The Coliseum

Mental health is a terrifying arena, and I think about it like that – the Colosseum in Rome, all open and gaping and bright with summer sun, then dark underneath, cut into little compartments, and you just don’t know where the good help is – whether people or books or drugs or fruit – in the sun, across from you? Should you go that way? Or behind you, in the cool, damp spaces where you can see everything because there is just enough light, limited square footage, ceiling, floor, a place where you can really take the measure of things, but still you don’t know. The little room could slam shut with you in it, or you could simply forget about the sun altogether, couldn’t you? Terrifying. Someone’s cheering to your left, saying yes, go on, go forward – it’ll be good, but you don’t know. And the stupid thing is that it’s really not a huge risk. There are no lions, no quicksand, no car bombs. You really can turn around and go somewhere else. But it feels huge. Like old superstition. Like just for thinking about opening up, someone might snatch a piece of you and keep it in a jar and you’ll be incomplete and pissed off, because it’s a private thing, or it was. Now it’s in a fucking jar.

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