Normal People by Sally Rooney Read Online (FREE)
It was Niall who told him about the service. What he said specifically was: It’s free, so you might as well. Niall is a practical person, and he shows compassion in practical ways. Connell hasn’t been seeing much of him lately, because Connell lives in his scholarship accommodation now and doesn’t see much of anyone anymore. Last night he spent an hour and a half lying on the floor of his room, because he was too tired to complete the journey from his en suite back to his bed. There was the en suite, behind him, and there was the bed, in front of him, both well within view, but somehow it was impossible to move either forward or backwards, only downwards, onto the floor, until his body was arranged motionless on the carpet. Well, here I am on the floor, he thought. Is life so much worse here than it would be on the bed, or even in a totally different location? No, life is exactly the same. Life is the thing you bring with you inside your own head. I might as well be lying here, breathing the vile dust of the carpet into my lungs, gradually feeling my right arm go numb under the weight of my body, because it’s essentially the same as every other possible experience.
0 I feel the same about myself as ever
1 I have lost confidence in myself
2 I am disappointed in myself
3 I dislike myself
He looks up at the woman behind the glass. It strikes him now for the first time that they’ve placed a glass screen between this woman and the people in the waiting room. Do they imagine that people like Connell pose a risk to the woman behind the glass? Do they imagine that the students who come in here and patiently fill out the questionnaires, who repeat their own names again and again for the woman to type into her computer – do they imagine that these people want to hurt the woman behind the desk? Do they think that because Connell sometimes lies on his own floor for hours, he might one day purchase a semi-automatic machine gun online and commit mass murder in a shopping centre? Nothing could be further from his mind than committing mass murder. He feels guilty after he stammers a word on the phone. Still, he can see the logic: mentally unhealthy people are contaminated in some way and possibly dangerous. If they don’t attack the woman behind the desk due to uncontrollable violent impulses, they might breathe some kind of microbe in her direction, causing her to dwell unhealthily on all the failed relationships in her past. He circles 3 and moves on.
0 I don’t have any thoughts of killing myself
1 I have thoughts of killing myself, but I would not carry them out
2 I would like to kill myself
3 I would kill myself if I had the chance
He glances back over at the woman again. He doesn’t want to confess to her, a total strangParaer, that he would like to kill himself. Last night on the floor he fantasised about lying completely still until he died of dehydration, however long that took. Days maybe, but relaxing days in which he wouldn’t have to do anything or focus very hard. Who would find his body? He didn’t care. The fantasy, purified by weeks of repetition, ends at the moment of death: the calm, silent eyelid that closes over everything for good. He circles statement 1.