Who Lives Here?
Who lives here? Everywhere I look, I see boxes. Boxes piled one on the other, against every wall. Boxes delivered but never opened. Things bought but never used. Magazines and mail, unopened, sit in unsteady piles on the coffee table, alongside odds and ends that also did not belong there, but which had no choice but to make that table their home. On every chair sit empty food containers and soda cans … guests who have long since outworn their welcome.
Who lives here? I wondered, as my teary eyes took in the disarray, as my feet wandered cautiously through the cluttered rooms. Pain ripped my heart. I thought I knew who lived here. I did know the name. I even knew the face. But I didn’t know … this.
Her home is full of things old and new; ostensibly, the house is teeming with life. But there was no life. That energy had died long ago. The sights of sadness overwhelmed my senses. Loneliness came out of the shadows, shouting from each corner of every room. But there had been nobody there to hear.
She stood in the doorway now, a brooding, silent shell of the woman I knew. Watching me, sensing my disbelief.
It was a surprise visit. Perhaps I should have called first. But then I would never have known.
I look her way, a question in my eyes, and see despair in hers. But despair could not hide her shame, for all the things she could not honor.
I reach out to her and, without a word, she enters the safety of my arms. I hold her tight and reassure her that everything is all right . . . everything will be just fine.
Who lives here? Depression lives here.