Monday, September 21, 2009

That corner in Chinatown

Mental health is really, really hard to write about. Why? Because it's absolutely impossible to approach objectively.

Sometimes I get lost in my mental health and find it hard to emerge on command, in one piece. Sometimes it takes some crying. Or looking for answers, within myself, my family, friends, philosophers, heck, anyone.

I'm having one of those moments (days, weeks, well, months.. maybe years) when I struggle to separate my mind from my body from my emotions. Sitting in a dark room, listening to the eerie sound of violins, Arabic samples and Slick Rick's smooth voice, I can't seem to locate the confines of my body. Subjects to discuss on this blog drift in and out of my mind; nothing's settling. Have you ever noticed that if you stop long enough on a certain street corner, others' lives tend to creep into your own? Today, on the corner of Pender and Main, I stopped and sat outside of the bank. So many people slowed to glance at me searchingly... They would smile, or say hello as if I knew them. All because I had stopped and become a part of the landscape instead of brushing past them.

There was an older man outside of the Sun Yat Sen gardens who would ask for change on one knee as if proposing, or begging. When I reflect on this, I am aware of how easily it is for the line between proposing and begging to blur. Either way, I saw him later in the New Town bakery. I wish I could say something poetic and demeaning like "when I looked at him, I could see the drug-induced psychosis in his blue-brown eyes, like gasoline and shit in a downtown alley," but all I saw was myself, 50 years older, in a man's body. He said he had been trying to get an egg pie and a coke all day...

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