You wouldn’t think the two would go together, would you? Well, in the wonderful world of depression, all things are possible. It’s like if you took Walt Disney’s most fantastic, imaginative, wonderful dreams, all ironically envisioned in the midst of the Great Depression, and got a little too relaxed, letting them blur together. Pinks and greys and blacks and blues and purples. Sticky like sugar but also like the moist, dirty feeling of waking up in a hot sweat where your nightmare follows you into your room and sits, waiting for you at the edge of your bed. A dream that you allowed yourself to stretch too long so that you ran out of joy and upon noticing the empty pockets, began filling them them with lethargy. You find the bubbles of curiosity you imagined as you walked through your dreams and they pop into puddles of doubt which stain the tips of your toes a dull, threatening grey and no matter how many times you wash them, the stains always remind you to feel just a little bit unclean, enough so that no shower leaves you entirely renewed.
What do you call it when your brain turns on itself? When you pause too long in the excitement of an enjoyable afternoon and in that moment, you pull an Orpheus and stare back too long, seeing the fears the sun had banished away. But you bring your own clouds everywhere you go. Cancer starts with a small spot, like the ones you see in the bright of day when you look at the sun too long. Then it hitches a ride to other parts of you. Depression is like that too, but with time.
You’re fine. Everything is fine. You’re strolling through the fair picking bits of cotton candy off a stick listening to your friends laugh and before you know it, the sugary taste is overshadowed by the immediate urge you have to get rid of the pesky spot which causes your fingers to stick together, your friends’ laughter become a hollow and distant echo in a tin can that is grating to your ears. The cloud in your mouth that once tasted like everything you expected suddenly becomes dry cotton and you don’t dare part you lips lest the movement make you gag. So you bite the inside of your cheek and tuck in your tongue to wait out the ominous cloud softly suffocating you in shadow. But before you know it, that slightly uncomfortable moment becomes an agonizing minute and you begin counting the number of hollow smiles you have to force until you can go home and crawl into your bed, knowing that an unexpected gritty second metastasized into a paralyzing, indefinite period of time and there is nothing for you to do but play dead and hope it gets bored and, deciding there is no more pain to milk from you, stalks away in hopes of finding something else to shut down.