"Me, too. But I hate it more when you're depressed."
He smiles. See, everyone gets this way.
Some of us still assess depression times three. "X 3 or times three" means no appetite for food, sex, or sleep. If a person can't eat, has no interest in sex, and can't sleep, we can safely say, Depressed X 3, unless there's another organic reason for those symptoms, maybe a medication that's responsible.
I know, I know, you're going to say that it's also common to do the opposite, have an increase in an appetite for food and/or sleep. And you're right.
Anyway. I had an exhausting day, including a meeting with a new advisory council in the community. It's an advisory council for an agency that educates educators and administrators in the community about a topic that tends to be depressing in general, childhood sexual abuse.
I'm new here (thanks so much, RZ) although not altogether new. When the community zeroed in on a childhood sexual predator several years ago, I helped break down the collective community denial. But I had to quit. When the going got tough, the tired got out.
But RZ got me back in as of a few weeks ago, and I went to my first meeting of dynamic, incredible people who are teaching safety to school and camp administrators, a first step. Teaching the kids, obviously, is the second.
I learned something new, too, about a website for mandated reporters in Chicagoland. It's online training for mandated reporters Virtually everyone working with kids is required to know this stuff in Illinois.
The meeting in the afternoon sort of drains me, as it might drain anyone, but I zip back to work afterwards (I have the car, these things do come in handy now and then) and see a bunch of people.
Home late, feel fine until the phone rings. The call is about an old issue I still haven't resolved, preferring conflict avoidance (who doesn't!). But now someone wants it resolved. It has to be resolved, and it has to be resolved soon. By me. The story, the players, the whole thing is full of spleen and basically knocks me out of the ring for the night. And unfortunately, I can't tell it.
I hang up feeling the worst I've felt in months psychologically, go to bed by nine, something out of the ordinary, with a Robert B. Parker book, Hundred Dollar Baby.
If you know Robert B. Parker, he writes page after page with dialog on the order of this:
"How can you eat tongue," Corsetti said.How hard is it to concentrate on this? (One Hundred Dollar Baby is about prostitution, by the way, or is it better to say Escort Services or even Sex Workers).
"You know how intrepid I am."
"Oh, yeah, I forgot that for a minute."
"You make first yet?" I said.
"Detective First Grade?" Corsetti said. "You got a better chance of making it than I have."
"And I'm not even a cop anymore," I said.
"Exactly," Corsetti said.
The coffee came. Corsetti put about six spoonfuls of sugar in his and stirred noisily.
"Is it because you annoy a lot of people?" I said.
FD comes home late and I tell him about the new old issue and he tries to help me work it out, but he can't. Not really. None of his thoughts on the problem work for me, and my thoughts don't work, either. But it's comforting knowing he's got my back.
Sometimes when you're problem solving you have to accept that there may not be a good imminent solution. Sometimes the answer has to be to accept the problem for what it is, something annoying and stuck.
Except that I never really accept things as unresolvable. I'm in the profession of resolving.
Death I get. That I can accept. Illness, too, but not always. Other stuff? There has to be a way.
But, no matter how many heads you put together, just because you want to solve something doesn't mean it's going to happen. Like the problem of sexual abuse in a community. There we are, twenty-some smart people, no where near solving the problem. But we're closer to something of an answer now than we were ten years ago.
So I sleep on it, wait awhile, brainstorm again, mostly in my own head. Until something's right you're in no man's land, just feeling badly. But you rock on anyway.
Morning comes and FD's pushing breakfast on me and I'm gently saying No since it's only been a few hours since that feeling of probably never eating again. That's when he says, "I hate when you're depressed."
Technically the crisis is only 10 hours old. And it's not like I'm grousing or complaining or anything, either.
He lets it go, warms up a muffin, splits it, takes half, leaves the other for me. I snub it, go upstairs, do a little paper work, take a nap. I didn't sleep well the night before.
Before I blink it's 11:00 and I've got to go to work. I'm staring in the mirror wondering how to improve what I see when I hit upon a solution to the crisis. A quick and dirty, perfect solution, if only temporary. I feel a little better, jump into my biking clothes and pack up to leave.
But first I stop in the kitchen, wrap up the muffin. FD sees me. He's scavenging in the cupboard.
"I'm thinking PBJ, on rye. Not toasted. Marmalade." I say, "To Go."
"A fine choice," he agrees.
P.S. Now if we could only think up something for those guys on Wall Street, right?