Toast And Coffee

She told me once that her depression was a howl with no end. And in her words, I could see the aching scream, moving like restless wind, rustling the leaves, leaving the night world uneasy and full of a dark distrust.

Why wasn’t it okay, she wanted to know, to have no clue what she wanted from this life? Truth be told, all she wanted today was to get out of bed and could that be enough?

Because you don’t know how depression, it makes your bones heavy, and your teeth hurt. How it colors your retinas grey and coats the world with a sickly pallor, and somehow you don’t ever get to feel the sun and stars, their brilliance and shine, as those with clear seeing eyes.

Depression, she says, is a loneliness that crawls on hands and knees through the cobweb corners of your dreams, and somehow beats you to breakfast, its shadowed self buttering toast and slurping coffee. No one else sees or hears that, no, they would call you crazy. They can’t feel ten long bony fingers, how they grip your shoulders so tight that you can’t feel your next breath.

She tells me, and I know, that I won’t ever understand what it feels like to struggle in her skin. She tells me, and I know, that she doesn’t expect a miracle, other than to feel human, warm blooded, that is all, for just one moment.

I close my eyes for that moment and wish the same for all of us, that somehow there was a scalpel or a stethoscope or hell, even just a magic wand if that’s what it took. How else to ease this inside-out pain that cannot be seen or held but is as true as the words she speaks, as desperate as all that will remain unspoken?

I tell her, and she knows, that I have no words, no answers, no cure. But she is still here. I am still here. Holding on for dear life, for her, and with her.