Came home from seeing a depressed friend this afternoon and ate half a brownie I’d saved from yesterday, then stirred together my favorite brownie recipe and ate four–or was it five?–more. And now I feel headachy and faintly nauseous and wonder why the hell I can’t stop myself from doing this.
I was shocked when my friend opened the door, she looked so worn and gray, a short severe haircut, dark circles under her eyes, all the lines of her face drooping. In my head, she still looks like a lively young woman with long tawny shining hair, not a creature beaten down by life. “You look exhausted,” I said to her. “I’ve been exhausted this whole year,” she said. “I’ve never been this tired in my life. I don’t know if I’ll ever get over it.”
Her relationship of 20 or more years is coming apart, there’s a teenage kid, her partner is miserable and hurt, she is miserable and apprehensive–it’s a mess. There wasn’t much I could do except listen, but I did that as well as I know how, and then came home and stuffed myself with brownies. God forbid I should feel those feelings, empathize with her despair, feel her almost obsessive drive for violent physical exertion. She’s been going to the gym seven days a week, sometimes more than once a day–working out, swimming, riding things, lifting things.
The things we do to escape the anguish in our ceaselessly whirring brains.