The Selfie: A Mirror of Depression


The camera is held at the point of establishing a full shot, subject begins under the water in a bathtub. The viewer hears the roaring of the pressure, in the background a song plays. As the subject’s head submerges from the water the pressure decreases, just the rush of the water hitting the still conservation is heard and the music becomes more noticeable. (ay ay amor canta y no llores…)the song loops around these lines, which the subject cannot hear; the song seems to envelop the glaring sadness in the subject’s face as the camera pulls away from the scene and focuses first on the subject’s face and then pans out: the face as the focal point of the zoom. As the subject rises out of the bathtub, and turns off the water, some water falls on the side of the tub, demonstrating the form of apathy that the subject has for maintaining order. For the split second of nudity the camera will focus on the tiles of the floor, clean but covered in the residue of human flesh (dust) at the places where the tiles converge. A towel is seen swinging across the camera and at last the subject enclothed in the vile color of some serene blueish-green fabric walks out of the room as the camera goes from side facing to following the subject’s backside. The door swings on the camera a slight pause to seeing the subject and recognizing the voyeurism of following a person, who beneath a fabric is but a human body. The camera suddenly in the room again sees the subject who has put on some underwear, the body non-consumed and glaring sports the imperfections of a life lived: scars, marks, the flabbiness of excess. The subject now established as a person, opens a bag, a bag with the potential for coloration, a powder of rouge is taken out and a brush is held by the person who presses on it, bringing the powder now in the form of specks to the face; the hand makes circular motions near each cheek bone, the face now flushed rather than pale looks at the circular mirror. Out of the bag, the person brings more powders to the counter, the fingers dig into the powder and find the creases above the eyes, yet again painting outlines to hide the real flesh. Once the person is satisfied the excess powder is wiped on the puke green towel, leaving behind a brown mark. A black tube is taken out and uncapped, revealing a thin and flexible brush which is pressed directly above and under the eye, leaving some black line, the hand cannot shake and the natural wrinkles must be straightened as the line must be straight. The person looks at their face with each second becoming less themselves and more of a mirage of color, and puts the cap back onto the tube. The subject repeats the motion with a similar tube but this time outlines their lips. After the outline is made, a tube is uncapped and slithered across the pout. Now the cheeks look less pale, the eyes more urgent, the pout more structured. A t-shirt is found, tight enough but not calling for attention, the camera pans out as the person throws on the ware and the camera spins as the person stands. The last part is coming: the subject grabs a phone, opens up the world, find the right angle and presses the button to capture the perfect still. The camera alternates from shot to subject. At last the subject sends the pic to somewhere or someone, looks at the mirror one last time, and wraps their body in a blanket on what is called “their” bed. They immediately notice the glaring light and turns it off. The last thing the viewer sees is the immediate sense of darkness as the person’s bed squeaks; their body once again finds its way to the bed. With the hope of some connection, the person holds the phone to their face, both vacant, but as the hope fades the subject lays their head next to the protruding light of the screen and closes their eyes. the camera pans out noting the darkness and the only light being the phone. The light suddenly flares out and there is nothing but darkness.


Where is my Mind?

I was once depressed and I will not pretend to be fully okay. There are days when darkness comes to play with my head. But I have recovered in some ways. What is the experience of feeling depressed? People assume that depression is sadness. But depression is waking up neither glad nor sad. It is a disinterest that rots life away. This is my interpretation of how depression looks and feels, though only one who holds a similar internal mirror may find my own experience as a small replica:

Every day I try to stand, only to feel a pressure weigh me down. I attempt to lighten this pressure with foreign substances. The sleep never comes on its own…

The clock marks night and the eyes on the face remain close but the mind refuses to shut off; it races and tortures. The eyes open and find darkness. There is no comfort streaming from the television illumination. The channel is switched and soft musical notes fill the room. They serve to comfort until a nightmare shocks the body awake. The pain, the agony consumes, and there on the corner lies salvation: The metal on the skin, stroking, releasing relief to the overactive brain. Redness produced in the innocent outer covering. Cells flying off and new ones found. Thin gossamer produced where there once lay leather. The tears refuse to come down. The pain does not dissipate. The body violated lies worthless. And sleep will not come. The phone lies on the bedside table. It holds loneliness, vile lies in the form of text messages: “I love you”. And a promise for a new day: ” See you tomorrow.”

Is tomorrow an option? Tomorrow is not a promise but a heavy weight. So many tomorrows and no promise of salvation. Forget tomorrow and instead focus on the mirror. Eyes look back red and glazed. The skin around those eyes looks no different. Red with the thread of more tears that made a home and sliced the delicate façade away. Heart stop. Stop. Beating. Only those thoughts race through the head.

A shard hits the soul as the memory of the day endangers to trap the mind in perpetual agony. The gray halls threaten to chill the body yet color alone could hide the decaying body. Skin clinging to bone, losing mass. The mouth longing to break no bread. The stomach requiring no churning. The day was flying away.

An exam in biology, opening the mouth to release musical notes, and then suddenly down the hallway two figures. One stops and moves away. The other continues to move closer finding the lips around the tear streaked face. Hands stroke away some pain. But the eyes of this comfort show a lie. Red eyes look around to see the other moving body. The body is confident, tiger-like, threatening the peace. The truth Is known but blurred by love. Suddenly the arm cannot stay still, finds the skull of the dear lips that just pretended to love, and smashes the skull onto a metal container. Your hand held another’s, the lips on the blotched face say. The other figure smiles, sees the crazy destruction and walks away.

The pain becomes radiating as the figures move away. The pain hits the stomach first. It is an empty feeling that moves towards the lungs and squeezes their capacity away. Breath becomes difficult, the heart replies to the problem by quickening its pace. The pace forces less air to stay inside and the body curves inward holding on to the little life left.

A bell rings signaling another end. With little power the body gets up and the legs manage to run. Cars come, the light is green but the legs refuse to stop. A honk, an adrenaline rush, no sleep, no peace; the body Is home. The bed lays untouched. The pink curtains shield the sun.

Salvation comes in the shade of gray. Blood trickles and suddenly the heart slows, the lungs relax: “everything will be okay,” the pain on the arm sings. Red trickles in drops, iron smells so sweetly and tissues soak up the mess. The bed invites and the body moves closer finding serenity for: ten, nine, eight, seven, six…three, two, One; a nightmare shocks the body awake. Hours later and the body is still awake. Torture is living. Hell holds silence. Another day. The sun once again invites the body to play pretend. When life is hell, is there any peace, is there any home? Only time knows but it serves to torture.