the mean reds, again

sometimes blue just doesn’t cut it.  perhaps one of my favorite parts of breakfast at tiffany’s, both the book and the movie, is holly’s spot-on description of the mean reds.  not quite the blues, not quite anxiety, but something more…

the mean reds are described two ways.  in the movie: “the blues are because you’re getting fat and maybe it’s been raining too long, you’re just sad that’s all.  the mean reds are horrible.  suddenly you’re afraid and you don’t know what you’re afraid of.”

in the book: “but, doc, i’m not fourteen anymore, and i’m not lulamae.  but the terrible part is…i am.  i’m still stealing turkey eggs and running through a briar patch.  only now i call it having the mean reds.”bb mean reds.jpgi love truman capote so much perhaps because of this idea.  this wholly accurate feeling that i could never before put words to.  he encapsulates this feeling not just in the idea of the mean reds, but in holly herself.  the feeling of spinning out of control, of feeling so far away from who you are but not really being that far at all.  of searching and ignoring and looking for someone, anything to take the pain away.

of course i could tell you the clinical reasons for why i feel so scared and alone sometimes, but it’s more than that.  it’s more than the descriptions on the doctor’s note…it’s the real cutting emotion that goes on inside my head, my heart, my soul.  it’s that feeling of needing to cry for no apparent reason, of feeling so alone even in a room full of people you love.  the sadness that only a long nap and a cup of tea can seem to help, but never cure.

i guess what i’m saying is that i accept this sadness that creeps up on me from time to time.  i know how to handle it, make myself cozy and comforted, take it easy, and then wake up the next day feeling bright-eyed and bushy-tailed.  but sometimes it’s hard to see the end, the light, the next day.  it’s hard to feel so sad and scared.  and when that happens, like it did today, i think about holly and truman and moon river.  i light a candle, put on frank sinatra, and let myself cry.


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