Depression always shows up unannounced.
Maybe I think I catch a glimpse of it in passing the day before, or think it said my name from another room. I dismiss that kind of thing-- I have to, because there are things in my life I care about. Things that don’t want Depression around, either.
Then I come home from work to find it sleeping on my couch, its clothes already in my closet, muddy boots on my carpet.
“What the fuck,” I say.
Depression wakes up with a start and rubs his eyes, scowling.
As if I’m the asshole.
“You invited me,” Depression says, swinging his legs over the edge of the couch.
“Like hell I did.”
“Your memory is crap. You invited me, and you bought my favorite chips.”
“Those are my favorite chips. Anyway, I’m trying to lose weight.”
Depression looks me and down. “The operative word being ‘trying’.”
“Screw you. You introduced me to those chips.”
“Ha! I did introduce you. Which is why you’re going to share them with me tonight.”
We go back and forth like that for a while, and then I tell him again that he has to go.
Predictably, he pouts. “Why?”
“I have a lot of work to do.”
“You had a lot yesterday, you’ll have a lot tomorrow. Forget about it.”
“I have a date coming over soon.”
Depression looks at me with lie-detector eyes for a long time, considering. “Yeah? Well. That’s always a mistake.”
“Look. As mood disorders go, you’re not half bad. But time is getting away from me. I’m not getting any younger, and I don’t want to die thinking I devoted most my life to trying to keep you away.”
Depression gives me a look I’ve never seen from him before.
He looks genuinely pained.
“Wow. Just, wow. You really know how to hurt a guy.”
I point to the door, though I’m already starting to feel guilty and unsure.
It’s what always happens when Depression comes around.
Sighing, he saunters to the door. He touches the doorknob, then turns and looks back at me.
“You can put my stuff on the porch. I’ll come back for it when you’re not here.”
“That’d probably be best.”
Depression flings open the front door.
We both stare out at the torrential rain.
I cross the room and shut the door.
Am I imagining things, or is Depression smirking?
“One night,” I say, holding up my index finger for emphasis. “Just one. I really mean that.”
“As if I’m one to overstay my welcome.”
Later, after I’ve called my date to cancel, I climb into bed before nine.
I wake up in the middle of the night and Depression is spooning me, snoring softly into my shoulder.
I have to admit, his body fits perfectly.