The monsoon has come to Delhi–six days early for this year’s prediction and about 2 weeks early for the usual date. Amma was here all weekend and we spent most of it lounging about in one balcony or the other gossiping and reading. It was FC’s birthday on Saturday and, after the success of Second Me’s birthday party I offered to let him throw his at my house. And what a party it was! I had such a wonderful time. I acquired at least three more fags to hag, and felt absolutely fabulous. I was also full-on smooched by one of said fags, because he loved my chocolate cake so much. I was outrageous and fun and…me. I wonder why I’m not like that more.
Anyway, I woke up early and drove Amma to the airport this morning. And as I drove back I felt a wave of sadness descend. I can think of no trigger whatsoever–yes I know Amma left, but it isn’t an I miss Amma sadness, it’s a nostalgia for something sadness. I miss the Flake. Dreadfully. Which always happens after parties, because almost every great party I’ve been at in the past eight months has had him there, and we’d always end up dancing. I miss January, when my frielationship was at its best and somehow through all my depression I was happy.
This time last year I was recovering from FC and his then boyfriend’s birthday party. The boyfriend was also a dear friend, or so I thought. The party had in attendance Organised Writer, who picked me up, drove me there and took home when we were done, because that’s how close we were. He was my plus one to that party so I could introduce him to publishing people. Then Chocolate Boy and Mad Writer were there too; and at that time CB was also a dear friend.
I don’t know if I miss those three per se, but I guess it was a happy time, and at that point of my life happy times were rare. And they were all (the Flake included, though not this time last year) people who I loved very much and were there making my life a little happier in one of its darkest phases. I guess I somehow always thought to myself: I can’t wait to get out of this–imagine how much fun we’ll have then. And one short year later I *am* better. But they are not here. With the Flake and the Knight it’s not quite as simple of course, feelings in the first case and changing relationship in the second, but with those three I don’t quite know what to think.
As I drove through the drip to work this morning though, and Mark Knopfler came on to serenade me, it struck me that well, whether I like it or not, it’s what it is now. And that’s okay. Yes it hurts and I miss them and I am scared to love people sometimes, because I don’t really want to go over this cycle of investment and loss again and again. But it is not a judgement on me, my choices or my future. There will be people who are outright shits, people who are outright angels, people who rush back and forth between these extremes and people who just are. It’s what it is, and that’s okay.
And that’s when it hit me.
This is not le sad, the monster of two years.
This is nostalgia. This is grief, grief for the loss of the good times; nostalgia for the remembered good times, nostalgia untinged by bitterness. (Okay, not the Flake.) And though I’m still sad right now, I’m happy. Because for the first time in two years, I am feeling grief, not depression.
Andrew Solomon, my personal depression writing hero, managed to capture starting page sixteen of The Noonday Demon** exactly what depression is. I remember reading it and gasping and crying because someone outside GOT it. And articulated it. One of the several things he says is that “Grief is depression in proportion to circumstance; depression is grief out of proportion to circumstance”. What I have felt for every little thing to happen to me in the past two years has always been out of proportion to circumstance. And today, for the first time in a very long time, it is in proportion to circumstance.
And that makes me breathe easy.
*okay nothing to do with post, but I did have revelation to the sound of the song, and now it’s stuck in my head.^
**Please please take five minutes and read pages 16-20.
^Having written post I see it *does* have much to do with the post hee