Getting that close to the rugs makes me realize how badly I need to vacuum. A fact that makes me yawn just to keep from crying.
Like most soft headed women I decided this new onset of depression could be cured with Ice Cream. But I wouldn’t see money until Friday so into the change jar I dove. About $4.50 I came up with, surely enough for a handful of tasty, fatty endorphins. I didn’t even lock the apartment door I was in such a rush.
At the liquor store half a block up I debated my options. Apparently they may Twix bars in ice cream form now. That was intriguing. But then there was my old favorite the Snickers ice cream bar… I look to my left. Jesus is that mini Hagen Das? Dolce de Leche? Are you shitting me? I bundle all of this in my arms and take it up to Victor, the sweet, soft spoken latin man who seems to never be off shift. But not before I grab a bottle of apple juice because I just HAD to have it.
“$5.08.” Said Victor quietly. His gold grills glinting in counterpoint to his personality.
“Uh.. ok. I’m going to put that Twix back, ok? Hold on.” I skittered back to the ice cream cooler as a portly man dressed in black came in to the shop. Back up to the counter I went a skittering again. I counted out change like I had the right amount.
“Ok, one, two, three, four, five, six seven, eight, nine, ten… Ok that makes three dollars…”
Behind me the fat man in black started up. “Are you short? I’ve got some change in my pocket.” But Victor, My short, Mexican, my knight in armor with his shining gold teeth just said without a hint of sarcasm: “I really needed change. I’m glad you came by.”
I laughed nervously. “Well I’m glad me and my poverty could help out.Ok, there’s a dollar in quarters…”
The jerk off behind me got in touch with his funny bone. He addressed Victor.
“Hey, I’m going to pay in pennies. Is that ok?”
I turned with the smile my mother taught me. The easy going one that means mentally we are doing grievous violence to a person. A beating with a tire iron is a family favorite.
“Haha, yeah…I’m not doin’ so good today, huh?”
“I’m just kidding!” says the man in black.
“Oh, I know!” I say, chipper as always. But in my head the gory thought: “I WILL EAT YOU LIKE THE CUBAN PORK SANDWICH YOU ARE JUST LET ME FIGURE THIS OUT.”
In the end Victor lets me go twenty cents short. My hero.
I’m at the elevator door and can’t even wait for it to show up before I start opening my Snickers Ice Cream Bar. The chocolate is cracked. Fault lines run down the length of it, caramel oozes and a solitary peanut surfaces like a whale breaching through the shattered coco carapace.
My entire world opens beneath my feet. The litany begins.
“My god.” I think staring at my damaged goods. “I can’t even buy a Snickers Ice Cream without fucking it up. I mean I’m going to eat it, but I was going to eat it at the computer and read blogs… but it’s going to get melty and the caramel is going to drip on the keyboard. I’m going to ruin the D through H keys and I won’t able to fix it.I’ll have to go to the Apple store and they are always so good looking and judgmental and they won’t fix it because they don’t fix damage done to a machine by it’s junk food fatty owner. I’ll have to call dad and admit that I fucked up because I love Snickers Ice Cream Bars! Oh he’ll be sweet about it and solve the problem but maybe he’s wondering why his twenty four year old daughter can’t keep it together long enough to notice the caramel dripping out of the wrapper or complete a BA in illustration. Really, it’s shit like this that makes you unworthy of love…”
Depression is like this. A creeping beast in the undergrowth that strikes at the most absurd of moments. Any legitimate reason you may have for being upset is waylaid by the small and insubstantial. You’ll spill coffee grounds while making the morning joe and sink to the floor in despair, contemplating Plath like whether or not to put your head in the oven and end it all.
Or it forces you to sleep for hours at a time at random to think only when opening your eyes: “SHIT. I woke up again. I thought for sure that time my organs had shut down.”
But it’s those small victories that get you through. For example, even though my Snickers Ice Cream Bar was a hot mess I managed not to curl up in front of the elevator door and take a nap. No! I successfully waited until it reached the lobby before stepping in while drooling all over my ice cream. I had bogarted the entire thing by the time I reached the third floor, the caramel sucked from my fingers. I even made it to my bathroom with some time to spare so I could fill the sink with cold water and plunge my head in when the tears started! Magnificent! I may still be unemployed but damn it, I pulled my head out of the porcelain looking fresh as an english rose!
It’s the small victories that get you through.