So Depression slipped into the car with me this afternoon as I was getting ready to drive home.
He is one of my least favorites. He always has that know-it-all opinion about him that always infuriates me and that smirk that tells me he knows precisely what I have been thinking.
"So I guess things did not go so well today" he said with a grin as I started the car. I merely muttered back in return as I turned my head around to back out and then get the car in alignment to head out of the parking lot.
"In fact, it has been a pretty lousy week, right?" he questioned again with his grin plastered on his face as I looked both ways to get into traffic. "And the best part? The best part? It is only Thursday. You still have Friday to look forward to."
I grimaced. "We are not having this conversation today" I replied. "I am simply not in the mood to have it."
"Oh, but we have to" he replied with an almost serpent-like hiss to his voice. "We have to. We have to discuss how your life seems to be going nowhere fast and what we are going to do about it. Because we have to do something about it. We cannot merely just endure this sort of thing. After all, we have endured so much already."
I shook my head as I took the overpass turnoff to get on the main highway home. "No, we do not. We do not have to discuss this now. I am tired. I am angry. I am frustrated. And that is not the time to discuss things like this. It leads to nowhere that is good."
He sat quietly for some moments as I rolled through the two stoplights and onto the route uphill. He pursed his lips a bit and then said seriously "I know the real problem of course. You are without hope. That is a terrible thing."
Stopped in traffic, I looked straight at him. "I am not without hope" I replied angrily. "I am merely in a bit of a tight spot right now."
He nodded slowly. "Tight spot, yes. Tight as in you are stuck. Stuck in your job. Stuck in life. Stuck without the hope of going somewhere else."
"I am not stuck!" I yelled him out loud now, pounding the steering wheel in my frustration, the edges of tears peeking out of the corner of my eyes. "I chose this! I continue to choose this! I have responsibilities to meet. And responsibilities trump hope at times."
We rolled to a stop at the next light as I tried to slow down my breathing and calm down. "It is really okay" I finally croaked out to him. "I just need to wait a little longer. Things will get better."
He nodded back slowly. "Sure, sure" he replied. "Just a little more patience, right? A little more hanging on? " He ignored my focus on the road as we continued on to the next stop light. "Tell you what" he said as he reached down and disengaged the safety belt. 'I will just slip out here. This has been a good little discussion. Let us save the rest for next time - say, perhaps, tomorrow." And with that he was gone, slipped out and gone into a sea of cars before I could say another word.
I sat through the light, looking at the seat where he had been sitting, hearing his voice echoing in my head. Tomorrow. And Tomorrow. And Tomorrow.
But at least if I thought I would be here to have the debate tomorrow, that itself became a form of hope.