Glasgow Smiles

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"If you want to leave, leave. Not like you wanted to be here anyways. OK, so then here is what depression is to my own personal self: it is heavy. Not like he knocked me up and my baby's daddy's in jail, nothing like the Southern blues o' yore. But actually, physically heavy: every pore around your eyes seems to be filled with lead, and you wake up and touch your face in the middle of the night to assuage yourself that your skin's still there. You've got all those textbook bulls*** symptoms of sluggishness and fatigue, but people don't have time to look directly at you to realize you've become a pack mule carryin' your own personal trauma and memories. Every word you speak carries weight and has already sunk into the dirt by the time it fell out of your mouth. Doctor, you tell me I stare at the floor 'cause I'm introverted, 'cause I'm feeling 'loss of connection to society' or whatever hoopla you keep spoutin', but I tell you it's because my brain throbs and weighs like a cathedral bell. Or what Maude here said: after you gave her some o' the ol' Shock, she was laying down next to my bunk and all she said was 'brain with teeth.' Which in its own messed-up worldview is kind of profound: every thought that flares within me gets swallowed up by itself, by whatever caution or misgivings or voracious doubt I have going on. It hurts because I have no initiative: carpe diem's meaning's as dead as the language it's from. I'll give you a bunch of metaphors and images just to circle and wave my arms back around to nothing, because the worst part is I don't even know what I'm talking about, like e.g.: the last time Miss Lucy in the Sky talked to me I had this feeling that my mind was the moon. That it was outside of me and yet inherent, and I know it couldn't leave. But alright bear with me and say that all this emotion within us is the ocean, the tide: calm if you're calm, rough if you're troubled. But what my mind did while it was still the moon was make the tide go way out, to leave the edges of my body and go back to where it came from, until you didn't even remember whether or not the water existed or if it's just been sand the whole time. It felt like I was folding within myself, but truth was it was pleasurable. I wouldn't care if my feelings withered sometimes, and I pretend apathy's just one of the side effects, but in truth it's another one of the pills I take each morning. I've got so much built-up psychic pain, so much chatter that sometimes all I wish is for everything to be quiet. Just to stop. Here's another hokey image for you: suicide is a door. And I don't mean like suddenly in a flash of light it appears; you are born and in your room stands that door, and it's been there all your life. Doctor sometimes you ask me whether or not my attempted suicide just came from a rush of emotions, that it was an epiphany, but it's something that I think about every day. Days will pass and you're so close to it that you can feel the grain against your skin, and it's better than any erotic experience, and all you want to do is open it and step right through. But here's the caveat for you: you can't find the knob. You have to wait 'till all the opportunities align: you are alone at the house, the phone is off its hook, and you've decided not to write a note because if you did everyone would blame themselves, and you're by the medicine cabinet, you're filling the tub, you're tying knots in the rope that your kids used to play tug-of-war with, and you say to yourself 'will I do it this time? will I walk to wherever this will lead me? or will I stay and maybe just fight for one more day, wake up and hope that maybe tomorrow things will be not as unbearable as the day before?' And I tried to walk through but I guess I'm a screw-up there too. So I'm just sitting here with y'all, and all the staff looks at me as if I'm an amputee, and treats me with Pre-K care, and every time they manage to crack a joke I laugh. It's all forced, of course: to me it feels like a scream, as though I'm pleading, and it comes out jagged like panes of glass crashing. And that's it."





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