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?

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.