Describing Depression

When you are sad, at least you are feeling. I never thought I would be jealous of a sad person, but you wouldn’t understand. Feelings are transient. They come and we grasp them in our bodies, we hear them pounding in our hearts and banging against our brains, but we know they are temporary. Eventually, they will pass and new ones shall enter in a tapestry of new colors in a changing, shifting pattern. Sadness, in a way, is a passenger on a train simply waiting to leave and give his seat to Elated or Disgruntled.

But feeling nothing, becoming an empty train chugging down the tracks, is endless. It feels as if there is no beginning or ending, merely an infinite loop.

Infinity is said to be beautiful. You can feel infinite and it means that you are boundless and alive, electrical currents of impossibility pulsing against each other. But this is the endlessness of time, where each second takes eight years and that single second puts down those eight years of ache, setting them right upon your shoulders.

You wait for the emptiness to pass, but it is not a train car passenger. It is a resident, settled in. He sits upon your hands, your feet, your head, your chest. You become a captive to yourself, watching as the landscape passes by. Each blade of grass blends into the previous and the merge into a single entity that blurs time in that dreaded continuity. There are horror films about being trapped in a cage, stuck in a basement, but there is never something as dark and insidious as being stuck in yourself, imprisoned and forced to watch you waste your own life.

Added to it all, weights are tied to your fingers and the edges of your lips, and they pull you further and further down into yourself. You sink so far into yourself then that even if you could move, could cry for help in a real voice, the plea would not, could not, connect.

Within yourself, there is only the darkest reflection of yourself as company. They are not good company.

You Love Her

You love her.

You are sixteen, you are gay, and you love her.

She is older, older by one year, three months and six days. She wears that difference in experience, in laugh lines, in the way her back arches as she walks, and the way that her calloused fingers work through hand lotion. You love her and you have never known a world without her.

To you, she is language. Not poetry, not a book, but language itself. English alone could not describe her. You know- you’ve tried. After all, you love her.

You spend summer together, just “girls nights” with Netflix and ice cream. You watch horror films and hold her hand beneath the blankets, her rough fingers cool and sweet beneath your own. As the handsome hero attempts to save the helpless heroine from an inevitable murder, you imagine turning and kissing her cheek.

Casually.So casually it could be a mistake. So casually that veiled feelings remain tucked away. You can almost feel her smooth cheek against your lips, the coolness of her skin to your warm wet lips.

But your imagination is not sweet, not coconut scented like her face wash. After the imagined moment, she turns in disgust and you know she is gone.

The scene ends. The movie continues and you shift your hand to reach for some popcorn. The movement is awkward, the hand is not your dominant hand, but you stuff your mouth with the salty stuff and continue to do so until the bowl is empty and the movie is over.

Because you love her.

 

I Want

I want to say I love myself.

I want to stake a claim upon a piece of territory as yet untouched.

I want to issue the next grand proclamation, the next “man on the moon” statement, about and for myself.

But I won’t.

 

To say I love myself is to say I love all I am, all I’ve been and all I will become.

It is a promise between who I am now and who I’ll ever be. And I… I cannot keep promises.

 

I think myself a liar. The words that pass my lips often become false as they leave my tongue. As they fall from my lips and reverberate amongst the walls and then reach an ear, they become stained in falsehoods.

I promise I’ll write.

I promise I’ll wait.

I promise I won’t touch.

I promise…

It is hard to say why I am this way. My prescription says it is a side effect of my natural hopelessness, yet I feel as if it is a side effect of myself. Because I am incapable of saying “I love myself,” I cannot speak truths. Because I cannot speak truths, I cannot claim to love myself without it being false. Because.

There is no answer. Right, wrong, black and white.

When someone asks if I want tea or coffee, I do not say. I cannot say. When they ask, I feel as if they are living in a yes, no world while I am living in a gray area. I want both, yet I want neither.

The moment often passes, they pass, and still, I am in that limbo where every guarantee is false.

They never encompass the whole truth.

She is a River

She is a river with emotional fluidity.

An estuary, connecting the uncertain tides of life to the stream of consciousness.

 

They call her inconstant. Faithless and lost. Sometimes manipulative. Often hollow.

 

Day one, the tide is low and her feet dance upon the shores, head held above the sky. She is high, like the lost balloon at a fair. Euphoric, independent. A reunion between her and herself.

Yet, day thirty-one, the tide is swelling and her round face is sinking beneath the flat edges of the salty ocean. She is low, like the anchor of a ship. Despondent, dependent. A parting between her and herself.

The human body is said to be buoyant. Its density is less than water, salty or fresh, which makes the vessel float. Yet she is a scientific anomaly. Never one nor the other, never floating nor sinking, Schrodinger’s Cat as a twenty-three year old woman.

Girl.

Child.

Adult.

Person.

On day fifty-seven, she is emptied, drought in an area thirsting. She dates a man, with the hopes that he will fertilize her shores and bring vibrancy back onto her lands. She then dates a woman, with the hopes that she will carry buckets of water upon her shoulders and methodically renew the deadened stream.

She dates herself, her hand, her razor.

And once again, she flows.

The Alchemist

She was an alchemist.

She could transmute love into hate. She could draw her alchemic circle and perform the laws of equivalent exchange and change a lukewarm relationship into a lukewarm ex.

She could change worries into calm, by changing his feelings. She could sacrifice time for lifespan. She could transfer love from one man to another.

She was an alchemist.

Each day, she’d impress her friends with the calm she exuded and the control she took. She’d amaze them with her transmutations of emotions, from hot to cold and from passion to opposing passion.

Each day, she’d shift some feeling and balance the scales of control in her favor. In return, she would lose something, as ordained in the law of equivalent exchange. A lover. A friend. Warm afternoons and library whispers and midnight talks.

She was an alchemist.

And in the end, it didn’t amount to much.

At Midnight

She sings in the shower at midnight. The running water carries her words away. They blend together as they go down the drain.

She only showers at midnight. Purges her body. Rubs her fingers until the skin peels and scrapes her feet until only the softest skin remains.

She’s awake all nights. Sleeps in the morning under the blankets. Drowns out the morning with the sound of falling water playing in her head.

She sings only sad songs in the shower.

She only sings in the shower…

Her eyes bleed water in the shower. But they blend in with the songs and the water and escape down the drain.

She has depression. She lives alone and eats alone and works alone. She climbs into her narrow shower at night by herself. She is an island in the running water.

She sings softly in the shower at midnight and hopes someone will hear. Know.

Loving Depression

My lover, Deirdre, has been depressed since childhood.

 

She would look into the mirror and see depression staring into her. Vacant eyes gazing into an abyss which, in turn, gazes into her. Depression accessorized her; making bracelets upon her wrists and purple necklaces around her throat. It wore her nights down until her eyes constantly drooped and her mouth constantly hung. Her reflection was Depression.

They had grown up together… It was a bond I could never hold with her. They were with each other through everything- thick and thin. Mostly thin.

Depression wore her. He made her thin and made her insecure and made her observe the little things with care.

They had a sick relation with her twisting around him, answering his beck and call. Laying awake at night to hear him. Sleeping in with him. Talking about the future in the afternoon- the unimaginable and inevitable death that awaited. They made funeral plans together. They went on walks together. They stared into the infinite cosmos together and thought about nothingness together.

I was almost jealous of them. Angry. At him consuming her. At her letting herself be consumed. At me, for watching.

But… But I was also in love. With him. With her. With him for making her herself.

It’s hard to explain.

The lines between her and him blurred. Were they ever clear?

I adore Deirdre. I would build castles out of glass and wire for her. Make cake out of fire. Travel to the edges of this two dimensional world to give her something in 3-D.

She is depressed, and I am in love with her.

Her and her depression.