i sat up with karen on saturday night until four am, drinking baileys and catching up. she’s one of my dearest friends, even tho i never see her. easily the most honest and open person i know, and one of the few people to whom i can say anything and not sound like a crackpot. among our many conversations, we fell a few times into discussing how bad the past two weeks have been. everyone is so down. (hi mike, not you) i thought it was winter. not enough sun, everyone gets winter blahs about this time. but it’s different this year. now i’m becoming convinced that it’s too much stuff at once that’s making everyone so depressed right now. combined with winter. i remember everyone being like this after columbine. cold and apathetic and withdrawn. we’re just slightly too desensitized to violence, at least i am. things like a few people being killed, especially now, after the mind-numbing experience of dealing with the events of september eleventh, get pushed aside. i blocked out details about danny pearl when he was first abducted. growled about john walker, but then blew it off. ignored how the government has fallen back into two bitter nasty parties. now, all at once, there’s danielle van dam, and how can you help wondering if your neighbor might be a psycho child-killer too? and andrea yates. how can she even still be sucking oxygen? and danny pearl. with his first baby on the way. and yet another suicide bomber in israel. and why doesn’t it seem like we’re getting anywhere with these fucking terrorists? they stack up in your subconscious, because each one is too small now. because “it could be so much worse.” and suddenly your whole head is filled with these awful things. unfiled, loose, floating awful things. and it’s not even like you sit and think about them, you don’t really think about them at all, maybe. but your boss asks you to make a few grammatical changes to a paper, and you start sobbing. and you find yourself staring into space for five minutes at a time. not daydreaming, or even thinking, just gone. you need to get work done, and you can’t even motivate yourself to get up from the couch. you smile and it feels like your face will crack, it’s been so long. or laugh and it sounds like a foreign language. and another glass of baileys sounds so much better than going home. and, yet, there’s another side to it, because you’ve gotten desensitized to happiness too. you no longer really care if you’re with a significant other. you don’t really need “someone” anymore. i’ve read that in so many journals in the past few weeks, and thought the same thing myself. and it’s a such good thing to be independent, but it’s also giving up a dream, in a way. giving up an emotion. i think maybe we’re rebuilding the walls that we tore down in september, to let ourselves open our hearts and minds and wallets to so many people suffering more than we did. and we’re rebuilding them bigger, better, stronger. i’m very suggestable to other people being depressed, too, which doesn’t help. if you’re depressed, i probably will be soon, too. so everyone cheer the hell up. i’m certainly not a feasible psychologist, and it’s a sad day when i become the voice of reason, but if you’re really hurting, talk to your doc about antidepressants. practically everyone i know (in real life) is on them, and it’s not going to give you a permagrin, and your doctor won’t laugh at you. you’ll say “shit. i remember when i felt like this.” get out in the sun without sunglasses - you need the light to actually shine in your eyes for it to work. walk to the dog, walk your neighbor’s dog (the one that isn’t a psycho). vent on your blog. if you don’t have one, start one. it’s really very cathartic. and if you think i’m a crackpot, keep it to yourself.