This last episode was horrible.
I mean they all are, obviously. I wonder if they’re getting worse or I just forget, each time, how brutal and cold they are.
I thought I’d share a memory from it.
It’s not a happy memory, which you could probably have assumed given I was suicidally depressed at the time. But it’s a memory which plays on me still, and it’s typical experience that anyone who has been through severe depression will probably relate to.
I thought I’d share it. As catharsis, maybe? For education? Because misery loves company?
It haunts me, this memory. This memory is grey, and cruel. It makes me feel cold, shameful, angry.
Just like depression.
“Philip, say ‘lexa”
Fifi has climbed onto my lap and is brushing her hand up to my cheek. I showed her the Echo Dot the other day. Asked Alexa to turn the lights on, and off, and on. Asked Alexa to play us a song. Asked Alexa to sing ‘Happy Birthday’ (Fifi loves ‘Happy Birthday’. When people sing ‘Happy Birthday’, there’s usually cake). She’s too young to get the pronunciation right, relying on the grown ups.
She’d loved it. Fifi jumps when she’s happy, jumps for joy, her face scrunched up in delight and excitement, squeals and giggles. She’d absolutely loved it.
“Uncle Philip, say ‘lexa”
Her little brown hand pushes insistently against my cheek; I’ve got to do something, I can’t just ignore her, what a horrible thing to do to a three year old, any three year old, let alone my niece, my beautiful niece who I love more than anything or anyone in this wide cruel earth.
I turn, heavy as stone and weak as water; smile, faint. Smile heavy as stone and weak as water.
She beams. Grabs my cheeks with both hands.
“Philip, say ‘lexa!”
I can’t. I can’t play. I can’t join in. I’m so tired now. I’m so weak.
I’m a fucking selfish prick. A cruel selfish prick. What kind of man doesn’t want to play with his toddler niece? Who loves him and just wants him to say one thing, one simple fucking thing, that will make her beam and smile. I hate myself. Selfish fucking prick.
But I can’t.
She’s still smiling. I’ve no idea if she even knows anything’s wrong. Maybe she just thinks I’m tired. Grown ups are funny, after all.
I’m so tired.
I’m so sorry. I’m so sorry you love me and I can’t do this one simple thing for you, I’m so sorry you have to be here, now, seeing me like this, all ash and air. I hope you don’t remember this. I hope you can never remember when I ignored you, when you wanted to play and I just sat heavy as stone and weak as water.
I’m crying, a bit, I think.
“Philip. Uncle Philip.