DREAMS AND MELANCHOLY
Today I’ve been thinking about my brother, who died by his own hand, some 25 years ago. He shot himself in the mouth. He was young. Life was full ahead of him if only he could have waited for worthy moments to come his way. Like me, he was an impulsive and impatient fellow, filled with miseries of his own making. Expecting more and terribly disappointed when his life didn’t conform to his imaginings. Calm and dispassionate in his demeanor. Consumed in his heart with jealousy for a rewarding life that never matched his actual existence.
Especially when we are young, we make oh, so many mistakes. We find it hard to justify the waiting. We demand a quick and logical, sequential pattern to our coming of age. We don’t understand that nature doesn’t march forward in straight, perfect lines. Often we are forced to step back or to the side and start again. The agony can be palpable.
“She walked closer to the flames.
I don’t have God. I don’t pray to the blue lights, or the cigarette gods, or the god of good fortune, or even to the goddess Persephone who raises the cruel spring.
It isn’t Persephone’s fault the spring brings chaos and disharmony. She ate three of Hades’ pomegranate seeds – big deal. That’s no reason to bind her to hell. That’s no reason to give up on her. Hades is the mean one, the gross and disgusting pig of an underworld god. Persephone isn’t much more than a child, Hades, though she looks adult. She’s just a girl, Hades. Leave Persephone be.
Glory moved to a spot where the sparks flew straight out into the night air. She raised her hand to them, and let them hit her fingers. She felt tingles but no pain.”
Not every young adult experiences the kind of melancholy expressed in PERSEPHONE IN HELL. Not every young person destroys himself in a fit of despair. But some do. My memories live with me. The agony is palpable.