If all your friends jumped off a cliff, would you do it too?

Prompt: What was your first intrusive thought?

I remember, as a very young child, having a heartfelt conviction that I wanted to jump out of the window and end it all. I told my mother, and she was concerned as you might expect, but talked me out of it – chiefly by explaining that as our house was only over two floors I probably wouldn’t ‘end it all’, but only hurt myself very badly, possibly by breaking my leg.

Whenever I think of this, I also think of that cliche about peer pressure that my mum (and many others) sometimes used to talk me out of doing other stupid things: “If all your friends jumped off a cliff, would you do it too?”

It stops you thinking about doing the stupid thing, not because it’s logical, but because it’s not – I mean, if all my friends jumped off a cliff, and I knew that they’d done it, that would would make an impact, for sure. Some of my friends don’t even know each other. Why would they all jump off a cliff? Are we talking about the same cliff? Did they all do it together, or simultaneously? It would be really shocking and traumatic and I don’t know what I’d do. I’d certainly *contemplate* doing it too – wouldn’t you? Anyway, I never did jump out that window, and to date (knock on wood), my legs remain unbroken.

Wes Viola is a pen name of Wes White; the tenth Bard of Gorsedh Ynys Witrin (better known as Glastonbury) in modern times. Other examples of his writing have appeared in Bear Creek Gazette, Obsessed with Pipework, Visual Verse, Bog, Dreich, and Eunoia Review. In his ‘Wedding Ritual’ project, other creatives are profiled. Find all of this and more through http://linktr.ee/wesviola
Twitter: @wesviola