A friend said he would resign soon. We had a chat.
“What are you trying to be?”
“You’re just buying time here. You can actually write from anywhere. You’re better off in China, with your package.”
“But I don’t want to go back. Not yet.”
Why wouldn’t I stop the bleeding when I’m in critical condition?
I video-chatted with my parents, I told them that my days in America is numbered, after all. I sounded optimistic. I had to, in front of my folks.
Then my head started to spin. I reached out to a great friend on FaceTime.
“Is it about your ego?”
“Then what? Really ask yourself. Why can’t you picture yourself back? It’s your home after all.”
I gave it a thought.
- I can go back and teach screenwriting, storytelling.
- I can keep working on my personal projects as a writer.
- Is it the sunk cost I am worrying about?
- Is it the promise to myself, from three years ago, that I don’t want to break?
Then, suddenly, I said, “I want to take a pill and be gone.”
“Are you thinking about suicide? Because I don’t want to be the one who has to identify your body.”
I pictured him, standing over my motionless cold body, dried-eyed with disgust written all over his face…
“I’m sorry that I know you.” He said. “You’re thirty. Do you know how young you are, how much potential you have?”
“Actually, I do.”
“Then why are you talking like this?” He demanded an answer. He was livid.
“You can quit. But never check out.”
Knowing when to quit. Knowing when enough is enough. Knowing when to accept things as they are…
“It’s a reality you don’t want to face. You came to the United States as if you already had a green card. But let’s face it, you’re just another foreign student on a student visa with an expiration date.”
I nodded. It was 11:40 PM. We had been talking for well over an hour.
“Because you know what, the Sun always rises the next day.”
“Yeah. But so what?”
He paused for a moment. “Here is what I’m going to do. I will reach out to some attorneys who handle artist visa for Chinese students. You don’t need to listen to me. But hear them out and see about that.”
The Sun did come out today. It’s California after all. I dragged myself up. I have a lunch meeting with a director. I can’t afford to call in sick.
Then I texted my friend: Thank you for yesterday.
My heart still aches. But I’m breathing. Later I logged onto Facebook to reach out to a friend for my podcast interview…
Then I saw an update from a former professor. His 28-year-old stepson killed himself. I read his wife’s post, the note from a mother who has just lost her son.
I said a prayer.
For the lost soul. And for myself.