She sits in the corner and says, quite matter-of-factly,
"England makes me want to kill myself."
But when I press her for reasons why, she has none to give.
She says that Spain or America or Ireland would be better
(anywhere but France, she says, with a half-hearted smile;
the only place she can think of that is worse than here).
Ireland is, I suppose, her homeland--though she has never,
to my knowledge, particularly identified with its people--
but I am at a loss to know what to say to her now.
Today is a bad day for her. The poet we read killed herself,
struggled with a disordered world, and had a personality
that was at odds with expectations and society.
She listens, and tears escape her one by one, and I cannot help.
She says she does not know why she is crying.
I think I do. I think she fears a similar end.
"I'm just not feeling life today," she states. I make a joke
and dutifully she laughs. I know she does not want to,
but what else is there left for me to do? My heart aches
to be some comfort, some help, the shining knight that
can banish the depression still assaulting her.
Many think I do not care, or that I have no empathy for others,
but they do not feel what it is that I feel. If this
is empathy, then I do not want it. I am hurting with her
and I do not know what to say because I cannot understand
and all I know is that if a disordered world is what she hates
then emotions are that same world to me and so,
I suppose, I know what it is that pains her.
But that only serves to ensure that both of us are lost
and still I cannot help, and now I need somebody who perhaps
can help me, too.