Tuesday, January 13, 2004

Seasonal Depression: The Blog Entry
by Jessica Delfino

Well, I thought I'd outrun this Winter's case of the seeminly permanently inescapable blues (I hate using the word 'blues' but like the word 'boyfriend' it appropriately layers emotion and noun) but just as I was turning the corner to indifference and lightweight acceptance, whammo! Smacko! Right in the face-o! Honestly, I'd thought they'd have come sooner - they usually gift wrap themselves and surprise me with a drop-by, unannounced (uninvited) appearance on or around Christmas or swim into my dreams mid-hangover on the morn of the New Year. But this year, Christmas came and packed it's shit and left, and New Year's Eve and Day (the couple of whores that they are) stopped by and also took off right quickly with no trace of the usual seasonal depression. I thought I'd won the lottery or at the very least didn't even care about not getting any Christmas presents this year. I felt, "Well, if I got through the hardest, darkest part of the winter without being miserable, that is kind of like getting a present." It's similar to my views on the many kinds of sweeteners on the market - I don't like to use Sweet N' Low, it gives me migraines. I don't love to use Equal, it gives me cancer. But at least I don't get migraines. Sugar gives me calories. So, if I can get through a cup of coffee without getting a migraine headache, getting cancer or getting fat, it's kind of like getting through the winter without wanting to pitch myself off of the balcony and into the cars and firetrucks chugging through the streets below.

I don't know if depression runs in the family - oh, wait a minute, yes I do, and yes, it does. My father is manicly depressed (for some reason I actually like the way that sounds - it falls onto my ears like the expression 'heroin sheik') and I don't know if there is depression on my mother's side of the family, but she used to bite her nails until they cried blood, and now I do the same. (So, if you happen to see me and my nails are even so long as 1/8th an inch, you know my life is going well, because I have found an association between me biting my nails and being able to afford to eat at fast food restaurants.)

It settled in yesterday, like an annoying house guest but one I also knew was going to drop by and so then had prepared for with little distractions, like some CD's and a new boyfriend or whatever. It didn't even say "hello," which it usually does - gently, even. It sort of nestles up to my stomach and heart and neck and rubs along my spine like a cat, you know, and it gives me a few days to get into it. But this year, it popped up on me like getting my period on the subway, which, by the way, has happened to me before. (Interestingly, when I had gotten my period on the subway, I analogized it with depression settling in over night.) To be brash, I could even analogize it with other darker, more appropriate things, like losing your virginity anally, which I didn't but I know at least one person who did, or getting hit by the subway in the back of the head because you are looking down the tunnel in the wrong direction, which also never happened to me, but did happen to some poor schmuck in NYC just a few days ago. I guess he didn't die but what an idiot, and it's the kind of thing that strikes me as funny, almost funny enough for me to forget that I wish I was sailing fast towards the ground with only seconds to think about what I'd done (or hadn't done) with my life. I think seconds would be plenty of time to figure it out.

Performing isn't even helping, and usually it does. Usually, performing is one of the only things that can so blissfully distract and blind me from anything I don't want to experience, namely life or problems or what have me. But it isn't this time, and I am clueless as to why that might be.

I guess maybe I should give credit to my age. I'm 27. Don't people have breakdowns at this age? I think having a breakdown would be fun - it would give me a chance to say and do everything I always wanted to do and not be held accountable for it, or at least not fully, or at least that is how I imagine it would be in my fantasy. I see myself walking down Broadway. Maybe I'm going to a job interview, or I've just bought a cup of that hot ass chocolate at Starbucks. I'm blowing on the cup, about to take a sip and all of a sudden I drop the cup onto the ground. Starbucks hot chocolate is damn expensive, like 3 bucks a cup or something, but I don't even care, I hardly even notice. I step into it (if this were a made for tv movie, the camera would cut to my foot slopping down into the brown stain on the sidewalk) and continue through it. My feet become loosy goosy, I'm unsure footed, I sort of stagger down the sidewalk and maybe even into the street. A taxi cab beeps his horn at me and I give him the finger. Maybe I jump up on his hood and do a little dance. I think I laugh too, because isn't that what you're supposed to do when you lose your mind? Just laugh, but not in a way that people can laugh with you. They see you laugh like that and they get scared, because they know that you aren't laughing with them, and no one can laugh along with you. You are laughing at a joke with the universe and the universe only. And maybe Jesus.

I hate when I write things like this, because I have a hard time being honest with myself and I like to believe that I have difficulty emoting properly. But what is proper and all that shit, and what is right and who is crazy and bla bla bla!? I think the rules develop in your own brain when you are a little shit and you know and that's all there is to it. Right now, things are not right in my mind with me and me and I don't know if they ever will be. It just seems the older I get, the less I care about living, and it's not even because I'm so depressed and it's not even because my life is so hard, it's because I realize that living is really pretty overrated and for the most part, pretty god damn dumb. I guess that must be what it is like to get old. I remember I asked my grandfather if he was scared to die, and he said, "Scared? Jesus fucking Christ, I can't fucking wait to die!" I'm not paraphrasing here, either. I'm just quoting a brilliant man.

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