Posted: November 15, 2012 in transliteration
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He had already asked me the question before, but he stopped me after I unlocked the front door and before I could open it to slip in quietly. Maybe he forgot that we’d had the conversation about a month ago…or was it two?
Yes, what exactly is wrong with me, anyway?
That was not his question.
At least
Not in so many words.
In his subsequent, cheer-up, speech he let an odd sentence drop:

“I’ve tried being depressed,” and of course he carried on with whatever he was trying to say, although I didn’t hear much after that.
My mind got stuck on this phrase.
I think he meant that he’s been unhappy before.
I find it impossible to fathom anyone attempting to be depressed.
It’s not like it’s fun or anything.
It’s not an act or modifiable behavior.
It’s not an activity.

I’ve tried killing myself.
I’ve tried drowning out the malaise.
I’ve tried frozen yogurt at the strip mall up the road.


But, “I’ve tried being depressed”?

I suppose it’s no different from saying, “Ive tried being happy.”
Although, happiness is not necessarily measured by duration, whereas depression does carry that qualifier.
Well, psychiatric major depression does, at any rate.

“I’ve tried being depressed.”

Instead of stating outright that this sentiment confused me, I hung back and let the conversation continue however he saw fit.
After all, he did initiate the exchange…or did I?
I’m the one who said hello, but I also say hello to the heroin addict two doors down, and my stalker across the way.
I even say hello to the people I live with when in actuality, I would much rather sucker punch them for invading my space.

This particular man is different.
He says odd things like, “I’m not a creep or nothin’,” and “I’ve tried being depressed.”
He sits on my steps and smokes, drinks, gossips, and humors the neighborhood children with a benign fatherlike charm that’s incredibly rare.

But while he has tried being depressed and found it cumbersome, perhaps due to its chemical nature; I have tried being happy and found the whole ordeal fruitlessly exhausting, most likely because I’ve failed.

At this impasse, he offered a suggestion for a quiet, isolated spot for me to read that’s within walking distance.

I considered it a thoughtful gesture, canceling out any awkward statements, and making me happy to have said hello and waded through the uncomfortable question of why I look like I’m always having a really rough day.

Life is kicking my ass, but it sure is beautiful.


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