Working Man's Blues

byHeathen Hemmingway©

"Deal." I said, then shook his hand. "And thanks."

"Anytime." He said. "Anytime."

I left work feeling a little better about things there. I got off to a real shaky start, but I think I managed to salvage something good out of it. By the time I got home my foot was bleeding like a stuck pig. I was standing at my apartment door picking though my keys when I realized something wasn't right. My doormat has been kicked aside at an angle for the past couple of weeks. Now it was sitting nice and center of the doorway. The spot where I was standing had been recently swept clean. Ginny is the cleanest person I have ever met, and stuff like that is her trademark. I slid the key in the door and the knob turned by itself.

The door opened and Ginny was standing there. She was wearing rubber kitchen gloves with a bottle of Windex in one hand. I was embarrassed as hell for her to see my apartment so dirty. To make matters worse after stepping into my apartment, I saw her mother sitting on the couch smiling at me. Ginny gave me a big hug and held me for many long seconds. I could feel sudden tears welling up, and I closed my eyes tight to fight them back. When I opened my eyes I saw her mother looking up at me. I recognized the expression on her face. It was the same as Ginny's. 'I know' it said. I sat down on one end of the couch and stared down at the floor. Making eye contact with them hurt like being slapped.

"I'm sorry the place was such a mess." I told them with a resigned sigh. "You didn't have to clean up for me. I usually keep the place clean, I just...."

Her mother sat beside me and wrapped her arm around my shoulder.

"It's ok. Ginny had been worried about you, and so have I."

Ginny sat down on the floor beside. She took her cleaning gloves off and sat them aside. My apartment smelled clean and airy. They had cleaned it spotless. She was looking up at me through those big pretty hazel eyes of hers. I couldn't help but cry. It seemed to take total control of my body, like the only thing I was capable of doing was to cry. I covered my face with my hands. I couldn't take someone looking at me that way. Ginny pulled my hands away from my face. Her mother spoke to me.

"We know how hard you've been fighting. When Ginny told me you were staying here through Ivan I decided we should come see you just to make sure you are alright." She said, her words soft and consoling. "I put the gun away for you."

The sudden embarrassment was too much for me. I had forgotten all about that fucking gun. Ginny and her mom had come all the way down here just to see if I was doing ok. The first thing they see after walking into my filthy apartment is a fucking suicide note on my kitchen table next to a gun. The humiliation alone was enough to make me wish I was dead.

But that's just it, you see. I was embarrassed worse than I ever thought possible, my feelings were hurt and I felt like my tears would never stop falling, but at that moment I didn't want to die. I just wanted to lie down there between them and sleep. I don't know why but that was what my body and mind were telling me. I had a sudden mental image of a big black bear crawling into a hole for winter. 'Everything is alright now. My life is a huge fucking mess but now I can hibernate and let the problems slowly go away. The world is cold and harsh now, but now I can rest and life will slowly grow warm again.' I knew it wasn't realistic, but for that moment the thought of it gave me something I haven't had in a while. Knowing they were here for me gave me something I desperately needed.

Hope.

"I called your job to tell you we were on the way, but they said you were outside doing something. We found the note and the gun and it scared me to death, baby." Ginny said to me. Her voice was almost pleading. "We decided to try and talk to you before we got you some help."

Sitting there surrounded by them, I suddenly didn't feel so small and helpless. It was shameful, yes. It tore at me for them to see how far down I had gone. The pain and the shame were slowly bleeding away with each tear I lost.

"You are helping." I told them. "I just didn't want to ask for help. I wanted to handle things on my own. I didn't want you to know how down I have been. It's not like me."

I looked at Ginny. Her face was beautiful, and always will be.

"I didn't want you to be as ashamed of me as I was of myself." I told her.

"I couldn't be if I tried." She said to me. "I couldn't be."

Fade To Black

To the reader: This story wasn't written for any person in particular. I wasn't hoping to achieve a certain score or generate any mainstream fanfare. I have dealt with depression to many degrees over the years. I sometimes see my friends and loved ones suffer with the same depression I am all too familiar with. Not being able to do something is the most helpless feeling in the world, so I wrote this story. Chances are it won't make sense to alot of people. To those who don't understand it at all, I admire you. You're lucky, trust me. I left the ending open so the reader could draw their own conclusions, because we all have our own situation in life. We all have our on closure. If depression is weighing down on you, you are faced with a number of choices. All of them are difficult. I hope that you push and fight hard, and find the courage to do the one thing that can tilt the scales to your favor. Talk to someone. Hope is often dim. Our sight may be clouded, our hands may feel weak, but hope is always there. It may seem impossibly far away, but it can always be reached. I'm living proof of that. Matter of fact, so are you.

Dedicated to Michael Avery Wiggins

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