Last night there was a storm, and this morning, as Joseph and I walked to his bus stop, the trees were dripping, the sun was turning each drop into a crystal, and the dark clouds were gathered over the mountains. It made you want to skip, or twirl or at least smile a lot. Everything was smiling. Except perhaps for the scattered branches and palm fronds that were blown down in the wind. I suppose it’s a bummer for them.
This is the way the world should be, one found oneself thinking. Alive, and billowy and fresh. And it’s a bitter sweet thought, because one also finds oneself wondering if this might be the last rain before next October, and whether one can possibly make it through all the dry brittle months ahead when the sky will be a steely hot white and the ground will crack.
So you have to take a lesson from the olive trees. I’m sure they like the rain. But when the rain is gone and the sun is hot, day after day, they stand resolutely, beautiful in their own way, with sculpted trunks and branches raised.
I’ve been to a lot of appointments with Peter lately. All the sorts of appointments that are supposed to help when someone is suffering from depression. The counselor. The psychiatrist. The intake people who take all your information before you get to see the actual doctor people. And I know that we have to do all that. Even though the psychiatrist hardly makes eye contact and types information into her computer almost the whole time, and then makes Mom sit out in the hallway so that Peter can tell her whatever he wants to tell her, which I understand, but find very difficult. And the hallway is a long, sterile place with evenly spaced rectangular lights. I sat in the waiting room of the counselor’s office as well, until she came out and said, “Do you want to come in and help us here?” because I suppose Peter wasn’t talking very much.
And is Peter less depressed? Not yet. What he needs is, say, a tsunami to hit Fresno, and wash away most of the trappings of our society, and just leave some people floating by on scraps of wood, helping each other survive. I bet he’d cheer right up then. It’s like that old saying that you can’t fit a square peg into a round hole. If only all the holes were gone, Peter could just be a happy square peg. Either that, or we need to whittle the edges of some hole until it becomes square and Peter can fit right into it.