On Loving Melancholy

I am with Melancholy today.

I haven’t spent much time with Melancholy lately, but that isn’t to say we’re strangers. We used to hang out a lot, in fact.

Anyway, today we’re bedfellows.

Today we’re tucked under a high pile of blankets with the shades drawn and a mess of clothes and books on the floor of my tiny room.

I welcome Melancholy because I know her well enough to know that she won’t stay long.

Also because she tends to be more poignant than Delight.

Delight is my mainstay. My best friend. I spend more time with Delight than with anyone, because she is the most fun, the most breezy, and because we get away with so much together.

But, like I said, it’s fine that Melancholy is here. She was gracious, and for once didn’t show up unexpectedly at my office, cry-hiding under my desk. Instead, she waited until just this afternoon to descend on me, with her sad little valise and her long and somehow degenerate bangs.

It’s an overcast Saturday, so I’ve turned off my phone and we’ve crawled under the covers together. We’re listening to Love is Won on repeat, and drinking cocoa made from straight cream, because that’s what was in the fridge. And I’m stroking her hair, and she’s fighting back tears in between brave and unconvincing smiles.

“I didn’t mean to hurt him,” she tells me.

“Shhh,” I tell her. “Of course you didn’t.”

I consider telling her about Delight, about how Delight doesn’t spend nearly as much time reflecting, or second-guessing herself, and what a relief that can be.

But it seems somehow inappropriate.

Melancholy is still hung up on our ex.

I know that we tried with him. I do. I know that we weren’t equipped for that relationship but that we stayed in it extra long on the basis that we’d get better, that we’d adjust.

But we didn’t get better, we didn’t adjust.

And ultimately we made him really unhappy.

“He doesn’t even know we cared,” Melancholy laments.

“Hey, hey, shhh, that’s not true,” I tell her. “He knows we cared.”

Melancholy sniffles.

“Promise?” she asks.

I wish she wouldn’t do that. In all honesty, I’m not sure he knows anything right now.

But I see how forlorn she is, and have to believe in the best.

I kiss her salty cheek. “I promise.”

She keeps crying regardless, and that’s fine, too.

I take a long pull off the cute little vape that Delight and I got in the city. It tastes like air-candy.

“Oh my guy, that’s so pathetic,” Melancholy moans.

I laugh, plant another kiss atop her sweet and stupid head.




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