Many times, when I call my mother, the conversation is pretty light. We ask about each other’s day and complain about how tired and bogged down we are, or about the people in our life. But fairly light conversation. Just a simple update on each other’s lives from four hours away.
But then there are conversations that just make me want to close myself in a closet and huddle in a corner and never come out because they are so depressing. For example, the phone call tonight. I was on a life high. I’ve been sitting on my lovely couch since 6 pm doing a marathon of Castle after a productive day of quizzes and errands. For some reason, I started feeling restless. I wanted to get dressed up and go out (problem is I can’t go out because I am under 21 and there is literally no where for me to go). So I did the next best thing, I went online and started planning a going-out outfit. Excited, I called my mother to rave about what I was wanting. She answered and I said “Hey mom! What are you up to?” And this is where the depressing part starts.
Mom: “Oh, I just got off of the phone with Sue. Her 15-year-old grandson has cancer and they are taking him to the hospital for chemo tomorrow morning. They found out two days ago.”
Me: “Oh, that is really sad.”
Mom: “Yeah, you just never know what is going to happen in life. Everything happens so quickly. Like the high schooler who was shot and killed over the weekend. His family isn’t ever going to see him again. They don’t get anymore special moments with him. It was over in seconds. It reminds you how much you need to appreciate life and not care so much about the little things that seem of such great importance when they are not…”
I listened to her go on and on about that for a good ten minutes. And the more I listened, the more I felt depressed, and the closer I came to crying. Because she is right. Why should I be happy about wanting clothes? That is selfish of me. I don’t know what will happen to me in five minutes, tomorrow, a month from now. Why care about new clothing? I pictured myself walking to my car at night and being gunned down. Those new clothes seem pretty pointless now. In fact, everything seemed pointless. I just wanted to crawl into my closet and wait for death, or go out into the world and try my damnedest to make something of it, not get excited about clothing. All the while thinking all of this, I hear my mother sigh heavily and ask “So, what did you call about?” I answered “It doesn’t matter anymore.” I told her good night, and hung up the phone, and curled up in my blanket and cried. I cried out of guilt for wanting such meaningless and worthless things. I cried out of pity for the boy with cancer and for the family who lost their son. I cried out of feeling alone. I cried out of feeling shallow and worthless myself.
And I just kept crying.