Coffee beans ground finely, roasted into a toasty but stringent espresso. Over the darkness two poles are poured, milk and cream, the pauper and the prince. The elements combine to form the color of life, discernible and livable, clouds and shadows swirling on the gentle landscape.
I had called the psychiatric emergency crisis line two nights in a row. The therapist on the other end could feel the tickling tentacles of my demons reaching through the airwaves and requested I come into the emergency department to be evaluated. The air in the ED was thick, heavy, and populous, yet there was not enough to sustain a single breath. The tentacles were misbehaving, spreading to great reaches and tapping shoulders of others. I had not eaten in close to twelve hours, my receptacle empty and my reserves slim.
The evaluating therapist tamed the tentacles long enough for me to get my story out. The illustrations were old comic book style, bold colors and patterns, but little shading. Little bits and pieces of our conversation stick on the post-it note covered wall of my brain. Central nervous system suppression. Trauma. Maladaptive coping mechanisms and behaviors. Apparently my story was publishable, earning a coveted spot with the exclusive board of directors at the hospital, the individuals who were the news and who told the news.
Being on the board of directors was quite interesting. My tenure was short-lived, only six days. Sometimes the overseers allowed respite from rigidity of the duties of formulating and planning, and the board members could dance in unadulterated bliss to the beats of Uptown Funk and shake booty to popular rap songs.
The tentacles were retreating and retracting, and the smog in my brain lifting. Puppet strings pulled the corners of my mouth upward, an action foreign to the nerves firing to my facial muscles. I left the board of directors well respected and soared with a proper farewell.
The darkness of the depths of the brain, where depression and the evils reside, becomes mitigated by the paupers and princes of life, the poor and rich experiences that serve to draw color to the darkness. Through acceptance of the dialectic existence of the poor and the rich, darkness lightens. Last week I experienced my thirteenth hospitalization. Acceptance has the capacity to color my espresso differently and to alter the fabric of existence upon which I reside.