Tag Archives: depression

Driving Down

On a daily basis, Richard got behind the wheel of his car to go to the office, and also daily, he would reflect on his life and the wrong turns he made. She was gone. Long gone. But he still didn’t feel any better.

As he went through green lights turned yellow about to turn red, he wondered the chances of a truck running it and ending it all for him. He had not the guts to do it himself, so he hoped for a Mack Truck to finish him off. Richard lacked the patience for improvement in his happiness; little did he know it was just around the corner.

Years later, once his life was together and he had a wife, two children and a happiness he never knew existed, his wish would come true.

The Funereal Photographer

Alice got home from work and pulled out the vintage Polaroid camera she’d discovered at a yard sale fully loaded, an unlikely find. She took out a small cloth and cleaned the lens, then reread the directions posted on the back of the camera itself. She was ready.

She threw on a cardigan in case it got chilly as evening approached and walked to the door to look at the world through the camera. She moved it from one spot to another with a heavy sigh. After a moment she went outside to walk around and find some photo opportunities.

Wandering around her neighborhood was admittedly not the way to find great shots, but none of her friends would pose for her. If she were honest with herself, she would realize that she wasn’t really close to any of them.

The camera was exciting, but the prospect of taking photographs of flowers and trash on the road and trees and cars didn’t really feel like the ultimate use of this rare and almost magical ancient film. She wanted to capture the image of a person. To know the feeling of posing them just right followed by the satisfaction of hearing the click of the shutter.

This was the first time Alice realized that she was alone. No boyfriend. No best friend. A few acquaintances who never called her; she was always the one dialing them, asking them to go out, and then hitting end after they declined.

She walked down the empty street, dragging her hand along a chain link fence, and looked from house to house, car to car, nobody to be found. She headed for the playground in the hopes that some parent would be there pushing their child on a swing, or teaching them to ride a bike. But when she got there she realized it wasn’t right. She relaxed on a bench and watched some kids play on the nearby jungle gym.

She moved to the swingset and let the Polaroid rest on her lap, her free hand holding the chain, resting her head against the cold metal chain.

Photographs taken by me of model/makeup artist Sarah Maccarelli, whose work can be seen here. She was great to work with and was quite the actress, considering how happy and friendly she was.

Coffee and Passion

Photograph by Tracy Zhang. Her blog can be found here. Model is Betsy from RazorBlonde.

This was supposed to be the biggest event of her life so far. Her first exhibit. Press practically drooling over her work. People stepping on each other to be the first to congratulate her. And yet the hollowness continued to consume her even in the face of possible fame.

More effort went into this day than any other. She’d been at the gallery before the sun started its shift, and still wore the striped shirt she’d thrown on as she stumbled out of her studio apartment. Coffee sustained her, passion kept her going when the former failed her, and the culminating moment was upon her before she knew it as the crowd gathered and whispered and praised her photographs.

She walked down the aisle between walls covered in her work, black and white photographs of people, some looking at her as she passed, some looking away, as hands kept patting her on the back, tapping her shoulder, asking question after question that she answered in a daze.

Why hadn’t he shown up? Could he really stand her up on such a momentous occasion?

Ignoring the questions and deflecting the fans onto her agent and the gallery owner, Belle headed outside to the loading dock behind the gallery for a moment of respite.

She leaned against the brick wall, recently painted white, and thought back to the last year. She’d been to every single one of his events, large or small, dressed as beautiful and elegant as she could just to impress him and his clients. She’d given up a lot for him, and maybe this was the final sign that he wasn’t the one .

Her head rested against the cold brick as her ring scraped against the wall, waking her up from a melancholy daze. She stood away from the wall as if an alarm went off, checked her makeup in the reflection of her nearby car’s side mirror, grabbed the simple black dress hanging in the back seat and went back inside, ready to face the crowd, the fans, and the possibility of future fame.

Why Should I Cry Over You?

The Pillow Baby

Olive leaned against the heavy mahogany door upon entering, sighed and tried to relax. The party celebrating her parents’ fortieth anniversary in the most exclusive restaurant in town was a trial, especially with Darren in Africa on business yet again. It seemed as if her mother had informed everyone about how long they’d been trying and failing; aunts, cousins and even strangers were giving her all sorts of ridiculous folk cures. Her mother shared her most intimate and private problems with so many people.

The year of negative pregnancy tests and constant monthly reminders of her fate.

The frantic calls telling him to get home, racing the clock for attempts that never produced.

The genetics test for every defect under the sun on both her and her husband.

The ovulating tests. The monthly, then bi-weekly, and finally weekly ultrasounds.

And the drugs. Oh the drugs. Her medicine cabinet would spill out piles of orange and white bottles, an avalanche of reminders.

Olive sighed and moved away from the door toward the room they’d decorated, in case it ever were to happen, and leaned over the dusty furniture, snatching a frilly pillow that was spotted with small green dots. She meandered up to her room and lowered herself onto the bed without even removing her gold sandals, hugging the pillow to her chest and inhaling the smell of the store where they’d bought it, the cushion still fresh and new as if they had not purchased it years ago. She slid it towards her belly a bit, wondering what it would be like, and then lifted her designer silk dress and placed the pillow under it.

She tried to imagine what it would be like as her hands held the faux belly as if she were feeling for movement. She felt nothing, something she was becoming used to in more ways than one.

She reached over to the bed stand and picked up her phone, left behind for the night on purpose. Her doctor was supposed to call earlier today and let her know if they had been successful, and as she pushed the send button her phone lit up, showing a notification that she had a missed call and a voicemail.

Her head turned toward the photographs on their nearby dresser, family portraits from her childhood, with the family portraits of her three brothers next to them: all the brothers had five of six children. The photos were accompanied by a picture of her sister and her sister’s wife, standing with their adopted daughter. Olive loved each of those children as if they were her own, but in the moment turned away from them in disgust. She wanted to run over and open the top drawer and with her arm shove them all out of her sight forever, or until this all finally ended.

She reached over and dropped the phone back onto the bed stand and let her hands run over the pillow again, drifting off into a listless sleep, imagining the best, but not ready to hear the worst.

Photograph by Tom Hinds.

Watch for this story from Darren’s point of view later this week!

The Boy With No Happy Ending

Artwork by Kate Hiscock of Slightly Me

He watches them embrace from across the street, right under the little orange hand that warns him it was not safe to cross. It glows, mocking him, forcing him to keep his distance.

He wants what they have. But he know his role in life, he knows where this all ends up.

He is the boy with no happy ending. If his past has taught him anything, it is this. And he accepts it.

He has this power over people, they find him so interesting, so quirky, so rare.

And yet he will never find love. And he accepts this.

The couple across the street, coming in and out of view as cars rushed by blurring his view of them, move as if under a strobe light.

Flash. They are kissing.

Flash. She pulls away.

Flash. He smiles.

Flash. She smiles.

Flash. They kiss again.

He watches, trying not to, attempting to look away before they notice how he stares at their obvious and understood love for each other. Everyone witnessing this moment can see their devotion. It is clear.

He wants a beautiful person to kiss on a corner, a sad goodbye even though they both know they will be in each other’s arms again later that night.

He will never meet that girl. And he accepts this.

More cars.

Flash. He gently strokes the tattoo on her arm.

Flash. She brushes a tuft of his dyed blonde hair away from his face.

Flash. He does the same to her and laughs.

Flash. She lets out a flirtatious giggle.

Flash. They are kissing again.

A bus passes and The Boy With No Happy Ending notices a woman on it with messy hair and an oversized gray sweater on. She is staring out of the window with a distant, melancholy look, and he knows how she feels.

As the bus pulls away, leaving a dark cloud of pollution behind it, he sees that the couple is no longer embracing on the corner. The girl is walking away, the guy is walking towards his side of the street.

The orange hand disappears, and the little white man appears, telling the boy it’s now safe to cross.