Connor Orrico is a medical student and field recordist interested in global health, mental health, justice for the oppressed, and how we make meaning from the stories of person and place we share with each other.
Depression I – V
I am scattering.
My room, ever a prison, is too big;
like a liquid I fill the space,
my sense of self too other to hold together.
An iron lung, a straitjacket, an embrace --
any such compassion might assuage my ineffectual disappearance,
which leads me nowhere, trapped though asunder.
My brain floats then falls,
floats then falls, on the tides of death.
I long for return to the unconsciousness of the ocean.
Dissipating, pain unabating,
this flesh decomposes around a heavy, headached sorrow.
Once more I place this selegeline patch on my absent body.
Maybe I want to cry but my body is not inclined to do so.
My fingers mistype; my neurons misfire.
Words provide no relief; words are all I have.
Peripherally from my pillow I see indistinct numbers;
laterally gazing, they disappear from the clock: I am stuck
between time's unintelligible representation and its undiscernible reality.
I have static surrounding me; I have been lost in it for some time.
I have lost 20lbs; maybe I can lose the rest of the risperidone weight.
I have my space heater on, as always; its comfort embarrasses me.
We all want to be loved, I guess.
I want to go to sleep, that little reprieve from the onslaught of living.
Maybe I will take doxylamine. Maybe my sleep will not end in the terror of waking.
Maybe I will be able to cry. Maybe I can throw away this first-person pronoun
and be something else, though my body is not inclined to do so.
Maybe I can be loved. Maybe.
Like a nausea
the tendrils of self-persecution reach forth
like fingers from the phantom of Otherness,
that dream-formed beast that whispers I am
irreparably damaged and unable to measure up;
they seek to discomfort me and mark me unclean.
How can I feel like a human being?
How cruel depression is to let dreams live
while destroying the reality in which to achieve them.
I have exhausted the nourishment of language
and am left with its bitter taste in my mouth.
I lay and listen to memories of joy sing me to sleep
like a music box.
Night names me.
Light lames me.
Blight blames me.
Life is heavy,
less as cliché
than as conscious moments
in which eternity hides.
Close your eyes;
heed your chest
Try, tired one,
to keep trying,