On the clear days, it's so small - that sometimes I'm not sure it exists at all. It's hunched, like a field mouse, manageable and harmless in a corner of my mind. Its tiny claws are rolled up tight, no need to worry today. The light is beaming fiercely. I am happy, I am me. This is good, so good...
I don't know what stirs it. Some restless part of me that takes a long bony finger and jabs at it.
Once. The field mouse looks up with wicked eyes, two shots of blackness on a dark and cloudy page.
Twice. It agitates and shrieks, snapping it's jaws, dripping darkness.
Thrice, and it swallows me whole. The darkness unfolds, spilling black ink all over. My thoughts dart and stumble, looking for dry ground, an exit is unfathomable now. The ink begins to fill my mind, as I realize once more I must brace for the flood, hold my breath, and hope it passes quickly.
I'd like to tell you that I was out, under, gone. That I didn't remember what came next. But the reality of the darkness is that somehow time slows, frantically examining my mind for the answer. Why is it in me? Why won't it leave? It isn't a sadness, or a depression. It has no shape. Just a manic pacing, a mind that refuses to be still. The person I am becomes a prisoner to my thoughts, I don't identify myself within it.
I tried to distract my creature with TV, news and people. I offer it coffee. Take it for a walk. Try to stamp it out quietly. I've shown it to some in hopes they might cure it, most of them run. Writing helps. I begin not to care about rhyme. I cough the ink up onto the page. "Better out than in!" My mother says.
Sometimes hours, sometimes days. It leaves eventually, I'm shaken and vulnerable - but I remind myself that your embrace is not the answer. Its grip on my mind loosens, the darkness drains back somewhere deep inside my self.
Perhaps it will shrink to nothing one day. The smallest Russian Doll in the stack of "me".
I read back my writing, I don't recognise it.
I check the weather forecast, clear all week.