The sadness washed over her again. She was feeling alone even though there were tons of people around her. What was she going to do? Why did she get like this? Ever since she was little there was no control over when it would happen. How could she do it all the time and never know when the feeling was going to come over her again?
When you tell stories because the truth is too difficult to speak is surely when you know you’re in a little bit more than a bind. The lack of truth builds towards greater stockpiles of lies as life goes on. You wonder what is happening, why your mouth moves the way it does when the stuff comes out of it that does. Where is there a place where what you feel and what you speak are the same?
There is a saying about things being consistent with something. That is, for example, someone’s actions not being consistent with integrity; like a politician who says one thing, does another and feels completely alright living in these disagreeing worlds.
Alone is something many of us could do. For her, alone was easy compared to the overwhelming sadness. She could control the alone part. Sadness she had no control over. It would just come, visit, stay awhile, as long as it liked. When she was younger she played guitar alone, strumming silently in her room. Her mother would wonder why the music she played was so sad. She never thought it was sad. It was just appropriate to her. The guitar said what it wanted. The loneliness of the guitar was different than the sadness in that while she was playing it, while she was experiencing its friendship, she knew the visit would only be temporary. The sadness came and stayed for days—alternating its bouts of intensity.
People would think she had everything: nice home, nice car, nice job, nice boyfriend. Everything was nice. Why and how could she be so sad at times? Her favorite word was inconsolable. She often told her friends when the sadness was choking her speech, “I’ll catch up with you in a few days. I just want to be alone right now.”
Being alone was her best chance at slaying the sadness. She took its continually showing up, no matter what good was going on in her life, as a kind of challenge to her soul. When she was alone with it, the sadness was not as formidable. It was only when she was in a crowd, with friends, family, that the sadness could make her into something she wasn’t—which was a joiner.
She liked routine as most Homo sapiens do. Routine helped get her through things like a full-time job, that while making her comfortable financially, was something she was loath to engage happily in each day without at least the safe boredom of regular routine. Her trip to and from work was a sanctuary in that she held out hope she would be snatched out of the car by aliens some day on the way in. Not because she wanted to be kidnapped by aliens, but because it would be something that would keep her out of work as well as out of sadness. Surely the aliens would have all manner of distractions for her to enjoy while in their captivity.
The sadness was curious to her more than anything at this point in her life. It led to great bouts of creativity. She would write poems, lyrics to songs yet to be finished, play guitar pieces she had never been able to play, while in its clutches. Sadness was something not to deflect, not to medicate, but to let consume her. The quicker she succumbed to its wishes, the sooner its episodes would pass.
The blues was a lighter adjective for the sadness. She could not be delivered from the sadness with pills no sooner than she could the blues. Full blown depression was something that needed pills. Antidepressants were what were needed for depression. They didn’t have anti-sadness pills. Perhaps anti-sadness salve consisted of ice cream consumption, she thought (after consuming a half-gallon of ice cream and feeling not so bad afterwards—farting and belching as she lay down to sleep).
She often thought reputations were for inanimate objects and not for people. Reputations were never a barometer or assuredness of quality, especially when it came to purchases. To some people Ford makes good cars, so to these people, she thought, Ford had a good reputation as an automobile manufacturer. People are human, she thought, so reputations could take years to build and moments to sully. Just because Ford produced an occasional lemon did not matter to those consumers who thought the auto maker had a good reputation, she reasoned. It was unfair that people should have reputations. When a human has a lemon, whether it’s a thought, a failure, a recommendation gone the wrong way, a personal service that leaves something to be desired on any given occasion, suddenly, and ridiculously, good reputations are no longer.
She hated when people would say, “The world’s not fair.” Why would anyone want to reside in a world where things could be so cruel? Why wouldn’t everyone just cease to live in places like this? Certainly fairness can be subjective but for everyone to think unfairness is the inherent nature of the planet was just demeaning to the species, she thought, and not somewhere she could enjoy taking up permanent residence.
If the world is not fair how come everyone is mortal and one day ceases to live?; doesn’t get much fairer than that. The sadness, her temporary death, the respite from happiness she is supposed to enjoy more often than not, the unfair (or is it fair?) reminder that her fate in this regard will be no different than anyone else’s.