Friday, April 3, 2009

Notes from the Underground

I haven't been writing in this blog. A deep, dark cloud of depression hit the first week of March. It's the fall out from the economy, the bail out, the unemployment, the rent that I cannot afford. The job I cannot get. The bad anniversary, the Ides of March. Life stuck at a standstill. The couch and reality TV. It's a tough road to navigate because I don't believe in anti-depressants. I think they're fine for other people, but not for me. I choose to rely on exercise, work, meditation, and socialization even when every fibre of my being screams, I want to be alone. Yet, that is the worst thing I can do. It's a battle.

Last week, I'd made plans with my friend Mars. A literary birthday party at a bar on Avenue B. I was desperate to cancel. But I wouldn't allow it. I had canceled on her the week before, and I wasn't going to do it again. I ran into her in a deli by her apartment. She was all like, yeah, let's have a couple of glasses of wine, then we'll head out. I was like, no. I'll have a glass of wine, then I'm going home. I really felt like crying. I really felt like burying my head in a pillow. She asked, what's wrong. I told her. Since it was the equinox, she brought out a container that contained dried sage that she had grown herself. She lit a candle.

She lit the first bunch of sage for her friend's child who is very sick. I lit the second bunch for my tale of woe. We went back and forth like this for quite some time. We honored all the women we knew, her mother, recently deceased, my mother, long deceased, our sisters, our aunts, and our friends. I felt so much better. She said, come on, let's go to the party, it's just a few blocks away. I hesitated, but then she said, I'll buy the drinks. How could I refuse? We had a great time dancing to 80's hits, I had a glass of wine. I felt fine, normal, the black cloud had dissipated, temporarily.

She's a good woman, and a good friend. I'm so grateful to her. I'm also grateful and amazed that rents have come way down. This time last year, you couldn't find a one bedroom for under 1800 a month, not even in Queens. But oh how things have changed. I've read about apartments in Williamsburg, Astoria, Sunset Park and Washington Heights for 1100 or 1200. Much better. My lease here is up in two months. What a relief. I lived here for ten long years and it has been a great home. But it has changed, and life changes, and what can you do but press forward?

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