Sometimes, on days like today, when the weather is weird and I'm not sure what season it's supposed to be and I'm overextended and under-rested and having a bad hair day and the afternoon just will not end -- sometimes, on days like today, I find myself struggling to live with myself. Maybe it's nothing, maybe it's normal, maybe everybody hears a random Warren Zevon song on their iPod and they start wondering whether the world would be different if they ceased to exist. Disappear, never to be seen or heard again. Not suicidal or anything, just ... existential.
I often joke that when I am no longer of this Earth, I will be driving the bus directly to Hell to assume my rightful place at Satan's left hand. Fire and brimstone do not scare me; I have lived through the Presidential administrations of two different Bushes, one of whom could not even successfully run a baseball team. Billy Joel and I are in agreement: "I'd rather laugh with the sinners than cry with the saints; the sinners are much more fun." And I already work in some super-secret Ninth Circle of Hell, the one reserved for middle managers and the designer of the collapsible cubicle wall and the inventor of Muzak.
And it's not like I expect to go to Heaven, either, to join in those pinochle games in the clouds, where one great-grandmother can give me shit for not knowing how to cook a two-minute egg and the other can raise holy hell because I wantonly leave the house without applying lipstick. Much as I would love them, I just don't see myself strolling around inside the Pearly Gates having spirited (heh) debates with my father-in-law about the merits of the designated hitter while my grandfather plies me with shots of blackberry brandy for a change.
What I think I am most afraid of is that nothing comes after -- that I will spend an eternity in an infinite abyss of nothingness, of desolate loneliness, where I won't remember anything or anyone I once knew. No cheesesteaks. No Mexico. No "War Pigs" or Weird Al or "What A Wonderful World." No dragonflies or daffodils or Dutch-processed cocoa. My disembodied soul will also be disemboweled, directionless. Dark, and oh so very alone.
And what I know I actually fear, more than even that? Is that sometimes, on days like today, I will feel all those miles and all those aeons and all those metric tons of solitude when I am still here. This is what depression feels like to me.