Clayton The Depressed 31 Year-Old

Clayton the depressed 31 year-old used to sleep late. That was a regular part of his routine. In fact it was the only part of his routine. He didn’t want to get out of bed, and why would he, when he didn’t feel like it? Clayton didn’t feel like doing a lot of things. That was the one constant in his life. That and sleeping late. The two went hand in hand, in fact. Clayton would sleep late because he didn’t feel like doing anything else. He didn’t have the strength to do other things: that’s what he told himself. And Clayton believed Clayton because he was an expert on this. This was his subject. No-one else knew about it, partly because he wouldn’t tell anyone, and partly because when someone ever started to guess what was going on in his life and asked if he was alright Clayton would tell them that he was fine. He’d been sick, he would say. A bit under the weather. Nothing that a good long sleep couldn’t help. He would lie. Lying was the best way to get them to leave him alone, and that was all Clayton wanted: to be left alone. He repeated the fact to himself enough that it would have bored most other people, but it didn’t bore Clayton. Clayton’s favourite subject was Clayton and the only one who could understand the situation was Clayton and this seemed perfectly normal to him, as it does to depressed people, who want time alone and feel that they can’t face the world and all its terrifying diversity. Of course, Clayton was wrong about this, as he was about so much else. Other people could have helped him, and he wasn’t an expert on this any more than he was an expert on anything else (except, perhaps, on the subject of cigarette card collecting, which he knew quite a lot about). And he was wrong about all the sleeping. Wrong in two ways, for people need to tire themselves in order to sleep well and be rested, and wrong about all the sleep he was having. He wasn’t sleeping much more than he had ever slept before. He was just refusing to get up and get out of bed. Clayton was spending a lot of time under the covers where, admittedly, it was warm, but it wasn’t resulting in sleep and Clayton wasn’t solving the sleep debt that he had decided had become such a big issue. It wasn’t an issue anyway, it certainly wasn’t a problem, but what was a problem was spending hours with your head under the bedclothes and not getting enough fresh air. During this hibernation period Clayton almost stopped reading completely. There wasn’t time. He needed sleeping time, which was precious, and besides, he really wasn’t in the mood to read anyway. But reading had calmed him. It was good for him. He knew that. It exercised his brain and made his thoughts bend and allowed his imagination to fire. When he didn’t read he wasn’t himself. He became angry sometimes and felt less happy than he knew he should be. Clayton thought these thoughts, about reading, about the reading that he wasn’t doing and the effect this void was having on him, while he was under the covers in the dark, and he wanted to read again. He wanted things restored to the way they should be. He wanted to reset the compass. And so he reached up and blindly grabbed one of the books from the pile on his bedside table and he hauled it under the covers with him. He reached out again and grabbed a book light and then he could see the pages even though it was dark. There were a lot of pictures in this book. Clayton knew it was a start.

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Published in: on April 30, 2013 at 8:27 pm  Leave a Comment  
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