I read a story in the Newton County (AR) Times once which described a local personage as having stepped into a depression, about which I have previously written. I envisioned the individual sitting morosely at the local coffee shop, his head sunk down on his open palms, until I read the rest of the article and discovered that he had been walking in a pasture and twisted his ankle.
For a long time thereafter, we referred to a sad day as one in which we stepped into a depression. Not to make light of real depression, of course; just to make light of a difficult experience, momentary, fleeting, and manageable.
Today, I realized that I had stepped into a depression and that I had begun to sink into the muck of the quick sand in its recesses. I snatched my pocketbook and tablet and raced out to the car, desperate for distraction. Heading north on Holmes, I turned west on 59th, thinking of frozen yogurt and good air conditioning, two solaces that aren’t too fattening or unrealistic.
And there, at the intersection of what-ifs and what-is, I saw Logan, the five-year-old who charmed me at the Public Library yesterday, walking with his mother. She could only have been his mother, with her olive skin, black pony tail, and sturdy legs. I let them cross, then rolled down the window and said, “Hello, Logan!”
His mother turned, and Logan did as well. A smile dawned across his face but confusion overtook hers. One does not expect one’s pre-K child to have adult friends unknown to you. I hastened to explain that I had met Logan with his grandmother. Then she smiled, too, and Logan said, “You saw me again!” which I had promised him I would. “I’m Monica,” said his Venezuelan mother. “Corinne,” I told her, and then the car behind me honked. “Goodbye, Logan!” I called. “Have a nice walk with your mother!” Logan beamed, and waved; and I waved back. I could see the edges of the depression into which I had stepped falling beneath me as I lifted myself and continued on, to the frozen yogurt and my writing project. My heart filed with joy, though I felt tears flow down my cheeks which I could not explain.