A little after Christmas, and shortly after her abortion, Dorothy was alone in her apartment. She was supposed to review a play. She did not review a play. She did, however, find one of Eddie’s discarded razors and slit both her wrists. She was saved because she’d ordered dinner from the Swiss Alps, who were very surprised to find her unconscious when they arrived.
When the members of the Algonquin Round Table came to visit her at the hospital they found that she’d covered her arms in multi-colored ribbons and claimed that it “served her right for putting all her eggs in one bastard.”
It was perhaps only her (rare) female friend Neysa McMein who Dorothy Parker confided her intense sorrow in – she was haunted by dreams where her aborted child came to her with its little hands intact – and Neysa painted this picture of Dorothy shortly after her suicide attempt. She is 29 here, and manages to look both childlike and very, very old.
The fact that Dorothy treated her suicide attempt as a laughing matter meant that very few people at the Round Table – Neysa aside – took it seriously. Or, that is, they didn’t take it seriously until Hemingway didn’t take it seriously, and then they realized the magnitude of the thing.