His suicide attempts, like an unwanted guest, slammed into his mind. Raucous and swearing, raising the dead with memories of the lead-up to his attempts.
He lay on his side, head cradled in his right elbow, pondering the day when he was jolted to wakefulness. Sleep had almost conquered when the devil of causation reared up and swatted away any hope of rest. Suicide. What had he been thinking?
He groaned, “Not again.”
Pandora laughed, “Yep, did you think I’d let you rest? When so much enmity still resides in that thick, moldy, sawdust-crammed skull of yours! Keep kidding yourself, junior, I’m way ahead in this race! I’m opening the box again just for you!”
The last thing he needed, lying here under a star-filled blackness were thoughts of Rachel. As the Big Dipper’s star’s turned from ladle to smirk he groaned again. “Shit!”
He got out of his bag, threw three more logs on the fire, and rummaged through his pack for the Svea stove. Putting it between his legs to warm it and get the gas vapors going, he brought out his tea and resigned himself to a sleepless night. The cup soon came to a boil and, putting his tea canister in the hot water, careful not to touch the blazing hot cup, went to sit on a boulder; half in, half out of the river. The Stanislaus minded its own business as it rambled past showing little concern for Buck’s dilemma.
He had met and dated Rachel in college during his last semester as a senior. Nothing had come of it for her part but he was instantly enamored of her charms and quirky personality. It was the type of friendship, he figured, that would last until either or both got married; when societal mores would normally settle in and put an end to communication. In retrospect, Buck supposed, that would have been for the best…had it happened that way. It did not.
It was almost three years later that he got a phone call from a number he did not recognize some time close to one in the morning. More than half asleep he had slurred into the phone, “Thishiz Buck.” It was Rachel.
“Buck, I know it’s been a long time but I need to come see you.”
Buck sat on the edge of his bed with the stupidest grin on his face any man could muster. “Sure” was all he could muster…”When?”
It wasn’t two days before Rachel came to his apartment. There ensued a three day, mattress pounding love fest which ended with the drunk couple on a plane heading to Reno, Nevada to get married.