It’s an exhausted, formless weight in the base of my pelvis. If despair has a place it’s here, slightly rocking me back in my body. When it joins me I am stable enough to keep going but not entirely trusting each step, unsure if my feet will keep me on the ground.
I had a friend at university who used to fall. He wrote a poem about it – the helpless embarrassment as you realise that yet again you have utterly failed to keep your own body upright. That's what despair does to me – it keeps me in a constant state of about-to-fall.
One recommendation is to surrender to the despair. But fuck it, where will that end? How much despair is there? Will I eventually be pinned to the ground by the pelvic weight of it? What if I never get up? Or, worse, what if I just keep falling and never reach the ground?
I’ve just read a totally shit book called Angel Time by Anne Rice. That chick should stick to vampires. It was long, maudlin, rambling and incredibly strange. I gave up just after halfway through, when I realised that it wasn't going to improve.
But there was one sentence where she described her damned – in the biblical sense – assassin, who is given another chance by his guardian angel (I know… with that plot I really should have known). Anyway, it’s a great description.
"While never admitting it to himself, he took pride in his brand of evil. Despair might be the tune he sang to himself about what he did, but a deep polished vanity lay beneath it.
“Ha!” I thought when I read it. Just, “Ha!”
Is my despair a foil for my vanity? Actually – looking at most of my favourite people who all struggle with their own personal darkness – how many of us have highly polished slabs of vanity keeping us together?
And, just like that, I find myself smiling. Enjoying the cosmic joke of it all. Taken by the very thought of it.
And the despair vanishes, and my pelvis is once again my own.