They crawl out of the woodwork. People with baked goods and checks in the mail. Text messages to remind me I’m loved and phone calls from old friends. I’m surrounded. Held.
I imagine them at my funeral. Lined up listening to a collection of songs someone decided represent me. Watching some cheesy slideshow that covers the various lives I’ve led. Each person in the crowd failing to recognize at least one of them.
But then again maybe not. Maybe the turnout is better when you stick around. Easy to send some money, a message, make a phone call. Harder to take a day off work and a long drive south.
Doesn’t really matter.
At some point in the last week I decided to live. Had to decide to continue forward despite the dull ache of existence. That’s what people ask when you are committed. “Where did this come from? What happened? This seems so sudden.” But it’s a slow chipping. An erosion of everything I think should make me want to keep on living.
No. That’s not it, either. It is not so simple as saying everything hurts all the time and it’s always been this way. That simply isn’t true.
There are joyous moments. When I lay in bed with my partner. When I see my sister and best friend’s bellies swelling with children. When I share a simple phone call with my father. When my mom hugs me. When I make my brother laugh. When the whole family (yes, Chuck, you, too) sits down to dinner. When Vinnie and I take a smoke break. Long walks in the rain. New rap songs on headphones. Old rap songs of crackling car speakers. A new friend teaching me origami. My coworkers all talking about how much we love our job. Board games. Pizza. Rummy. My roommate asking me to a kill a spider for her. Simple things. Little ones. Depression makes it easy to not notice them. Makes it hard to start noticing again.
They’re right when they call is an emptiness. But it’s really like a slow leak. A dribble. And one day you notice you’re all out of fuel again. When that happens you don’t just stop, though. You get out and you start walking to the next station.