Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Little things

All through July and August, I've been especially depressed. Not just mentally, but at the cellular level, physically barely able to get out of bed some days. (Kinda helpfully, though, I'd read someone's message post on a site about depression, saying they were so depressed that they physically couldn't stand up in the shower... Since I AM still able to shower, that made me feel better: "OK, I'm not THAT bad off!") :)

One odd physical symptom: You know how after you've been crying and you take a deep breath, your chest/lungs kind of "stutter" when you breathe in? It's not one solid breath, but short staccato ones... I've been breathing like that since July. Not just after crying, but EVERY time I took a deep breath. (The "me," my mind, felt and feels bad for my body... it's going through its own pangs.)

Today, there was a bit of a break in the "fever." One immediate reason was the weather last night. It feels like it's been in the mid-80s/90s for weeks now, but last night the humidity lifted and when I went to bed, an actual cool breeze was blowing in... and the air smelled good! (When I was reading history books about this area, one thing that Henry Hudson's men commented on when they first discovered the Hudson River and island of Manhattan in the 1600s was how sweet the air here smelled. Last night, I understood what they were talking about.)

(A couple of other reasons: The nice e-mail from Donald Spoto a few days ago, which lifted my spirits greatly and made me feel appreciated. And...This sounds silly, but over the weekend I caught "Dirty Dancing" and "Good Will Hunting" and "Serendipity" and "The Harvey Girls" on TV... Talk about an uplifting bunch of movies! I needed something, anything to get me thinking about "the power and magic of love"... not "love" with a particular person, but just the SPIRIT of love... Those movies' spirits were incredibly warm and powerful. p.s. NO thanks to YOU, "Asphalt Jungle"!) :)

When I woke up today, I felt very clear-headed, despite drinking the night before. For the past months, that hasn't been the case, even when I'd had nothing to drink the night before. Even after days of not drinking, I'd still wake up all bleary and unable to do anything but lie there and watch TV in between naps.

AND... I took normal deep breaths today for the first time in ages! Still alternating with the "stuttering" breaths, but a positive sign nonetheless. My body's working on itself to get better.

And here's a nice little thing that made me feel good: I made a food and beer/cig run this evening, stopping at my usual corner store. My purchases totalled $18.75. When I presented my debit card to the woman who's always behind the counter, she told me that the card approval service was down. I felt, and must've looked, crestfallen: "I'm sorry -- I don't have any cash on me." And she said: "Just pay me tomorrow."

"Just pay me tomorrow"! How wonderful and trusting is that! I live in the biggest metropolitan area in America, where people are supposed to be guarded and suspicious... and she tells me I can pay her tomorrow! I'm part of the neighborhood! :)

And I'd almost forgotten something else nice: On Sunday, I was craving Taco Bell -- the nearest of which is about 2 miles away, so I wanted to catch a bus rather than walk. I thought the local fare was $1.15, so that's all the cash I put in my pocket. Turns out the actual fare was $1.35. I didn't have the extra 20 cents, but the driver just nodded and let me ride anyway! (That might sound minor, but many a time I've seen drivers refuse passengers who couldn't come up with the correct change. The drivers hear so much bullshit day in and day out that some of them turn, probably with reason, into rigid assholes.)

Little things mean a lot. (Thankyouthankyouthankyou, god. For nice store clerks and bus drivers and authors. For warm-spirited movies. For cool, fresh breezes.)

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