|Hydrangea 'Ayesha' 17 August 2020|
In my 77 years of existence I have figured out there are two kinds of depression. Since I am not generally a happy man, I believe I may be some sort of expert on the matter.
Sometime in the winter of 1966, as a conscript in the Argentine Navy, I had a lovely girlfriend called Susy. From the very beginning she thought I was uncultured. She introduced me to opera at the Teatro Colón.
On a wintry evening she called me to say that she did not want to hear from me ever again. She said that I was a young man with no culture or manners. She informed me that she was dumping me for a violinist in the Colón Philharmonic.
I was immediately depressed. I learned quickly that by listening to Miles Davis in Kind of Blue (particularly the cut called All Blues) that my depression seemed to be enhanced by a sonic version of MSG. I was almost enjoying my deep depression. Could it have even been exhilarating? I was living alone in a pension run by a retired Nazi submarine officer. It was cold, dark and wet.
Now in this 2020 my depression (a very steady one) seems to be associated with an existentialist ingredient in which I question all my past motives and look into my memories in as much detail as I can remember.
It is of no use to remember that particular class at the University of the Americas in Mexico City in 1963 when Ramón Xirau (who taught philosophy) told us that Epicurus said that there was no pain in death. And since we humans avoid and fear pain, death was something that we could take lightly.
Looking back at that I can add the idea that Darwin explained that in our genes we have a dictate that makes us avoid death so that we can keep procreating our kind.
I have never understood how those who commit suicide sidestep that dictum to stay alive.
Some insomnia nights I try to imagine what it is like not to be alive. Somehow it is different than trying to think about life before I was born. I did not exist then. I do not care about that.
I did not exist then. That's easy.
I will not exist. That is more difficult.