How To Be Depressed On A Beautiful Day
On grayscale winter days it seemed the sun was gone forever — buried deep like a forgotten relative or the illusory sensation of falling in love — but the sun is better than those things because you know the sun will return. Spring will arrive and you’ll roll the credits to the monochromatic freeze-frames you’ve been calling life; you’ll be happy again, like last year or like some other time in the past you can’t remember, maybe when you were five. In the meantime, you toss around phrases like ‘seasonal depression’ and ‘too cold out, maybe next time,’ and ‘just not a winter person.’
Little by little, the layers of arid air peel back to reveal a wetness, a moisture associated with the womb and survival and life. The lush greens of lawns and the pure whites of orchids and the fatness of trees with their expanse of foliage: these things are alive again, what’s your excuse?
To the eye it is spring but you’re winter inside — cold and dull and overcast with the endless and pervasive gloom of melancholia. Dress up in bright costumes and hope to camouflage what you’re harvesting: dark seeds of negativity no one wants sprouting in their garden. Your plumage is festive: denim skirt of deceit, orange sham of a sandal. Kill ‘em with Kodachrome.
Stroll through rainstorms of blossoms like your pace has something to do with admiration for new and naked weather and nothing to do with a loss of control over your legs, who don’t belong to you anymore, who would be happier in bed and laying idle like they’re so used to doing. Curse the smiling sunflowers and the winking wildflowers and the rays of sun that feel like splinters to the eye. Curse the dandelion but not before making a wish; wish to enjoy this spring or for the correct answer when someone asks, “How are you?” Wish it were winter again.
The bloodshot eyes and the running nose and the never-ending ache that lives deep in your bones, blame that on your allergies.
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If you’ve been looking for a chance to say something then this very well could be it.
I wish to God I’d had a list like this when I was 23.
Answer phones better than anyone else has answered phones before. Relay messages so brilliant, they bring people to tears. Turn the coffee run into the choreography of Swan Lake. Become best friends with every intern and every underling and every taxi driver you encounter.
I remember taking the pen and notebook from that woman outside the courtroom, flipping to a clean page in the book, and writing, JESSICA IS SAD in big, bold, uncoordinated letters. “My sister is going to be a good writer someday! Look at how nice her lines are!”