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“The last song on the tape is a sweeping ode to a young woman dying of AIDS, but I didn’t know that at the time. I wanted it to be about a young woman who had had enough and was ready to end it all. It accurately reflected my skepticism with organized religion. I quoted it at length in the suicide note I wrote because I had a plan. I was going to die that weekend because the conditions were going to be right for that to happen. I finished the note and tucked it into the pages of The Catcher in the Rye on my bedside table.

I was sure that my mum would find it when she came into my room on Sunday morning after she found out I was dead.

I didn’t die that Saturday night. And she never found out about the note until she loaned the book to a neighbour kid who needed it for grade 10 English the next year without telling me, and he gave the letter to his mum. His mum called my mum. That was the third weirdest conversation I’ve ever had with my mum. Being a weird 16-year-old is really difficult for parents to handle.”

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