I've been trying, really hard, not to feel depressed.

But that's kind of the thing about depression. It isn't optional. Isn't merciful. It's not the kind of thing you can see coming and prevent. If anything, the forewarning makes it worse. A slow crawl, an emotional cancer. Eating away until nothing is left and there isn't much you can do but watch it consume you and rot you from the inside-out.

I haven't seen Tristain in two weeks.

Which normally isn't much. Isn't bad. But this time..

Something about this time is ruining me. We didn't leave on odd terms. Or bad ones.

I nodded off in his hotel, and woke a few hours later. By then he'd finished his shower. He was absent from the room. Either with work or getting food, or something else, I didn't know. He didn't leave a note.

I got dressed. Let myself out. Decided not to hail a cab and walked home, slow. I showered when I got in. Laid down even though I knew sleep wouldn't come. I just laid in bed, staring at the ceiling. Thinking and yet not. Wondering, but not going far.

That surreal state where all at once everything feels connected and unattached. Important, but trivial. A tightrope line between enthralled and empty where everything is a paradox. I knew that space. Knew it very well from so many visits there across my life.

I fell off the wire after a long while of nothing. And just like that, I was depressed.

I couldn't explain it, then. Still can't. I just know that Tristain never showed back up. Never called. If he stayed in town for work or left that morning, I never found out. He went on his way, I went on mine.

Strangely, I caught myself wondering one morning as I stirred coffee on the balcony of my apartment- would someone like him ever feel this way? Empty, irrelevant in the face of the world? Small and trivial against the grand tapestry of time? I wondered if he got depressed. If it felt like this, if he did. I decided no. Mostly out of naivete. I wouldn't wish this sensation on anyone. Even if the idea, if just for a moment, did make me feel less alone.

Sometimes these feelings go away overnight. Sometimes a few days, sometimes a few weeks. It's not unusual, per say. But it's disruptive. I have trouble working, like this. I take fewer jobs. Which means less money. Which means rent and bills suddenly start to grow heavier on the mind.

I paid my rent for the next month. Electricity, water. Bought sparse groceries, enough to get to the end of the week for certain with the way I've been barely eating.

I think about leaving.

It's cold and quiet and I can't be bothered to turn the heat up. I sit near my balcony. Not outside. But on the end of the couch, curtains pulled back from the sliding glass door. The sky is gray and heavy, but it hasn't rained at all yet. Maybe it's coming. Maybe it's not. Something about that makes me sad.

I made coffee but I won't drink it. I just keep stirring it, cradling it in my hands. I should put it down but I can't seem to bring myself to bother. Instead I just sit there, staring outside. Thinking of all the things that could be, might be, almost were. Feeling thicker with an unexplainable exhaustion with each new second.

I contemplate turning the television on. But I don't.

I contemplate going outside, for a walk. But I don't.

I think about calling someone. Anyone.

But I don't.

I stare at my coffee. I let it go cold. And even when it has nothing for me anymore, I still hold on to it. I know I should set it down. Or pour it out. Get a new cup, if I need the caffeine still. Or go do something else entirely, if I don't.

But instead I continue sitting, curled up.

It finally started to rain. I sigh.

Somehow I'm both happy and sad about that.

I watch it come down, grey raindrops from grey clouds above a grey city.

I set my coffee down.

I go take a shower.

I go outside.

It's empty.