Thursday, 20 May 2010
It is my day off. I spend two hours and 40% of my laptop battery looking for jobs in the North West. It is hopeless. I turn on the TV. A woman who used to be on Coronation Street is talking about her battle with depression. I text Southern Man. ‘I think I am depressed,’ I say. He calls me back. ‘Go and get an ice cream,’ he says.
I go out wearing leggings with holes in the bottom, red flip-flops, a baggy black jumper and no make-up. It is the sort of look a depressed person would go for. I shuffle out of the house and down the road, staring at the pavement. I spot a crow eating a dead pigeon. One of my flip-flops falls off. I text him again. ‘I am still depressed,’ I say. ‘Cheer up,’ he replies, ‘Not long until our holiday.’ ‘But I’m already worried about going back to work after my holiday,’ I say.
Women who are depressed go shopping. I am sure Liz Jones did, after her husband slept with a stripper. Yes, depressed men gamble, depressed women shop. I pop into the Cancer Research shop and buy a book and an egg press from the 1980s that turns ‘ordinary hard boiled eggs into a unique square taste treat’. I get a slight buzz when I hand over my cash, but I am still miserable.
I remember that the woman from Coronation Street said she developed a cocaine addiction when she was depressed – but that seems a bit out of my league. Instead, I go to Tesco and buy some wine, along with some bananas, tinned custard and eggs. I get another call when I am in the cheese aisle. ‘Just pack in your job and we will move to Manchester and stay on your sister’s sofabed,’ he says.
I go to pay. The checkout girl looks me up and down. ‘Have you got any ID?’ she says. ‘But I am 30!’ I tell her, with big, sorrowful, un-made-up eyes. Clearly the depressed look takes years off me. Which is a reason to be a bit cheerful, I suppose.