I'm Not Depressed, But Sometimes This Feels Like Watching Paint Dry
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Politics and Activism

I'm Not Depressed, But Sometimes This Feels Like Watching Paint Dry

There's no word that properly describes this sensation

I'm Not Depressed, But Sometimes This Feels Like Watching Paint Dry

What does depression feel like? I don’t know. I’m not sure I can label this as depression. I’m not sure this sensation (or lack of) can be labeled at all.

One thing this cannot be called is sadness. Sadness is temporary, it holds a purpose, it leaves. Sadness enflames your cheeks, brings all the colors of the world to your eyes through a stream of sorrow and weighs down the skin under your eyes. But this thing, it weighs down the world.

This thing is not human, but it carries an energy all its own, nonetheless. Its force can hold down a body, not with pressure, but through manipulation.

This feels… like watching paint dry. I, unable to take control of this experience, am forced to sit in a freshly painted room. The room has four walls and no windows. It stands bare save for the rows of chairs that face the walls, each preoccupied with another body taking on the same task. There is silence. Not a peaceful silence, but one that strikes so sharply, it feels like you can’t breathe.

I don’t know why I’m watching this paint dry. I don’t know why this room is filled with people doing the same. I don’t understand the purpose. This is just something we’re told we’re supposed to do. Not only am I supposed to stare, it’s assumed that I’m excited about it.

I acknowledge that there is a change occurring as I observe. As it drys, the fumes are less strong, the color lightens. Around me, everyone continues to stare in amazement, as if the walls send them telepathic messages that I cannot receive. I’m confused, unable to fully grasp the wonder behind a new color on a wall. It’s still the same wall; it just looks a bit different now.

Still has all the same marks and scuffs underneath, simply covered with another coat. This thing in me is unimpressed by aesthetic. I wonder how much all of these people really care about what happened inside of that room, before the walls were painted. This thing makes me doubt that someone would paint walls to cover up something magnificent. I am urged to think new paint hides old secrets. This thing hates the superficial energy that engulfs the room. I feel lightheaded from the fumes. I need a break, a window, a fan, something, anything.

How did I get here? There’s no door in this room. Why am I the only one concerned with escaping? I bang the floor, slam my fists against the wall and shout but hear nothing. The two people sitting next to me do not even wince.

This seems like a dream, but I can feel the wet paint I just touched stained across my palms. I sit myself on the floor, suddenly taking an actual interest in the paint, now that a new sense has experienced its texture. Just for one moment, I sit as still as the rest in the room. I am content.

Right before I jump up and smash my chair against the wall.

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