likely to complete to most difficult and unlikely. That way he could have a few easy wins in the beginning and hopefully that would make him feel a little bit of relief. Not that that would change much of anything in the long run, but maybe it would encourage him not to give up on the list too easily.
Item # 1: Eat a “Lumberjack Special” breakfast at The Diner on the Corner
Item # 9: Visit the Capital Building and see where the State Senators meet
Item # 17: Tell the librarian how much her services are appreciated
Item # 23: Drive. No set path, no destination. Just drive for the sake of driving (and maybe to see a little scenery, too)
Item # 29: Go to the bridge by the river (the one over on Canal Street), lean against the railing, strike a famous pose, and scream
It was item # 29 that changed his mind. As he stood there on the wall of the Canal Street Bridge, he struck the most famous pose he could think of for the moment. He stood with his arms outstretched and he leaned forward, allowing the railing to support his weight.
He took a deep breath, threw his head back and yelled, “I’m on top of the world!”
And for the first time in a long time, he believed it. He really did feel like he was on top of the world. For some reason, this made him feel like he no longer needed the list to make his life worth living. He tore it in half and watched as the pieces flew away in the wind, slowly making their way down towards the water below.