I remember Peggy Lee singing a song whose chorus included these words:
"Is that all there is?
Is that all there is?
If that's all there is my friends, then let's keep dancing
Let's break out the booze and have a ball
If that's all there is."
I realized something. I had a feeling that it happened and I just watched it happen. Some people may not have seen it in my case because they were understandably enjoying theirs, but mine just stopped being enjoyable.
What happened? Life done passed me by.
Right now, it is about 9:40 PM on a quiet Monday night on the 20th anniversary of Frank Sinatra's death. The mood is rather morbid and lonely. I am sitting here and trying to figure out what happened. The only sound in the room which is tuned to a non-distinct channel while the rest of the room is filled with darkness. I look around occasionally to look at the shadows, but I still try to figure out when I lost my zeal for life itself.
I briefly think back to the people I lost in my life-my parents, my baby sister, close friends and others whose names were not that familiar to me. I then think of those who are close to me and—thankfully—are still around. I think of my best friend Bob, an awesomely amazing corporate attorney whose steps epitomize the very meaning of success. He is married to an amazing wife, the dad of three wonderful children, the brother of two sisters and the son of amiable and supportive parents. His end result is an ever-increasing amount of friends.
Then, there is Mike, another best friend of mine. Like Bob, we also attended the same high school. Like Bob, he also has a great family. Mike tends to be very contemplative and very supportive. I can easily see him successfully leading troops through battle and not losing a single life. He takes the time to think things through before taking his next step.
Finally, there is my other best friend. Her name is Nancy. She is married to a wonderful husband and produced very intelligent sons. Nancy is really amazing. She brings a sense of happiness to a room. If happiness was paint, she could walk into a drab room and walk out of a bright room with no problems. She is so easy to talk with and she can pick up a ton of unhappiness and throw it out of a window with ease. Some people use marijuana, alcohol, and drugs to try to pick themselves up. Nancy can pick up people's sadness with a smile. I always enjoy chatting with her whenever I get a chance. I have other friends just like Nancy (Ann, Anne, Mary, and some others) who are just like Nancy, but I haven't seen them in a while.
But for me? Well, at times, I feel like I am at life's bus stop and the bus left the stop before I could get there in time. I am simply looking at the posterior of the bus and wondering why I did not get there earlier. That is my bad timing.
Sometimes, I can just hear life laughing at me. It is a hearty belly laugh. Unlike a roulette wheel, I had one chance to spin the wheel, but I did not even have the money in order to take the spin. I spent my time watching that wheel spin for others, but it never really spun for me. I watched as Bob, Mike, and Nancy took their winnings and made the most of them, but I had nothing to invest. The lady I loved died before I could tell her that I loved her. My family died. Friends have moved away. Age is beginning to creep up on me. My neighborhood is changing for the worst. And through it all, I am just helplessly watching everything. Life is just drifting away with each passing day.
Thirty or forty years ago, I would just smile all day long, not in a crazy fashion, but as needed. I would share a smile with others—joke around or anything else—just to make others happy. Now, I really see no reason to smile. What is there to smile about anyway? Smile because I'm still alive? Okay, I smiled. Now what? Smile because I still have my health? Okay, I'm smiling. Again, now what? I still see no other reason to smile anymore. Jokes are no longer funny. Nothing cheers me up. Even my wardrobe reflects my mood as all of my clothing is dark. I feel at ease wearing black pants than any other color. They just fit my mood as of late.
I even noticed that I drive alone. I enjoy the company of the radio than the company of a passenger. Other than mandatory trips to get something to eat—I simply can't keep enough food in the fridge—I will go out just to go out. I keep no appointments because I simply don't care anymore. I am in no rush to get anywhere, so, I will never risk getting a speeding ticket. A majority of the time, I will take a mental health ride just to clear out the cobwebs in my cranium. I have staked out many isolated areas in town where I would simply park just to watch a sunset and end the day. Many times, I am just glad that I don't have a gun because I would not shoot anyone, but I would be the type to litter my brains all over the car or wherever I am.
I've often asked myself, "Am I depressed?" Really? Is THIS what depression is all about? I refuse to go to a doctor and be prescribed medicine. I hate medicine. I decided to go back to my notes about Dr. Sigmund Freud. Based on his findings, I decided to take his advice and channel whatever energy into an activity in order to take my mind off my depression. To some extent, it works, but it is only a short-term pacifier to my day. What should I do when I am not writing?
I then went to my laptop and decided to get involved with Facebook in order to interact with some people online. It sort of matched my situation. Here I was chatting with some people, but not being able to really know them. I glance through their profiles and discovered that they are having more fun and still having much more fun than I am. It is just sickening just seeing all of that happiness at times. I am able to write a word and then retract it if it did not suit me at all. Still, I am empty.
Is that all there is?
Is that all there is?
I don't know. I really don't know at all. Perhaps 62 is just too soon to think about it. Perhaps 62 is just too late to think about it. I have to think about it. Once you are in the grip of depression, you will never forget it. There is no person on Earth who can help you. There is no magic pill. There is nothing that you can do. It affects each person differently. Each person reacts differently. Me? I just spend my time pouting. I frequently think about the opening lyrics of the Smokey Robinson tune, "Tears of a Clown."
"Now if there's a smile on my face
It's only there trying to fool the public
But when it comes down to fooling you
Now honey that's quite a different subject
But don't let my glad expression
Give you the wrong impression
Really I'm sad
Oh I'm sadder than sad"
These words describe me to a T except there is no "honey" anymore in my life. It's just me, myself and I. Nobody knows about my sadness and there is no one I can easily confide in, not even my best friends and other friends. Depression, much like happiness, can be contagious and I don't want to infect anyone with my situation.
And so, I continue with this weight on my shoulder. It is my fault that I let life pass me by. It is my fault that I did not grab that ring and just go for it. Now, I wait until life says that I am done, not just for the day, but life in general. I am quite sure that no one else will care, but that's okay. It's not their problem. I own it. It is all mine.
"If that's all there is my friends, then let's keep dancing."
No. There is no more dancing for me. Thank you.