I am highly aware of the darkness that lingers in my edges. It’s just outside of my space, most days, but there are mornings when I am listening to music and the house is in its own rhythm and I can feel the presence. On those mornings, the sky is more grey than blue, the tones are deeper and full of melancholy, and I am so far away from everything and everyone, I wonder if I might float off into that darkness. No, that’s not right…I am much more active in this moment; I wonder if I will retreat into that darkness. If I will settle into it, pulling it over me like a warm blanket.
It is a choice for me and I realize that it is not a choice for some. Having the power or the control or the freedom to choose brings with it an incredible sense of responsibility. And the guilt is so intense on the days when I find myself settled into the darkness. It feels unacceptable to stop and park myself there for any extended period of time. The guilt is enough to propel me back into the world that has continued around me, but I arrive with resentment. It’s a strange thing to admit and I’m not sure I fully understand all the emotions involved.
I knew a man who once shaved all of his facial hair, including his eyebrows. He wondered if anyone would notice (they did) and then he wondered how long it would be before he looked less like a plucked chicken and more like a man again. This was in the 80s, and he not only shaved his face, but then sat and watched The Wall for several days, naked-faced. I remember hearing about this after the fact (I didn’t meet him until well into the 90s, when he was, presumably, over Pink Floyd and had found other ways to sink into his darkness), but the story stayed with me, even after he faded into my history.