Part 3 Summary and Analysis
The narration shifts back from a telling of past events and focuses again on the present. Craig vomits after eating the squash, chicken and rice dinner with his family. In the bathroom, he decides to kill himself that night.
Craig imagines the impact that his death will have on his family, but decides that he needs to “be true to [himself].” He decides to sleep in his mother’s bed—something he does regularly when he feels bad—and, in the night, bike to the Brooklyn Bridge and jump off it.
When Craig comes out of the bathroom, his parents embrace him. Craig feels that his parents have become Tentacles, and that his only Anchor is suicide.
Craig says good-night to Sarah and goes to bed. Craig calls Nia and asks her about how her relationship with Aaron started. When Craig inquires, Nia admits that Craig was “in the running” but didn’t “make a move.” Craig asks what would happen if he made a move now but realizes that he and Nia are only friends.
Craig is unable to sleep. His mind begins Cycling again, and he knows that “it’s going to be the worst that it’s ever been.” Thought after thought arrives, and Craig focuses on his failures, his problems, and his homework.
Craig’s mother comes to bed and gets him a bowl of cereal. After she falls asleep, Craig begins to think about the practical details of his suicide plan. He plans to ride his bike to the bridge but wonders what to do with the bike afterward. He decides to lock up his bike so that it won’t be stolen, allowing his parents to know what has happened.
To tire himself so that he can get some sleep, Craig does push-ups in bed. Afterward, he feels his heart beating. He thinks about how his heart wants to keep beating. He thinks about how he wants to live but also wants to die.
Craig leaves the bedroom and finds one of his mother’s books about losing a loved one. He turns to the section about suicide prevention and, following the instructions, calls the local suicide hotline.
Craig calls the local suicide hotline number, which redirects him to an anxiety management center. Keith, the man who answers the phone, tries to direct Craig through anxiety exercises. Craig finds the exercises confusing, and he tells Keith that he wants to speak to “the Suicide Hotline people.” Keith suggests that he call 1-800-SUICIDE. Craig calls the number and speaks to a woman on the phone. Under her guidance, he agrees to go to the hospital emergency room.
This section is a critical one. It is in these chapters that Craig makes a choice between life and death. Craig is deeply conflicted about this decision. In his state of mind, he sees even his parents’ love and support as another “Tentacle” pulling him away from the “Anchor” of suicide. When saying good night to his younger...
(The entire section is 771 words.)