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.





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


Sorry about the potluck

Hi Dawn,

Thanks for your message.

I didn’t go to the potluck because I’m tired of the vegetarians and their cognitive dissonance.

It’s absolute bullshit. John is the worst and he started the group. He doesn’t even seem to contemplate what it means to be vegan and how vegetarians like him still pay people to kill animals for them. I don’t really care for his company.

I also didn’t go because I was laid off from my shitty wage slave job at the Holiday Inn Express.

A week or two before I was laid off I had several meetings with the general manager and assistant general manager and told them how upset and angry I was that so many of the housekeepers, mostly Navajo women, come in an hour early and work off the clock to get their carts ready and get all of their linen for the day. I told them that they feel pressured to work without clocking in because the hotel is run so poorly, there isn’t enough inventory, the storage rooms are rarely stocked properly, there’s one head housekeeper in charge of scheduling, ordering products, managing staff, keeping the housekeepers in line and managing the laundry staff. And the head housekeeper doesn’t even get paid benefits. It’s absolute bullshit. I told the GM that all of these issues are directly related to the absentee owners in Moab. Michael Henry Bynum, with the help of  his son, Zachary Daniel Bynum, has been exploiting Native American women at his hotels for 40 years in Moab and for 5 years now in Cortez.

Dawn… I just don’t understand how they are still getting away with this.

How can a world this cruel be allowed to exist?

The rich and powerful white men — whose faces change over the generations but never change — have so carefully honed and perfected this world to create a permanent upper class and a permanent lower class to exploit for their benefit. I see it in three phases, all intended to control the population. First, it was genocide. Get rid of the existing population. Next, bring in some slaves. We need people to work our fields for free. Now, it’s all about capitalism. Keep the slaves in the field but just change the laws slightly to let us pay them minimum wage and keep them on seven-hour shifts instead of eight so we don’t have to pay benefits.

How are they still getting away with it?

Why is it that when I try to tell the Navajo women to stop working off the clock all they see if an angry white man, an authority figure, who is accosting them for some reason but they have no education (part of the plan) or understanding of the world so they can’t even comprehend that they are being exploited and abused and manipulated and why I am so bothered by that exploitation? This isn’t how it has to be but I don’t know how to communicate that. I’m not from this world. I have no one to talk about these issues with in this town. If I mention capitalism I’m a fucking alien. So I further isolate myself.

This is all part of their plan and at this point I don’t feel like there’s anything I can do about it. I thought being a journalist would empower me to change the world because presenting the facts would surely change peoples’ minds. No. That’s very naive. I have no power. My writing is meaningless. For everyone decent journalism story there is an equal and opposite article from a capitalist propaganda outlet to counter reality. The world is evil, white men are evil and there’s absolutely nothing I can do about any of it. They are insatiable. I’ve talked to two union leaders and Denver and they said there’s absolutely no way any union is touching Cortez.

I’m unemployed now and have enough money to get me through the end of the year I think. I have my marijuana employee badge so I handed out my resume to the dispensaries but literally no one is hiring in this town for the winter.

I’m just one of the hundreds of souls in Cortez suddenly thrown to the wayside once the nice, rich, white families stop visiting Mesa Verde National Park. They all wear the same dumb clothes and white Reebok’s and Tommy Bahama shirts and when they go home they tell everyone they saw real Navajos (!) and I overhear them asking the front desk attendant what tribe they are from as they relish in their newfound multiculturalism. But it’s all a fucking game. The Navajo they see in the hotel are just being exploited by a rich white asshole developer in Moab who hasn’t actually generated any of his own wealth himself. No, his father owned a restaurant in Moab and then lil Mike was the star quarterback of the HS football team and got a scholarship to CU Boulder, where he studied law and then opened up a development/real estate law firm in Boulder with his good friend who went on to donate $10 million to the law school to employ in perpetuity “two senior faculty positions to be held by national-caliber scholars with a deep appreciation for and commitment to capitalism and free enterprise.” (Bynum and Chrisman also used their own law firm to work out all of their own development ventures, and the law firm’s name is on the bottom all of their Colorado business forms from that time. Great way to keep everything in house.)

Everyone praises the rich white men. He makes charitable donations! He creates jobs! He sits on corporate boards! Well, hold on now. He creates shitty minimum wage jobs because he’s incredibly selfish. He makes charitable donations because he is woefully under taxed. He makes charitable donations to ensure his money will not help the general welfare and the people he exploits, rather he wants his money to benefit people like him. Now because of his generous donation, young white men from privileged backgrounds can attend CU Boulder and learn all of the tricks to keeping as much money in his and his family’s pocket and far from the people who actually generated the wealth, working in the hotels, in the restaurants, with sore backs, endless cuts and scrapes on their fingers, getting sick from the women who had a cold in room 110, missing out on a day’s pay to take care of their child because any sort of sick time or vacation pay or healthcare is reserved for the people who actually matter! That is, the people who sit behind a desk all day and play with spreadsheets.

And the vegan thing. The GM called a staff meeting after I told him how I feel and they bought pizza. As I walked in, one of my laundry coworkers said she told the boss I’m vegan and they got a special pizza for me. My vegan anxiety began to swell. I’ve had plenty of experiences being vegan among coworkers and I always keep my expectations low. When the pizzas arrived I was not at all surprised to find a special small pizza just for me. I opened it up and found cheese all over it. So the head housekeeper took it back, which was very kind but totally unnecessary, and then she came back 20 minutes later and plopped a small pizza in front of me with no cheese. Then one of the housekeepers made a comment about how special and pampered I am. So I’m the weird one. I’M THE WEIRD ONE? I literally just don’t want to kill animals for no reason as well as destroy the planet and their own health. But I’m fucking weird.

It’s all bullshit Kathleen and I’ve decided that I’d rather just renounce the world. I’ve actually been thinking that it might be best to encourage the acceleration of global climate change to hasten our inexorable end. My fantasy is the world that will return after humans have killed themselves off. A balance will return to the Earth once we’re gone. That’s the only thing I look forward to these days.


Maybe I’ll see you around town,




I want to say thank you to something

but I don’t know what to call it.


Show me the fragments of knowledge

shared across cultures, countries, continents

through the ages the languages the world religions.


It can’t be some grand conspiracy

too many coincidences.


Each seeing, feeling the same concepts

writing the same thoughts in poetry.


It makes me believe

there is something.


When the missionaries in Utah asked

if I believe in God,

I told them I didn’t

understand the question.


There’s something I want to thank but

I don’t know what to call it.