Revisited: An Old Friend

I wrote this poem in September of 2017. It was the first poem I had written in about 15 years. I had gone through a long stretch of really good energy and positivity, but it was coming to an end. I had taken on the task of going back to school, working two jobs and volunteering 10 hours a week. I was sleeping maybe 2–3 hours a day and my body and mind had had enough. My depression was back.

This is not my best work, or even good I would argue. But it sparked something in me and started me on the path that I’m walking now. I’m revisiting it now because I’ve drifted back to that place again. I wanted to read my thoughts the last time this happened, to compare the feelings and work out the differences. Thank you for reading.

~

My depression snuck up on me today

An old friend I hadn’t seen in a while.

He asked how I had been, I said great.

You see, I had finally found a way out,

A way to not be around him anymore.

He used to be ok, I would tolerate him.

He was company, filling a void of conversation and companionship.

Slowly, I realized there was more,

Other conversations that needed to be had,

Other connections I was missing out on

Because I experienced only him every day.

Yet here he was, invading my space again.

I know how this ends.

I know that he’ll hang around for a few days

Maybe a couple weeks

Hopefully no longer than a month

And then I’ll kick him out

Tired of his bullshit.

But in the meantime, I’ll sit

I’ll try to push him out but fail.

Not because I don’t have the strength,

But because in some small way,

I don’t want him to leave.

~

Photo by Michael Shannon on Unsplash

The View

I rearranged my apartment this week in a burst of spring cleaning initiative and my general unease with stagnation. I’ve lived in this apartment for 10 months, but my mind believes it to be longer. I’m a nomad at heart.

I knew when I began shifting furniture that I wanted to invite more creativity into the space. After all, my writing place was in the kitchen. I have four rooms in my apartment: the bedroom, the bathroom, the living room, and the kitchen, with a small dining space attached.

The small dining space was my writing space. It was faced toward the wall, artificial light pouring down on me, and a mound of dirty dishes in the background. It was a muse black hole, but it’s where I was getting my writing done.

So where was I going to move my writing space? I wanted to see nature, so I knew it should be at one of my windows. I had four eligible windows in my space. One overlooks my apartments parking space, and two others face the parking lot of the complex next door. Facing the busy street it was then.

At first, I loved it. It was the window with the best light, the sun doesn’t set on this side of the building, which meant I won’t be blinded by it. But as my view expanded, The cars became a distraction. As I said, it’s a fairly busy street. And it’s a direct route to the busiest bar area in the city, so even at night, there are constantly cars going back and forth below my perch.

This surely couldn’t work out. I couldn’t focus on my writing with all the traffic constantly pulling my attention away. But my view expanded one more time. To just beyond the window sill with the perfect lighting, beyond the street and sidewalks below with the bustling vehicles. In that picture above, if you look past the black metal fence and the trees, is the cemetery.

When I first moved to this apartment, the idea of living across from a cemetery didn’t bother me. Cemeteries have never been the place of spooky lore and undead for me, so I was content. However, I didn’t know that it would inspire me so much. And reawaken my muse.

The thing that helped spark that rebirth was the constant reminder of the inevitable: death. It’s coming for everyone, and we have to make the most of our opportunities. We can’t wait to make moves because someday, there won’t be any moves to make.

I want to start that novel, that podcast and take care of myself now. Regret is poison, but you don’t experience it until it’s too late. Make sure it isn’t too late.

Swing