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Hello Depression. Welcome Back. Now Go Fuck Yourself.

April 20, 2014

I felt it coming on several days ago. I felt it before Z didn’t say hi to me on the cricket field. I felt it before Manoj asked me to join him and his friends for brunch at the park. I felt it before Z came over Wednesday night, cooked for me, taught me to eat with my hands and we stayed up all night talking.

I had been worried about him coming over, knowing the monster was lurking. He hasn’t seen me when the depression monster has me fully in its grips. But we had a really nice time. The next day, I was happy, even. I thought I had kept it at bay. I was wrong.

It’s been creeping in, invading my thoughts like a slow-rising tide, the waves silently breaking down all that is good under the calm surface.

I reluctantly went to Liz’s house yesterday evening and dyed eggs with her and her father. An hour later I was in bed, immobile, with my new Hulu discovery, Cybil playing, one episode after another. It’s like having the flu except there’s no solace in being actually sick. No fever or sneezing or chills to excuse the lack of movement. So, there’s the guilt as well. So much you should be doing and you can’t move.

I felt like I didn’t want to be alive. I wanted to stop time and leave for a while. I need time to get back. I need time to remember. I need to turn off my brain. I have to make this go away.

I woke up this morning thinking it was gone. I had waited it out and it had only lasted a day. Still, I had to talk myself into being alive. Respond to the texts. Make some coffee. Turn Cybil back on. Drink the coffee. What next? Go for a walk. Eat something. Finish your coffee. Change your clothes. Take the car and bring some water. Bring a book. Occupy your mind. Don’t allow yourself to think.

I picked up The Unbearable Lightness of Being. Liz loaned it to me weeks ago. One of her favorite books, she said. I couldn’t get into it though the writing is often bitingly thought-provoking. I wasn’t pulled in by the plot or the characters. Maybe it’s just over my head. I got out of my car at the park and found the dog-eared page in the book. I put on my glasses and stuck my phone in my pants.

I could see someone walking towards me. I looked up and saw Manoj. He waved at me. I said hi. Manoj is the short, Indian dude I had a huge crush on about a year and half ago. Seems like a million years ago. It seemed like I was falling in love every five minutes back then. A post-divorce necessary phase, I guess. I still do it sometimes, like the guy who walked into Pamplona’s the other night. I practically threw myself at Manoj. All his friends knew I had a massive crush on him. He didn’t give me the time of day. I got over it. There’s nothing more unattractive in a man than his indifference to me. Plus, he cut off all his hair and turns out….he has a really high-pitched voice. So, of course, now he says hi to me every time he sees me.

I started to walk away. “Hey,” he said, “Are you walking or running?”

“Walking,” I answered.

“My friends and I are having brunch right over there, if you want to join us,” he said, pointing to a group of friends at a table.

“Oh,” I said, confused. “Ok…..Is there any Indian food?” I asked.

“No, I made crawfish etouffe,” he answered. “That’s the closest thing to Indian food.”

I thought about the shrimp dish Z had made for me and considered asking him if he had included Indian spices but I just thanked him and walked on instead.

The book both distracted and egged on my distorted thinking. Kundera’s words cut to my gut. How can someone write about the banality of one woman’s obsessive thinking about her fucked up relationship while also making commentary about the Communist take over of Czechoslovakia and connect the two, all the while having me wondering what the meaning of life is? I found myself putting the book down at my side, looking up at the oak trees. It was around noon and the leaves were neon green. The thick, winding branches make shapes that cut through seas of tiny bits of bright green and yellow. It was beautiful and yet all I could think was…”Nothing is real.”

I thought about work. This job I couldn’t believe I had. The curtain has been falling down and there is no wizard. Tomorrow I have to work on promoting some stupid, bullshit show based on a pop-psychology marriage therapy book. It’s supposed to be a comedy. The tagline is “less nagging, more shagging,” a summary of the advice the author wishes to impart to wives everywhere. I’m not making this up. When I showed the preview video to my co-workers, they were disgusted. We laughed about it, but it’s not the kind of thing we’re supposed to be doing. There are forces at play that I don’t understand bringing this crass horror to the theater that hosted Dr. John, James Hunter Six, Josh Ridder, Kenny Barron and Rickie Lee Jones. It’s not real.

We might loose funding for our program to bring art into schools. I don’t know what we’re doing. It’s the inevitable disappointment that follows me from job to job and person to person. That longing for something with meaning. Something real. Who’s doing something real? What is real? Art? Dance? Nature? Science? Discovery? Justice? I look around me and I think, “No, not even those things are real.”

Every thing and every concept in the universe felt false to me at that moment. I felt like I was living in a dream and I wanted to get out of it. I passed by the spot where a girl was found dead just a few days earlier. Accidental drowning they said. She’s out of it now. She’s out of the false dream. I wondered if she exists somewhere now. If she does, is it better? Is it real?

I read a bit more, the words at least keeping my mind off my own fucked up thinking. Then I put the book back in the car for the last lap and listened to music instead. I thought about going over to Manoj and his friends and taking him up on his offer. I should do that, right? I mean, when someone invites you, you should say yes, right? But I don’t belong with them. I don’t know them. I don’t belong anywhere. It’s Easter Sunday and I’m alone. I don’t belong in Z’s world. My family is gone or in Hawaii. I don’t have what they have, that group of hipsters hiding eggs in the park and eating each other’s food.

I don’t know where I belong.

By the time I was halfway around the course, I was fighting back the tears. It hasn’t left me. It’s still here. I was wrong this morning. The monster still has me. It’s not fair. My throat burned as I tried not to cry. I took a shortcut back to my car, no longer able to hold it in. I drove away from the park, crying for no reason whatsoever.



From → Rantings

One Comment
  1. thenarcissistwrites permalink

    You can do this.

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