Depression Is Yellow
Depression is Yellow
I really don’t like the color yellow.
Not the bright, happy yellow of bouncy-balls and buttercups but mustard yellow. The kind of yellow that has curled into dark spots of age from sitting in the sun too long. The yellow that bleeds from tea bags. The yellow that students use for their font when they don’t know or don’t care that you can’t see it against their blue backdrop.
Yellow means trouble. In traffic it means step on it or be caught in the blaring lights of rushing cars. Or it’s the sign to yield, otherwise traffic will take your lights out.
It pulses with the feeling that something bad could happen: a deer nosing around a poisonous mushroom or a woman’s halting memory as she pushes a stroller past a fire-hydrant. Or that strip of ridged plastic in the subway right before the edge.
If it had a smell, it would be old papers tacked to a peeling corkboard or play-dough from back in 2005.
It’s an insult. It’s the in-between stage of fresh and blooming and dead and rotting. It’s the color of the remedies I’ve begun to take every morning and every night.
I’ve grown unfold of yellow in my life.
For the past year and a half I’ve dropped into blackness; a leathery hold of wings pinning me tight while the wind and laughter whistled by above my head. Studying for college became like walking through thousands of pieces of paper instead of reading them. It became hard to keep friends when you don’t want to give them binoculars to see how far away you’ve gotten. Things become at once dull and defined: I feel like a lethargic failure and I just want it to stop. Three medical conditions, causing chronic fatigue, brain-fog, and leaky gut, stitched the crape just loose enough that I could see out but tight enough to keep me safe inside. The primaries in life were defined: sleep, food, and being happy. Blue, red, and yellow. Only, the yellow wasn’t cheerful. As hard as I tried to put it in the sun and to make it grow, it only curled into yellowed heads of sun-starved marigolds that I could flash at people whenever they asked how I was doing.
One night before my junior year of college, I was at a beach campfire with some friends. It was creeping up on midnight; a lot of them had left for curfew or morning landscaping jobs. The fire was hot and we had brought our suits so we decided to go for a swim. We crept into the black water, edging around the stones. The guy who invited us had brought a pair of goggles that he put on. He dove into the black water and came up insisting that we had to try it. So I put the big goggles over my eyes and nose, then bounced on my toes in the cold black velvet. But, he had insisted it was worth it so I dove in.
I never thought that underwater sight existed. There were comb jellies. Hundreds of little gumball sized jellies that lit up when I dove through them. Against the blackness of the water, they glowed a soft, pale yellow.
I hope that night remains bright. It sifted through the seams of the darkness around me carrying little glowing balls of yellow to brush up against my chin and float through my fingers.
There was darkness and there was yellow. There was friendship and there was exhaustion. And it was beautiful.
About the Author: Rachel Croskrey is a junior English major living in a small town in Ohio with only two stoplights. She loves singing, dancing, and any book or movie that makes her think.