I open my eyes without the help my alarm, but it notices and begins its clamour not five seconds later. I grab for my phone, kill the noise. 8:55am. My heart lurches; am I late? Is it Wednesday? I can’t miss this class. But it’s Friday. I calm. I’m not late. In fact, I’ve even got time to shower. I now remember thinking of this while setting the alarm last night. I begin sifting through my social media notifications, not paying a huge amount of attention. Why didn’t I know what day it was? I’m in college, I have a schedule. Why did I think it was Wednesday? It was only just Wednesday. It was only just Friday, too.
I consider skipping college. After all, I’d thought for a second that I had missed my first class; why not make that a reality? I consider it. I lift my duvet and stand out of bed.
In the shower, I take my time. I’m aware that I don’t have enough spare for a long, pensive shower, but I find myself taking it anyway. Thoughts drift into my mind lazily, dissipate in the steam and soak into my skin. I’m not really noting what they’re about, or what they mean. The water pressure isn’t very good. Is it possible to have a quick shower with low water pressure? I’m not really trying.
I walk to the underground station with wet hair. I didn’t have time to dry it. It’s close to freezing out. I’m running late, but I’m not running. My asthma has been bad lately. I’m not wearing the right shoes. I’m not really that late.
I get off my first train, and it’s gone before I realise I’m at the wrong stop. Why did I get off at this stop? I know the way to college; I’m supposed to change lines two stops later. I don’t really remember deciding to get off the train. I really am late now, and I wait to get on the next train in the same direction. I hope people don’t notice my mistake. I move to the other end of the platform. I get on the next train. Pay attention, I tell myself, but I’m not really listening.
Should I run to class? I’m late already, what difference would it make? I get there, and it’s ten minutes after the lecture started. I’m standing outside the door to the back of the room. I try the handle. Locked. Why is it locked? I can hear the lecturer inside. I move to the door at the front of the room. I really don’t want to walk in at the front. They’ll look at me. What if I can’t find a seat? Should I wait until the break midway through? Miss an hour instead of ten minutes? Someone comes around the corner, and I panic and open the door. Nobody pays too much mind as I find a seat. Still, I think about having been a disturbance for the next ten minutes, until somebody else, even later, comes in. They make more noise than I did. I calm, and start taking notes. The lecturer makes a quip about starting our weekend. It’s Friday. Why did I think it was Wednesday?
I have a two hour break between classes, and so I plan to go to a part of the city that I like. I can get a coffee. I need new socks and a hat, I can get those too. It will be nice, a nice thing to do for myself on a Friday. My feet take me home instead. I’m standing myself up.
Do I need to go back into college for my second class? I’ve already been there once today. I remind myself that this is why I don’t usually go home on my breaks. I’m exasperated with myself. Why am I being so difficult? I put my shoes and coat back on over the internal sound of my own protests. I’m going with or without you, I tell myself. The class is with my favourite lecturer, but that doesn’t seem to have any effect on my enthusiasm. I think I’m going to be late again.
Note-taking is hard. I love this lecturer; he’s so engaging that I never get distracted. I have pages of notes from his classes. I can’t get my pen to move properly today. I force it. It’s not as much fun. He makes a joke and I laugh a little, but it sounds like somebody else. I worry that people might have heard and thought the same. Why would they notice something like that? I check my bag for my water. This is the first time I’ve forgotten it.
I like taking a different route home when I’m done for the day. Just one train line, and then a twenty minute stroll. I’ve nowhere to be, so I could take my time and enjoy it. That might be nice today. Or, I could go and get those socks and that hat. It’s still early enough. My feet take me home. The normal way – more trains, less walking, boring route. Why did I do that?
I’m home too early, and now I have hours. Time feels unwanted today. Cumbersome. I turn on some German television and do some homework. Do I want anything? I don’t answer, and keep on wading through the afternoon into early evening. I spend some time with my flatmates. They’re tired, but my mood lifts somewhat.
Back by myself again, and I feel a knot in my chest. I’m upset with a friend, and I complain to another about it. This isn’t something I’ve done in a long time. It doesn’t feel nice; there’s no catharsis there. I’m being childish. I know that I am. I try to shift my mind onto another subject, but all it will offer me is more of the same. I’m worried about money, so I dwell on that for a while. Productive thoughts don’t occur. I just sit with it. Thinking. Worrying. I move on again, this time to a relationship that I can’t define. I feel confused, needy and, again, worried. I sit with it. Bathe in negative thoughts and feelings. I had been good with this yesterday, I remember. I overcame my emotions, focused on self-love, and felt triumphantly mature. It seems now more like something I wrote about than something that really happened. I consider the memory with removed interest, like a painting that I don’t fully understand.
The whole time that I’m typing a message, I know I’ll regret sending it. I send it. I regret it. This feels cathartic in itself; I was right. Still though, the bad feelings win out. Why did I do that?
I distract myself with a TV show. It’s a drama, and it isn’t helping. I switch to something light-hearted. This doesn’t help either, but at least it isn’t actively making me feel worse. Why am I in this mood? Is it a mood? Is this how I always feel?
And there it is.
It’s been practically an entire day, but I hadn’t noticed until now. I’m in a depression. It’s been a while since this has happened, but I know it, recognise it. I can’t remember how to handle it. I can’t remember if I know how long it will last, or if it will get worse. My mind is suspended in a cold grey fog. I close my eyes and feel my way around inside my head. I feel like a visitor there.
I put on a movie, even more light-hearted than the TV show, and I immediately start flitting my attention over to other things. I move through the same social media apps I always do, but today with a level of removal so steep as to make the activity entirely redundant. Nothing moves me today. I find something I think a friend would like, and I don’t send it to her.
The movie plays on in the background. I think I just need it as company. I can’t figure out whether I’ve seen it before. I turn it off twenty minutes before the end, deciding that I’ve had enough.
In the silence of my room, I consider the things I used to do when I’d find myself in this state; back when this was a frequent occurrence. My old vices seem tempting even today. I consider drinking, smoking, going out, hurting myself, starting an argument to hurt somebody else. I’m tempted.
I think about it.
I change into my pyjamas, and I get into bed.