I tell my therapist that her milkshake brings all the depressives to the yard. She laughs. I laugh. I don’t tell her I spent hours the night before trying to think of something funny to say to her. I also think: I love you. I think: you plus me equals happiness. I think: when does this session end? I think: I want to sleep with you to help murder the pain. She goes on about reframing or something. I’m still focusing on my joke. Time’s up. Fuck.
A murder case on Dateline. A beautiful wife is found dead in the snow in Ohio. I know it’s the husband. It’s always the husband. Plus he had a girlfriend on the side. Fast forward to the end. Guess what? It was the husband. I think: I knew it. I think: what do I do now? I think: I really want to die because I’m so depressed. I think: just do it, coward. But I don’t do it. Instead, I watch more true crime. Men doing terrible things to women all day long. It’s revolting. I don’t leave the couch. I smoke a shit ton of cigarettes. I don’t eat. I don’t sleep. I miss my therapist.
Wednesday and Thursday
Nothing. 48 hours of blue death. I can’t move. I don’t want to move. Though I want to fly with birds, maybe a sparrow or a crow, just soar far away from the darkness inside me. I want to stare at the sun and let it melt my sadness. I want to stop breathing. I want my therapist. I feel lonely. No, worse than that. I feel completely devoid of life. I am nothing. I take my pills. Candy for the mentally ill. I think: please work your magic. I think: will I ever feel normal? I think: maybe I should take the whole bottle of pills. I think: goodbye, everyone. At night, I stare at the ceiling. I don’t count sheep, I count things I’ve lost.
I pick up my daughter and her best friend and go to the roller rink. She’s a bit awkward on skates, but she holds her own. I watch and watch her. She doesn’t see me looking at her. I’m glad. She prefers I not stare at her. She prefers I keep my distance. I’m not cool enough for her. She’s at that weird age where adults are not to be seen. I don’t tell her it hurts me a little. I don’t tell her how much I need her love and approval. I don’t tell her about the black days. I look around the place. I think: all the other dads here are better than me. I think: they are kinder and more loving and less sad. I think: I want to disappear. I want to dissolve in my chair. I also want to be them. They seem so content. I buy the girls pizza and drinks before leaving.
The next day I take them to see a horror movie. They debate who has to sit next to me. I don’t tell my daughter that I feel hurt again. I don’t tell her to please sit next time to me, it will make me happy. I don’t say anything. They eat popcorn loudly. The movie is terrible and predictable. On the drive home, I secretly listen to their conversation. They talk about boys. I think: please stop talking about boys. I think: boys only want one thing. I think: boys grow into men who kill their wives and are shown on Dateline. I don’t speak the entire way to my house. I take them home the next morning. I tell my daughter I love you. She mumbles something that sounds nothing like I love you, too. I think: I’m going to miss you. I think: you are so beautiful. I think: don’t go, honey.
I have no funny lines for my therapist. We talk about depression and anxiety and techniques to cope and whatnot. I just stare at anything other than her. I wish I were a poet so I could tell her how gorgeous and special she is using better words than gorgeous and special. I think: I’m not a poet. I think: I want to crawl in her mouth and knock on her heart. I have questions to ask of that muscle. I think: will her heartbeat be a song, a melodic longing for the client sitting in front of her? I think: please cure me, fix me, remake me. Baptize me. Love me. I think: stop being delusional you fool. In a flash, time’s up. Fuck. I think: I survived another week.
Art by Bob Schofield @anothertower