After School Special

I want cute shoes. Payless has a pair I want, bright blue wedges with a tall heel, but they are sold out of my size online. I wear women's size 12 (actually an 11.5W but finding 12s is hard enough) and Payless is one of maybe three or four stores that actually carries my size, but only a little. I take what I can get.

Their website has a thing where you can look up specific shoes in-store. The website says the store three avenue blocks away has them, so I walk over. When I get there, they do not have the shoes. I walk through the store three times but they do not have the shoes. In actuality this is the third store I have tried, the website said all three had the shoes but none of them have. I decide to give up, but really give up this time.

I walk up fifth avenue. The original plan was to buy the shoes, walk back to work to stash them at my desk and then go to the comedy show at 7:30. It is 6:10 now. I decide to walk to the comedy show anyway.

Everywhere I go in New York there are beautiful women. To put that another way, everyone in New York is beautiful. I am in constant admiration of the clothes others are wearing. I try really hard to dress nice, even when I do not feel like it, but it never looks nice on me. Nobody admires the way I dress in the way I admire others, I can feel it from their gazes.

I walk around for a while, turning whenever I hit a red light. Now I am in Times Square. There are tourists everywhere.

You can tell if you pass for a real New Yorker if the people barking for comedy shows try to talk to you or not. Right now I am New Yorker angry, but I am walking too slow and so I fail the test tonight. It only makes me more angry.

There are people wearing the huge furry mascot costumes like you see at theme parks. Ever since I moved here I have had this perfect vision in my mind. It is crystal clear.

I am slow-motion throwing a right cross that connects with Elmo's face.

Elmo is lying motionless as I am taken away in handcuffs by the cops.

I see the footage that they play on the local news and in the taxicabs.

It is going to happen, it is only a matter of time.

I am angry with myself. I am hungry but when I get angry with myself like this I withhold food from myself as punishment. For being fat. But even worse for having large feet.

In a fantasy world I could lose the weight, but I will always have gigantic feet. I say it like that because I have accepted that I will never lose weight, that it is actually impossible. That I do not have the willpower and for that reason I am disgusting.

I also realize part of having clown-sized feet comes from being tall, but I do not let myself acknowledge that when I can instead blame myself. if my feet were just size 10 instead I could buy whatever cute shoes I wanted. And maybe if I had cuter shoes I would look nice.

Maybe if I looked nice people would want to talk to me. Maybe if I looked nice there could be a possibility that I would make friends or fall in love with someone.

And I know that the constant buying of clothes and shoes is just my way of trying I fill the empty part of my soul that is so cavernous when I stand at the edge and peer into the abyss, it is so deep that nothing stares back at me. I am not sure it will ever be filled in again. So in that way it is probably good that I can only buy clothes from our stores and shoes from two, if the opposite were true I would be so deep in debt.

But what if buying clothes to be cute is the only way to meet people and meeting people is the only way I fix my soul then I have no choice.

And what if I realize the futility of all of this, the idiocy of it, and outright denial of it is the only thing that means I can get out of bed at all. What if the only way to continue is down the wrong path because the alternative is paralysis and death? What then?



Hi, if you made it this far I need to say a few things.

I am fine. I do not want anyone to worry about me. Please do not email me with concern. I am fine.

I suffer from depression and this essay is an example of how it manifests itself. I wrote this, stream of consciousness, the other night at a low-point. This is a true story, many of these things are concerns about my life I am dealing with, but this is not my day-to-day life. I was not sure if I should publish this, but I am doing so because it is an accurate portrait of the places my mind goes when I am depressed.

I truly believe that if we are going to live in a society where mental illness is not looked down upon, where it is treated as the true life-threatening illness it can be, we have to be the change we want to be.

That means being honest about illnesses like depression, so I am publishing this to be transparent and open.

I suffer from depression but I am dealing with it.