Today he wrote the conclusion to his final sentence -- “die”-- in a letter he has been writing for 20 years. For a moment Alfonze ponders what it feels like to be so close to death. It’s only days away. Three to be exact --- “With love, Alfonze.”
He has written one word a day of his 7,500 word suicide note, a short story of his life and reason for wanting to die and for him to die on the last day of finishing his letter. It’s addressed to Margaret.
Margaret was the woman he intended on marrying in his early twenties before she left him at the altar to run away with some Italian schmuck who had three more goats to his name than Alfonze. There was a short period after this moment when he wallowed in his pain day in and day out. And found his solace at the thought of death.
To end his life right then and there seemed too pathetic for the circumstances; that he would all be forgotten next to everyone else who died in self pity. So he decided to write one word of his letter a day for the following reasons:
There are 170,000 English words used in the world today. Writing the perfect letter takes patience to find the precise word to succeed the former. Margaret deserves nothing less than perfection.
He wanted to wait until he was absolutely sure Margaret thought she had forgotten him. That their time together felt like nothing more than a distant dream. And lastly, he needed to be completely, without a doubt, sure that he was ready to die.
After many long years there’s just a few days left. With a sudden jolt Alfonze seizes at his chest. In this moment, he cannot remember what drove him to suicide. Margaret isn’t the first thing he thinks about.
It’s all of the days leading up to this point. The days where he turned down love. The days he spent working a job he could’ve left long ago. He thinks about the dreams he had when he was young of having kids to call his own and come home to a beautiful wife. He doesn’t think of Margaret as his opportunity lost. He thinks of his life as opportunity wasted.
And that’s the end of Alfonze. He died April 6 at the age of 57 due to a heart attack. And Margaret never got his suicide note, but then again, he never committed suicide.