Painting by (yet) unknown artist

Painting by (yet) unknown artist

Last night, my twenty year old neighbour died.
She was found in her balcony, with a burnt out cigarette in her fingers,
Scarlet lips half open, with kohl rimmed eyes
Straight out of the copy of the Vogue that lay across her lap.
A week ago she told me about how poetic suicide was
And said she wondered if she was depressed
Because on some days she felt sad
And ate a tub of ice cream and broke her diet.
She thought it was romantic, dying like a piece of art.
But it wasn’t.

There was nothing beautiful about her broken body or her perfectly painted nails clutching at the burnt out roll of paper.
There was nothing pretty about her cold, dead lips, bright as a bloodstain and just as horrific.
There was nothing dazzling about her dead, glazed-over eyes.
The smell of death hung about her, malodorous and disgusting.
No, she was anything but a piece of art.

I wonder if the magazines she read told her that glorifying death was a marketing gimmick
And that a flat stomach was not as important as a fat heart.
That diets were made to be flouted
And that the sight of her broken body would drive her mother half insane.

It terrifies me to think that she never knew there was nothing romantic about suicide.

It terrifies me even more to think that she knew just a little too late, that there was nothing romantic about suicide.
And then she died.

Tanvi Deshmukh