Just now, it sounded like a noir movie outside my window: rain beating down, sirens shrieking past, and somebody in a nearby apartment playing the saxaphone. It's a good week for melancholia, with wet and gray weather promised for a few days yet. There's a lot of gloom in the air and many friends around me are miserable. There's the one whose job make her cry, the one who moved thousands of miles only to have her heart broken, the one whose job and man make her cry. There's my mother. There's me.
"It's even harder for you because you don't have a man in your life," Mom said, wiping my tears in the back of a taxi. "You don't have anyone to go to for extra support besides me. And I don't have anyone but you. We both need to find good men."
"A man wouldn't solve everything. That wouldn't make me realize my place in the world. I don't want to be a wife and mother and nothing else. I want to accomplish something more... I just don't know what."
"But it would make it easier."
I looked at the blurred empty streets beyond the rain-speckled window. The car jerked at the turns and stops, the driver grumbled at traffic lights.
"Maybe. But there aren't any good ones. Or none around here."
And even if there are, I'm not about to go looking for them. I can barely maintain minimal contact with a third of my friends at the moment. I have nothing to say, because nothing is different. Every day that I don't cry at work or on the subway is a small battle won. Every minor thing that makes me smile is miraculous. I can pull it together for a night out here and there, have moments where I feel at ease. On Saturday, out with a college friend, sipping on a glass of wine, waiting for a band to come on, hearing a Depeche Mode song, and I felt a tiny sense of elation filling me up. For those few minutes, I felt content and pretty and upbeat and in the moment.
Those moments have been increasingly more elusive. I wonder how long it's going to go on, this hazy, aimless sadness. I don't know what's worse, the hours of not feeling anything at all or the flashes where I can't keep it together, where it hits me all at once and not always in the best time or place, like outside a movie theater or in a taxi. It's so familiar, this bleak nothingness, but somehow it hasn't gotten easier. Not yet.
Change is inevitable, but seems inconceivable right now. I can't see a way out of this dark and lonely place any time soon, so it seems better to keep to myself. I have some time off coming up and will probably plan a small trip away. New York is grating on me, so it will do me good. Haven't decided where to go, though. Finding direction has never been my strong suit.