It’s a walking numbness, a dull pain that sometimes presents itself in waves. It slowly builds, and one day, every few weeks it explodes. I can’t bring myself out of bed. The rolling tears subside for a moment only to build again and again. The world outside, and the family inside, doesn’t exist, only what’s happening right here. Only this pillow, only this blanket, only the thoughts of love so far away, always out of reach.
‘You should call someone, snap out of it.’
But you don’t.
They say to dig deep to find the root of the pain. Where does it hurt? When did it start? Is it constant? Does it hurt when you hold your body in such position? Does it hurt when you turn your insides out? Do you cover your pain with a smile and ‘I’m fine’? Does it ceaselessly carry a weight under your eyelids? Does it pull on you with every chance, every second of the day? Does it numb you from climbing out of bed? Do you answer ‘yes’ to every survey question regarding depression? If ‘yes’, please proceed to your nearest healthcare provider immediately.
Isn’t it all just a sham, a system to pop more pills, to pour money into pharmaceutical companies to keep you addicted to a drug that causes side effects, and more pills to alleviate such effects? All the more pain to bear, more hurting to just barely keep you together.
So I resist, and insist ‘I’m fine’. It’s only a bad day, it will pass. Until the next set of waves crash.
The summer’s ritual of an evening rain gushing down upon my large umbrella and quick steps taken to dodge the flooding puddles in the streets remind me to avoid large disasters, the ones awaiting my arrival. I pull close the umbrella, brush the few drops from my face, take a deep sigh and pull open the door to a coffee shop where we’ve arranged to meet. You stand to greet me. My nerves are shot and I can’t for the life of me know where we begin. I squeeze out a nervous smile. We’ve already reconnected for the past year but this, this is a first time I get to see you again and I’m uneasy. Do we start from step one, see where this goes? Do we immediately pull into the throws of a lover’s embrace? So many questions racing for an answer. I want to turn off the questions in my mind and sit here and stare at you for a while. Order us a coffee & tea, and tell me something, anything to believe. Teach me a few phrases I have yet to learn. Do all the things we have left to do. We have the time. We have all the time. We have all the time for us.