Monday, June 28, 2010

Monday Downers

So much more than crying.

I’m kindof struggling today.

The sun is out, the intersection swallows are zooming and zipping around like gangbusters and I’m just… you know… not into it. You know how music makes me cry. Right? And certain paintings. And some commercials. And that book. And roses. And cat-fur.

I’m tired. Not exhausted though. I’m mopey. But not so out of it that I can’t come to work and knock out the pile of “do this” tasks waiting for me. (as long as I don't listen to too much of "that" kind of music, that is...)

If I could do anything in the world right now, I’m not sure what I’d do differently. I just… don’t want to be doing this. I don’t want to be doing anything. I guess. I need to write more. I need to write a lot more. And yet when I do write, like right now or like I did this weekend, it feels like it kindof invites this black, wet pillowcase back over my head and my heart and everything.

It was a pretty good weekend. Really. Everything is pretty good. In spite of it all I still feel like the spoiled little rich girl who, out of shame or hyper-self-awareness or even out of lonliness, just wants to sit down in and bark and bawl her head off. I want to scream. I want to tear at the drywall. I want to claw away the glass one granule at a time until there’s nothing left. I want to run out and pull out all the plants and turn them upside down and pour boiling water over them. I want to thrash and wail and swear.

I don’t. But I do.

But I don't. But I do.

I’m like a soda bottle in a giant, swirling storm at sea – the contents of the soda bottle are “myeh” jostled and stuff, but clearly if the cap came off it could be a lot lot worse. And besides, who’s the idiot that threw that bottle out there? Don’t they know they should just recycle their trash and not leave junk floating around where it’ll get all emotionally unstable and crap? And further still, what’s the cause of the big bad storm anyway? Why all the tumult?

Why indeed. It’s not like anyone’s done anything rotten to me lately. Social injustice hasn’t really reared its ugly head to gnaw at my bones lately. I’ve not been pierced with betrayal or brutality or even lashed with insult lately.
Just… nothing.

This is what made me kindof angry at the show I saw this weekend. For those of you not up on your Doctor Who-ology… there was an episode last night where the good Doctor and his lady friend save none other than Vincent VanGogh from some manner of toothy demise. At the end of the episode they surprise him with a trip to the future where he can at least see his art appreciated in a museum. Very touching. 'Cause, awww, now he knows that at least someone out there thinks he's a-okay. shucks.

However, the imagination-bereft British wholly missed the point. They managed to completely miss the point of Vincent’s inner demons. They portrayed him sobbing in his bed (he’s depressed, you see, and depressed people are sad, you see, and sad people cry in their beds, you see). In the next frame he was fine. Earlier he was ranting about how he could “hear” colors, like a synesthete (and you already know how I feel about synesthesia). And he was ranting and barking and doing the whole high-school melodramatic “I’m a crazy man! Wooo!” routine. Later on, he’s falling in love and perfectly coherent and charming and winning and then he starts talking about hearing the music of the universe again.

It was a great message but they got it all wrong. Being depressed isn’t about sobbing in your bed all day for ten minutes at a time. (Though oddly, that sounds like a very soothing idea right now.) It’s not about weeping and “being the sad person”. For me anyway, feeling depressed is like walking around with a giant sword in the middle of you and having to go to the store anyway. It’s that dream where you go to school with no pants on but you still have to go to school even though you have no pants on. It’s listening to the movies in your head that go “remember how awkward and stupid you were? Let’s focus on that some more.” And then not being able to change the channel to that time when things were great – all while KNOWING that there’s a channel out there playing the movies about when things were great. It’s being in the middle of something really, really great… and crumbling to pieces at the slightest nuance: like a commercial, a chord, a flower bud, a particular shade of purple. Moreover, the kind of depression (or whatever you want to call it) that VanGogh was probably dealing with was likely not the kind of “sad rich person” depression that we are used to wrestling with in this country. His demons, his most powerful and most sinister inner demons didn’t just make him weepy for a week then make him decide to kill himself.

I don’t know. It’s getting hard to be clear about it since I have my own imaginary stab wounds to deal with today. I just feel really defensive about when people try to portray a particularly gifted and particularly tortured artist. They inevitably end up doing so in a very sanitary and comfortable and digestible way. Like, "oh, he’s so sad, but he knows he’s a great artist, and everyone loves great artists. *cue a cherubic grin*"

That kind of gift, that kind of torture, is never comfortable or digestible. That’s why it’s so hard to deal with, both inside and outside the brain in question. And that’s more than unfair to the people who suffer this stuff every day. It’s offensive.

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