It occurs to me today that I am not doing at all well. I am
showered, I am dressed, I have makeup on, smudged though it is. I look
at the woman in the bathroom mirror and see those perfectly tweezed
brows and I think, "Here is a woman in need of rescue."
I should not admit to you that I slept until 2:00 p.m. today. Even
then, I didn't want to get up. For once, I was having good vivid
dreams, and I wanted to stay in my bed and continue having them. But it
seemed like time to get up.
So, I got up, drank coffee, checked email, and then went to work on
my eyebrows again. Never has there been a pair of more sculpted brows,
never more driven by escapism, depression, disturbance. Pluck pluck
pluck. Ah, the little pains, the little sharp jabs. I don't even know
right now why I need them so much. When I feel in danger of having too
little brow left, I search other places on my body for stray hairs.
This is hard: I am not a hairy person.
This is not the ideal condition under which to travel to a
conference this weekend. No, it is not. But at least nobody will be
able to accuse me of being too eager. Desperate, maybe, but certainly
not too eager.
If this continues throughout the week, if this appears to be more
longterm than one rainy, dark, overcast Monday, I might want to
reconsider and cancel. All that money on plane tickets, conference
membership, admission. All that disappointment. I have battled
depression before, and never has it interfered with my professional
And yet. Now, there is a yellow envelope on the table, a fax, work
to do, and I say, "I really need to go for a walk. A walk is just the
thing, and this work has no real deadline. It is not depression making
me unable to work. I just need a walk."
My running shoes are on. We are going for a walk, my depression and
I. I have a few ideas of where we could go: Library, bookstore.
I no longer think it is coincidental that I am reading poetry again.
In specific: poetry written by a man in the first year after his wife
has died. That the best language for grief lies with the poets. I know
that this depression is contextual. It's not happenstance or chemical.
It is specific, it is grief. It is numbness because in the face of
loss, the tears are too many, too crippling, and even lying in bed with
daydreams or all the tweezing in the world won't be able to help.
I am feeling better today, but still very tired. I am going to go to my conference, but I am feeling pretty mellow about it all.