Are there even any bridges in San Diego tall enough?
Don't they build rails? How did he get there? He doesn't drive. When did they find him? Did he actually jump, and survive, or did they talk him down in time, and why don't I know if my brother actually jumped off a fucking bridge or not? This seems like something I should know the answer to.
I couldn't tell you what he eats for breakfast, or where he lives, or the names of any of his friends, any books he's read or games he's played or even how tall he is. But I really ought to know if my brother jumped off a bridge yesterday. Or the day before. At any given point, if someone asks, "has your brother jumped off a bridge?" that's an answer I should know. But I don't.
I know he's alive. He's in a hospital. He's being evaluated by the kind of people whose job it is to evaluate someone's brother who jumped, or maybe just tried to jump, off of a bridge.
It was my mother's sister who told me, and I think it was my mother's brother who told her. My cousin texted me this morning to ask when was the last time I spoke with my mother or brother, and I was mad at her because I thought she was going to try to start some drama.
I called my dad. And then I called Red Flag Guy even though it's only been two weeks and I have no right to ask him for this, not yet, but I knew he wouldn't be at work, and somehow I couldn't quite manage to interrupt someone at work to tell them. I was still in shock when I made the call and I didn't think I'd be crying on the phone. I just thought I needed to say it again, out loud.
I google "suicide attempt." I google "psychiatric ward San Diego." I google "jump off coronado bridge."
do not learn much about the long-term possibilities for
treatment-resistant depression. I learn that when a family member attempts suicide it's important to stay close by. I learn that I should try to make statements such as, "I'm sorry you felt that way and I wish I could have helped you," or "I'm sorry I didn't realize you were in such pain. " I learn that I should consider having them make a survival box with safe and comforting things inside. I learn that the Coronado Bridge is
the third most deadly bridge in the United States. Of course, I don't
even know if it was the Coronado Bridge. It might have been a freeway overpass.
When my brother tried to jump off the roof of our pink, two story house on Garden Road fourteen years ago, my mother told me that it was up to me to save him. I know, I know she was wrong. I don't feel guilty. My brother's life is not, and has never been, in my hands. But I can't stop thinking about it. I escaped my misery. I drugged it away. My brother never did. Fourteen years later, he still wants to fall.