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It was one a.m. when I learned that some people are sad against all reason, all sensibility, all love.
Before I opened the front door I could hear music. It grew louder as I made my way down the hall. She was laying down listening to an old vinyl and looking like she might disappear. “I brought us something to eat.” She didn't move, so I brought the food to her.
“Do you ever wonder what it would feel like to be someone else?” She’s picking at the chicken in her carton.
I looked at her for a long while and she wouldn't meet my eyes. “No, I don’t think I have.”
“Oh.” Silence again.
“Have you been in bed all day?”
“Because then I wouldn't have to see anybody.”
“You like that?”
I looked at her closely. “You got out of bed today to cut your hair, though.”
“I did. I was getting tired of it.”
Since I have known her, she has always cut her hair over the kitchen sink. I see it as a metaphor for her sadness. She cuts it time and time again, but try as she might, it still grows back.
“You should eat something.”
She continues to pick at her food. “I’m not very hungry.”
“What’s wrong?” I murmured.
“You wouldn't understand, and I can’t explain.”
She is all bones and restless hands and there is a knot in her mind that I cannot undo. I've tried countless times and failed. Some days she can open up and other days I am an intruder in her head and she has already locked herself away so tightly that no one could possibly jimmy their way in.
“I’m sorry,” she sighed. “I just…it hasn't been this bad in a while.” She shut her eyes. “I feel void and empty and vague and not quite all there. I’m sorry.”
“What are you sorry for?”
“I’m sorry I can’t be with you all the time. My thoughts kind of come and go in waves. I get stuck in this mood where all I can bring myself to do is sit in bed plagued with disinterest.” She got very quiet. “You try so hard and all I can do is apologize. I know I am very hard to talk to. I realize that.”
“You’ll get better, just give it some time—”
“I won’t get better. I think I’m just an inherently gloomy person. I grew sad awfully young. Some people do. I’m sorry I can’t be better for you.” She sat her uneaten chicken down on the bed-side table and rubbed her eyes.
“Have you tried writing something? Sometimes it can help to organize your thoughts and get what you’re feeling down on paper.”
She looked at me with soft, sad eyes.
“Some things can’t be fixed with poetry. I tried to write but my heart hurts and I don’t know how to put this pain into words. Some feelings just don’t have a language.”