On Choosing Anderson Orchard
Appearing on The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows is the phrase "nodus tollens." It's described as "the realization that the plot of your life doesn't make sense to you anymore — that although you thought you were following the arc of the story, you keep finding yourself immersed in passages you don’t understand, that don’t even seem to belong in the same genre — which requires you to go back and reread the chapters you had originally skimmed to get to the good parts, only to learn that, all along, you were supposed to choose your own adventure."
Last week, I started flipping through the pages. So many of them were filled with words about darkness and self-doubt, about shortened hours of sunlight and about the time I sat in a gravel parking lot in southern Indiana and screamed about abandonment. About the time my medication made me hallucinate for seven hours. About the time I threatened to jump off a bridge. About the times I sank to the floor in complete sorrow, begging my hollow apartment for company, for someone to love me.
The words were too much.
I quit rereading, slammed shut the cover, and threw the entire story — the words, the pages, the pain — across the living room. It flew, awkward and heavy, a bird with a broken wing. I watched as it crashed to the floor; I was never one to read horror stories.
Turning on my heel, I went into the kitchen, where I opened a prescription bottle and took, with a full glass of water, a tiny, salmon-colored Celexa. Depression is a lying bastard.
Later that morning, I chose Anderson Orchard.