How We Survived

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Poetry  |  House: Booksie Classic

Submitted: March 18, 2017

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Submitted: March 18, 2017

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And so you call me at 3 in the morning, when sleep is just on the verge of creeping its way back into my soul, and despite my desire to finally close my eyes I pick up the phone, and at first you are quiet, until I say hello and then you suddenly cry, and you tell me how right before going to bed you think of the meaninglessness of your life, that you feel as though your life is just a series of images that are always running away from your grasp, that all your thoughts about the meaninglessness of life are trite anyway, so might as well plunge headfirst into oblivion and drag those thoughts down with you. 

You say that maybe it is better for our generation to simply surrender to depression, and that you wish your depression only took the form of melancholy because now you are from from a romantic, and you even mock those who try to portray the image of intellectuals, those who allow their legs to carry them hither and tither, those who sit on park benches with their collars turned up and cigarette dangling from their lips, squinting at something that no one else can see but them.

You mock those people and tell me that there is nothing romantic about your pain, that often times you do not even want to push your blanket aside in the morning, the mere thought of which can put your soul a thousand times through the same rusty meat-grinder, but you do it anyways because you have to, and you have already gone through the phase of thinking about the meaning of life and thinking about the meaning of thinking. 

You say that the depression of our generation transcends those boundaries, that while long ago it was 'cool' to portray an image of being sad and on the edge or 'romantic' to lose oneself in the tide of melancholy, nowadays that idea is itself rendered a tired cliche, causes many an eye-roll among those who see it, for our generation is a victim of a different kind of depression, the one that even kills the very notion of thinking, the kind that opens a door to a sea of opportunities, asks of you to take leaps and jump from one plateau to another, and then when you're at the finish line it only pushes it back and asks you to repeat the same process, over and over and over again. 

You say that some time during this grind, with so many options just laid out there in the open to either wither or grow, we begin to lose control of ourselves, and then a little later we forget what the words 'control' or 'choice' even entailed, for unlike the romantics of the past who chose to sit on park benches and muse over life's meaning, who chose to sit with slumped shoulders and to squint their eyes, we instead feel the burden that some invisible hand has put upon our shoulders, and that we do not even desire to think or to feel because of the exhaustion that results from carrying this burden, that all we want is just one moment of goddamn authenticity and peace. 

You say that your depression pulls you in many different directions, tugs on your already withered limbs, yet you yourself are stationary, your body floating, simply feeling the forces, and you are always on the verge of being torn apart by life, and this is indeed a deep psychological pain, having your ears constantly caressed by the voice of Anxiety, your soul crushed beneath the boots of Depression, that capital D you dread so much that rules over your thoughts, and so now here you are, trying to run in circles in square one as the scenery before you changes, and that change becomes the only constant in your life, you say, as you continue to weep. 

And then I say that if you cease your spinning you can see me standing beside you. Then I will take your hand and we will ascend until we get a bird's eye view. And then when we look down you will see that all the choices and troubles that caused you so much pain have been reduced to relatively the same size, and that you and I are here, in the sky, two specks floating through the Now, and the Now never ending, forever bending to our wills. 

And if years from now there emerges a sea between us, and you feel the need to take a dip or board a ship and sail away, I will remain standing, holding on to the memory of this late-night talk as the only moment that gave my seemingly meaningless life some meaning, and I can only hope that you think the same way about me, that this means just as much to you as it does to me, and I will tell you that we may never find any answers, and our generation may be on a downward spiral to an artificial world where real feelings are a thing of the past, but then I will also tell you that there is one thing that has survived generations and epochs, and that is the value of breaking down before a friend when you are lost, the feeling of wiping your tears with their sleeves, the feeling of kissing your lover's tears to calm them down, and the fact that cynicism has led us to nothing but despair, that the only thing that has survived every war and every century is a human heart. 

And thus ends our conversation. 
And this is how you and I survive the night. 


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