Dear Depression

26 Aprimay, 2091

Dear Depression,

I hope this letter finds you well. We’ve been through a lot together. For over a decade, we’ve shared so many emotions and experiences. I wasn’t even aware of your existence for a while, but you were always in the background. I want you to know that I care about you. That’s what makes this so hard.

I’m leaving you. We’re finished.

I know I’ve prematurely declared victory before, but this time is different. In the past I’ve put a bandage on the sores, but never fully cut out the infection. I didn’t understand what happened and why I felt so confused, angry, sad, frustrated, guilty, alone, broken. Now I know things. I’ve seen five therapists. I take medication. I don’t drink the poison that I used to make me become another person so I could stop being me, if only for a night. I don’t need you anymore. With lots of help, I’ve assembled an arsenal to defend myself against your dirty tricks. I’m not going to fall into those same dark places. We are strong. We will not reproduce until we are fixed and even then we probably won’t reproduce. We know right from wrong. We will work to build community and show a better way to live and fight with the sacred weapons of love and compassion and the tool of listening.

In the couple of weeks since I’ve made this realization, there have been so many changes. Everything has become easier. The world is so much bigger now that I’m not scared of it. I don’t need to isolate because I’m better now. I’m going to be a force for good in this world and communicate effectively. A living ground of love for innumerable beings. I am ready to seek out new adventures, unburdened by negativity. I will be myself and be comfortable in my own skin. I will find purpose and meaning.

And I will do it without you.



27 Aprimay, 2091


I’ve gotta say, pal, you’re one of my favorite clients. We go through the same cycle over and over and I never get bored. We hang out night and day for months and then some little thing changes and you come back with this unexplainable confidence. You use words like “new” and “forever.” But I can always count on you for repeat business. Like clockwork.

Smell ya later,


18 Jugust, 2091

Dear Depression,

Well, here we are. It’s been a whole month and I’m still in control. I can wake up and go to work and do all of the things that I know keep you at bay, like yoga, journaling, calling my friend and going for a walk. It’s literally that easy but you’ve always made it seem so hard.

It’s weird though. I just feel bored sometimes. Like I don’t know what to do with my time. The other day I got on my computer and looked at all of my video games and for some reason I just didn’t feel like playing any of them. I guess we used to spend a lot of time together and it’s just kinda weird without you here. But I know it’s better this way. We aren’t good for each other. 



19 Jugust, 2091


Hah. You don’t know? You really don’t? I thought you were all smart and shit now. You don’t want to play video games because I’m back, baby. I’m right there over your shoulder. I’m that sinking feeling in your stomach when you close your front door after work and realize you are alone again. I’m the force that makes you whisper, “fuck,” under your breath every time you sit down or stand up or go outside or go inside.

Smell ya later,


P.S. I didn’t come back, I just never left.

4 Septober, 2091

Dear Depression,

OK, so I may have been backsliding for the past few weeks but that’s just because my boss is so hard to deal with. He doesn’t listen to me and I feel powerless and and and it’s like I’m just a kid again and I don’t have any agency in my life but I’m 32 years old what the fuck is wrong with me? Why am I so alone? Why do I push people away? Why can’t I hold a fucking job considering how many times my employer has told me I’m the best worker he’s ever had? I don’t have any respect for authority figures or parents or the patriarchy. I don’t believe in divine rule. I hate when my boss tells me I’m the best worker he’s ever had. Well guess what? You’re one of the worst bosses I’ve ever had so why don’t you try to prove yourself to me. Get on my level. I don’t have any respect for you. You only own a business because you’re a white man living in a nation founded on genocide and slavery.

I don’t even know why I’m writing to you. It just feels like everyone has betrayed me and I can’t trust anyone, but you are always there for me. You respond to me and listen. You are so predictable. You always provide that faint hope that there is always a way out. That warm feeling inside.



5 Septober, 2091


Let it flow through you. Your feelings are valid. Keep feeling them. You can’t trust anyone but me. It’s us against the world, baby. You know I will always be there for you.

You just keep drifting and never put down roots because you are just a scared little boy. You are running away from yourself. You don’t understand what is wrong with you. You were hallucinating back in Aprimay when you thought you cut out the infection. I am the only constant in your life. Give in to me.

Next time you see your boss, let him know how you really feel. You know he’s not a good person. Tear him to pieces. Go forth and cause pain, my child.

Smell ya later,


16 Decembrary, 2091

Dear Depression,

I made him cry. A 71-year-old man. My words made him cry and I meant every single one. I let him have it, full blast. What do I do with these feelings? I don’t have anyone at home because I don’t deserve anyone and I’m not worthy of happiness. It’s safer for everyone if I’m alone. Even safer if I’m neither. After every social interaction I remind myself why I should never do it again. Afterwards it always feels like I’m on fire and my brain is in a vise and my heart is drowning. I am so touch starved. I went to the doctor and they took a blood sample and the phlebotomist gently touched my forearm to look at my veins and I think that’s the most contact I’ve had in at least a year. I’m too weird now.

At some point I have to realize that I am the problem. I am the only constant in my life, well, I guess you’re always there too. But I can’t blame you. You’re my friend. My point is that I am always existing in my own life and if I feel frustrated and confused in every single friendship and interpersonal relationship and workplace relationship, then logically, I must be the problem. I can think about how this world isn’t real because capitalism has permanently and totally shifted the nature of reality on this planet but I still have to live in this world and I can’t change it because I’m useless and worthless and I can’t do anything right even though I’m the best worker.

Thanks, depression. You really are always there for me.





I manufacture Products for The Boss.

If I make a mistake and my productivity falls, I feel bad because I’m not making enough profit for The Boss.

As my productivity increases over time —  as I get to know my machines more intimately and understand their temperament — I feel content knowing that I create more profit for The Boss.

I wonder how he feels.

Does he feel guilty if I make more than 1,200 Products per day, knowing that my hourly wage is a pittance compared to his profit?

Does he resent me if I make less than 1,200 Products per day, annoyed that I did not adequately contribute to his hoarded wealth?

When he built this small, family-run manufacturing business, did he consider if it was fair that his business model relies on hiring and exploiting a single, interchangeable, replaceable worker to run his machines and make all of his products and create profit for his family?

Of course he didn’t. He is 70-years-old and lived through the Golden Age of Capitalism. He pulled up his bootstraps his whole life and created everything with his own two hands. He deserves everything and more. He deserves the entire world. He is a White Man and a Capitalist and therefore entitled to exploit workers and exploit the Earth for the benefit of his bank account and his family and his legacy and his pride in perpetuity.

This is freedom.

In America, we have property rights and water rights in the arid Southwest and these are the words we use to justify the plundering of our most precious natural resource by a small group of people who LARP as Cowboys and Ranchers. This is their tradition and you can’t mess with it, partner.

The Boss owns a share in a water company and grazes three horses on his 16-acre desert pasture. During the worst drought in 1,200 years, he runs two rotary sprinklers for at least eight hours per day to grow grass for the horses to supplement their main diet of hay, which is stacked on a trailer next to his full-size RV and tractor. 

But he tells me that margins are tight and he can start me at $17 per hour without any sick time or vacation time or health care or benefits of any kind. Margins are real tight, he says, looking out over his land and water and animals and vehicles.

He is a Boomer and Boomers never retire. Boomers never take time off because they don’t know how to rest. They don’t know how to stop making money. When you’re 70-years-old and lived through the Golden Age of Capitalism, you develop a certain type of mental illness. Profit becomes the only thing that matters in life.

If you stop working, you die. He tells me his retirement plan is a pine box and he’s got a lot of retired friends who are dead. He says he’s a firm believer in, “If you don’t use if, you lose it.”

I wonder how his daughter feels.

Seeing an old man, her own father, hobble around his workshop with his worn Cowboy boots and easy drawl and toxic masculinity. Does she want him to see his grandson graduate from high school? Is she concerned that one day she might come into work to find her father crumpled on the concrete floor, lifeless?

At least he would die doing what he loved. Making money.


This human reality will never please me, and that’s OK. I find joy in my own way.

When I’m at work scrubbing pots and see a cricket jump in the corner of the floor drain, trying to find sanctuary, I immediately pause my work. I squat down and extend my finger, an olive branch. I do this with spiders, moths, beetles and whatever other tiny being appears to be in distress when I’m cleaning.

Sometimes I think about how they perceive a human finger. Do they know it is attached to a human? Do they know what a human is? Do they know they are inside a building with fluorescent lights? Have they ever seen the sun? Are they terrified? How do they perceive the rushing water and wind from the high pressure hose? Do they want to be in another place? Do they want to be extracted from this situation? As a level six ethical vegan, I follow the philosophy of non-interference in the affairs of non-human animals and all other sentient beings, unless there is immediate suffering that I can prevent without shifting the balance of nature and affecting the timelines. In this case, I believe there is cause for intervention.

So I extend my index finger and the gray moth lying belly up on the floor suddenly comes to life. Her tiny legs cling to me. I smile and suddenly forget about how much I hate my boss. There are more important things in life. I stand up and pull my fingers into a loose fist, with the moth sitting on top of my knuckle. She opens her wings to shake off the water. I whisper to the moth and assure her that she is going to be OK. I walk around the drying racks and pull the rolling garage door over my head with my other hand. Cold, dry air and natural light fill the soil room. I breathe in the desert morning then place the moth on some sagebrush and feel a simple joy from reducing the suffering of one little, tiny being.

In a world of wanton cruelty, I see this as an act of rebellion. And I’m a soul rebel.


I feel a similar sense of joy when I go for a walk at the nature preserve and see a glimpse into the simple, private lives of chipmunks and geese.

Watching a chipmunk wag his bushy little tail and play with a piece of long grass that glows gold in the morning light gives me so much pleasure. What worries the chipmunk? Does he think constantly of imminent attacks from hawks? Or does he play carefree with his friends and jump between boulders during the warm daylight hours, then retreat to his hole at night to cuddle with his family during the freezing nights? Does he think about the exploitation of labor? Does he think about how much he has to save up to buy a house?

I always hear the geese before seeing them. Their honking carries across the rocky terrain. The flying “V” is broken into two distinct pieces, with the leading group working in perfect coordination to reduce wind resistance for those behind. I always feel like waving my hat in the air or saluting these magnificent animals, like they are a highly decorated air force squadron returning victorious from war, but instead I just watch and listen. They fly over my head and I hear the delicate squeak they make when breathing during vigorous flight. I’ve never noticed that before.

As they fly into the distance, the flock becomes fluid. The geese are no longer individuals, just black dots against a clear blue sky. The dots dance and their shape morphs constantly. The flying “V” ebbs and flows like the tide.

I thank the animals for showing me the simple joy of living.



I used to come here when I was young

About a year-and-a-half ago

I had just quit my career and would sit on these rocks and listen to a podcast about depression

I felt like the broken glass next to the prickly desert cacti matched my demeanor


Now I’ve stumbled upon this little alcove and I remember what I was feeling back then

I was so lost and confused and angry

That hasn’t changed

But now I’m more comfortable with chaos and uncertainty

The seven seas don’t scare me as this boat continues to drift unmoored

Yet returning here, I feel older and I feel more disconnected

I feel more strongly than ever that I don’t understand anyone and that no one understands me

Putting the broken glass back together would be impossible



What’s your five-year plan?

I laughed and told her I don’t have a five-year plan or any sort of plan and I think that’s when she decided it wasn’t going to work out between us.

Life is a lie so what’s the point in having a five-year plan anyway?

There’s also a good chance that we, collectively, don’t have many years left.

About the lie though. I spent my formative years in an insulated levittown, nestled comfortably between the man-made lake in my backyard and pothole-free streets and the metro bus stop that goes straight to The Pentagon. But it was all a lie. Like I was living in the cave and the entire system did everything in its power to prevent me from investigating the shadows cast on the wall.

They didn’t want me to know about poverty and hopelessness and how many people have seven DUIs and how many people leave their dogs chained up outside year-round. I never saw exploitation and wage theft and I never really understood what it means for a white man to own the fucking means of production and what it means for his children and their children.

Everyone goes to college, you have a bright future, the world is your oyster. You gotta get good grades and score well on the SAT and get a degree so you can get a good job and afford to have kids and own a home and get married. Shut the fuck up. Just fucking stop with the bullshit. This world is garbage and capitalism has rendered life meaningless. I have developed immunities to your capitalist propaganda and highly-effective forms of American brainwashing. That shit doesn’t work on me. I live firmly outside of your fucking cave.

Regardless, there is no point so I don’t have any interest in thinking about a five-year plan and when she asks me questions about my likes and dislikes I squirm and contort my face because I do not have strong connection to The Self and I feel detached from this world and Buddhism teaches that its not good to have likes and dislikes and I’m always stoned anyways which increases my indecisiveness.

I just feel alienated. Marx was right.

Within a society that operates in the capitalist mode of production, there is no point to life for the wage slaves, who make up the bulk of society. We have no agency in our lives.

No point in making friends; falling in love. We cannot afford to buy homes. An unforeseen illness can plunder an entire life of saving in this fucking gilded oligarchy.

Yet we keep our eyes aimed on each other — we fight amongst ourselves because we have been trained to believe that capitalism is a zero-sum game and that the government is the enemy. We are bootlickers. We hold grudges against our brothers and our sisters and fight over tip money but never raise our eyes above the cave walls, where Mr. Capitalist hoards his wealth and reaps the benefits of paying his wage slaves the bare fucking minimum required by the laws his friends wrote.

I do not feel a connection to any specific group of people. Some people care about their hometown football team or religion or their gender or skin color or hobby or whatever. I don’t feel a connection to anyone. No one understands me and whenever I talk about capitalism they call me crazy. When I say Americans are brainwashed they tell me I am brainwashed. I feel no connection to white people in America, who have benefited immensely from the long history in this country of genocide, slavery and capitalism yet today seem to believe that we exist in a vacuum. I mean, Jesus Fucking Christ, there are actual Nazis. Furthermore, there is no geographic boundary to which I call home or feel a significant connection.

I really just want one thing.

I want to tear down the capitalist mode of production and fight for the liberation of all humans and non-human animals.

I’m coming for you, Mr. Capitalist.