Brian's Thoughts

The black mood was back again, the same one that had followed me since I can remember. The one that makes everything gray and bad and makes taking a walk in front of a moving train look like a good idea.


I knew that it was happening. I can feel them coming on and in moments of insight I know that’s all it is that is making me want to curl up in my bed with the lights off and the windows dark and cry.


Justin doesn’t really understand them, when they arrive and I know that they frighten him.


I wish I could explain them to him—I barely understand them myself, but I can’t talk about them. I’m too afraid that to talk about them will bring them out, give them permission to come back more often.


I don’t know that I could stand that and I can’t put Justin through more than he’s already had to cope with on account of me.


Instead I leave him, when I know that he’s finally fallen asleep, usually after we make love—and yes, I know that’s what it is. We passed by fucking a couple of years ago. I just go and sit on the couch, usually and I think that he usually doesn’t know.


Sometimes he does, he’ll wake up and come down and sit beside me.


Part of me craves him doing that and part of me wishes that he would just go the fuck back to bed and stay out of it.


I know this isn’t right, what happens to me.


I know it’s massive depression—clinical depression. I’ve read the articles and I even talked to the silver fox about it a couple of times—informally, but he knew what was going on. He’s a smart fuck.


He said that I could probably benefit from a shitload of therapy and drugs would help even out the moods. I even tried them for a while, but I couldn’t fucking work. Everything was flat and nothing was sparking and I can’t fucking function like that. I sure as Hell can’t do my job.


They went away for a while. When Justin and I were first together after the bashing was mostly behind us and we were so fucking happy—the time Debbie kept calling us newlyweds.


I guess that’s what we were, really.


I just know that I was so Goddamned happy and Justin was always smiling and laughing. I’d come home from work, or he’d walk in after classes or a shift at the diner and he’d see me and that sunshine smile would break out and I’d get this happy warmth in me and I’d kiss him and he’d blame it all on his allergies and I’d tell him not to be a twat and then we’d make love again.


Fuck me, I was so damn happy.


Then it went south and he went to Ethan.


I knew that wouldn’t last and I just hoped like hell that he’d still want me afterwards.


Pretty pathetic, isn’t it?


So I made sure that I was still around when he was ready. I was on the edges, but he knew that I was there.


Well, he came back.


At first I was so fucking happy again that I didn’t stop to think that maybe it wouldn’t last again, that I’d screw it up again.


Shit. I want to get it right this time.


When I was in high school I took a few years of German. I still remember some of it. There’s a phase, maybe it’s just a word—German strings a lot or words together to make new words. Anyway…I forget it exactly, but it’s something like Seitentanzen…I don’t know if that’s right, but it’s close.


It means ‘side dance’. It’s a thing when you’re dancing and you change partners for a little while, a part of the dance, but then you go back to your original partner and finish the dance with them.


I sort of think that’s what happened with us, with Justin and me.


You’re only allowed one Seitentanzen.

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