Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Two Steps Back

For the last two days I've been fighting melancholy again. A large, unexpected expense came our way, thanks to the State. More I cannot say except that I've engaged a professional, the same sort of professional known for eating its young with nary a burp. In any case, the precipitating event, long since past, tripped my melancholy wire, which puts me in danger.

The pathetic fallacy has taken a big beating since the era of the Romantics but it is almost unavoidable in depression. Example: I look out on our deck where a $2.99 kettle barbecue stands by a weathered redwood bench with a crimson bathroom floor mat hanging over the railing. The barbecue looks sad to me--so small, short a screw from the assembly packet, so cheap and unwanted that it becomes an object of pity that makes me want to cry. Psychologists would say that I'm projecting my own sadness on the barbecue but it doesn't feel that way. My mind wants to hug the barbecue, to comfort it, to say, "Poor little barbecue, cheap and small. I want to protect you but I'm powerless." Silly, huh?

Depression is silly in how its globalization of objects leads to a false and sometimes psychotic sympathy. I don't usually feel sorry for bugs and barbecues but I when I'm depressed I can. And it's not pity or empathy that I feel but commiseration. "Poor houseplant with the two brown leaves."

I'm not saying I'm depressed but the past two days have seen some slippage. I may need to go back on that medicine, just tapered, that adds pounds the way an abacus adds numbers.

I also wonder why my last post elicited no comments. Apparently the first draft of the poem was so bad that no one in their kindness felt free to speak to it. I finally commented just to get rid of the goose egg. When reduced to commenting on my own blog I am pitiful and deserve to be depressed.

Back to two kilorats,

Dr. Chaffin


  1. Hey I commented on your last post! Also, please, for the love of God, don’t tell me the number of blog comments you have are the measure of a man; If so, I rank somewhere beneath the liver fluke.

    Feel better CE,


  2. Proud you know of the liver fluke. It's just my temporary return to melancholy that makes me want some kind of contact, some proof of a human connection. Else I write only for myself. But thanks for the bitch-slap!


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