last night we fought. levi had gone and sat in some tree sap. he had the sticky stuff on his side. while i was in the shower, andrew took a pair of scissors and cut levi’s hair off to get the sap out. he cut a large patch of hair on the dog’s side, leaving a bald patch and jagged lines. i yelled at andrew. i yelled at him for cutting the dog’s hair, when hot water and dish soap would have gotten the stuff out. i yelled that it was my dog. i yelled that he did it while i was in the shower because he knew i wouldn’t approve. i yelled because andrew has been depressed for weeks, and i am so tired. i yelled and stormed off, taking levi with me.
when i got home, andrew appologized. he wasn’t thinking clearly. he hasn’t been thinking clearly for weeks. it became a discussion about his depression. i explained, again, how when he is in that foggy and negative place, i find myself caught between two impulses. i want to hug him and love him out of his darkness. at the same time, i want to kick him in the balls. as if i could startle him out of the mood he’s mired in. it feels so selfish the way he falls inside himself. he doesn’t see me. he doesn’t think of me. he hardly looks at me. but i know it’s because he is looking inward, and he is not liking what he sees, and so he averts his eyes, as if to hide. he gets caught because the only place to hide is in the self place, where he remembers that he doesn’t like himself, and then — since there is nowhere else to go — he crawls deeper down in defeat.
he raises his hand, like a child in school. i pick the hug any day, he says. i move to sit next to him and put my arms around him. i hold him snuggly with my left arm, while i rub his back and chest with my right. why are you so nice to me, he asks. because i love you, i answer, so very much. i let go of being the girlfriend. the girlfriend wants balance. the girlfriend wonders about how you would deal with this depression and raising children, or buying a house, or moving. the girlfriend counts the number of nights since she was free to be the sad one, the one who needed the loving. i let go of her and i am the best friend. the best friend doesn’t count those things. she just sees what drew needs free of past or future context, free of any silent contract or agreement.