"Depression is the inability to construct a future"
- Rollo May, Humanistic Psychologist
Sometimes, mostly in the mornings, I want to rush up to people and yell at them. For them to go on and act as if the world is not ending right around them is maddening. It’s as if I’m the only one who deigns to acknowledge the presence of the void that threatens to swallow us all up, but am forced to stupidly ignore its presence, because to point out the obviousness of the coming destruction would be to introduce “the dark” and the unknown and untold effects of its destruction.
Once I realize the extent of my revolution and the reach that I don’t have it is only the inevitable that I await. The numbness that arrests my mind and the smile that I arrest onto my face, like a mask of emotion to ward off the questions of concern that will introduce what I very much want but cannot have. Solace. In the end, I sit and listen for the doom. And then I awake to a new day and a new life and I want to yell at people all over again.
It had been a particularly cold winter. The white frost blanketed the ground, killing everything that lived, as if Death himself laid down his tattered cloak over the land. I soon forgot what warmth was. The feeling itself frozen and shattered from my memory. There was only the cold left to keep us poor folk warm.
It was during that desolate winter that I had the pleasure of meeting Joe, a stoic man who had come from farther up North, seeking a warmth his body didn’t feel and his mind couldn’t remember. When I saw the crystal clear blue of his eyes, I remember thinking that the cold was in him, in those eyes, and he would never escape from it. But I was sillier back then.
I was young. A girl alone in the world, left to my own devices on a neglected and deserted ranch. Or at least what was left of it. I sometimes thought to myself I was Jonah, and the dilapidated house around me the dying carcass of that biblical whale. The “farmhouse” I lived in had been falling down around me for the better part of my stay, and showed no signs of slowing. I had found it like this and it had stayed like this, as broken and empty as I was.
Most people kept their distance, as I was seen as undesirable. Whether I thought myself worthy of such a distinction or not I did not care. I only cared that they thought I was worthy of distance. Peace of mind was something rarely afforded to most in this world, and as long as I was an unnamed presence meant to be quarantined from the normal folk I was afforded that peace of mind.
Until Joe. We met in the cold and it was the cold that sustained us until the frost became too bitter. He had been sleeping in “my” barn, or at least what was left of it. I rarely ventured out of the main house, as it was there I felt the most safe. I sometimes looked out at it from the kitchen window, mostly in passing, to check if it was still there, giving it’s sorry condition.
I watched through a spiderweb of cracked and stained glass as he went to and from the barn. I didn’t know where he went, but around dusk he would always stumble back to the shelter that the barn provided.
I had been alone for so long by then that his presence wasn’t easily articulated into clear feelings one way or the other. I knew he might be dangerous, but I also knew he was like me. A connection flowed from that kitchen window to the door of that barn. We were both a body without a soul. A life wasted, created in misery, and destined to die with a whimper not a bang. So I decided to speak to him, the first person in a long time I felt connected to on any kind of level worth a damn.
How he had been surviving in the barn for this long with it’s missing shingles and barely patched south wall, which had been through absolute hell during tornado season two years past, was a mystery to me. Everyday had found the weather turning colder as if the ranch was turning solid, and the barn wasn’t much protection. I didn’t know how to approach him without scaring him, as I had come to think of him as a solitary fellow, never having seen anyone in his company while he stayed on the ranch.
So I knocked. My knuckles meeting the frayed once-red, now pink, wood that covered the brown oak that made up the barn. The sound of my knocks were small, my shivering not only a result of the winter wind, but nevertheless he heard. Joe had been a man slow to talk when we first met, but he opened up as our talks grew.
It was around then that I began to realize his eyes were more the blue of the ocean water that I had sometimes dreamed about than frozen ice. We talked of many things, and when I told him of how I felt like Jonah, his laugh brought back something in me, and I laughed along with him. It was the shared laughs more than anything that kept me coming back to that barn for so long.
He introduced a warmth that didn’t stretch very far but radiated with an unparalleled intensity between the two of us. We spent a month together on that cold farm, keeping the frost at bay. Eating when we could, sleeping, and most importantly living.
He and his watery eyes eventually moved on. But those days I kept with me for a very long time. I can still remember the bitter cold in my old bones, but I also remember the warmth that Joe and I rediscovered, that had been lost to us in the frigid world, until it to was killed off by the frost.
— Nobel laureate F. A. Hayek
The poetry tall girls without dates write
words transformed and splashed in mixes of black and white
Elasticity of geometry stretched to its limits
form no function; Capucci taught me it’s
not about the pleasing
not about the seasons
but all about the treason
of following a world within your reason
Territory uncharted; overgrowned thick with vines
grapple with its thorns can still lose ones mind
Brush painted crimson by the trickling red
Robes coasting the floor, stained with tears shed.