I have been struggling with depression off and on for the past 14 years (being refused meaningful employment does have something to do with it!) But whenever I speak to Linda Dormody (which is now once a week, since her partner died last August), I end up laughing so hard the “blues” vanish into thin air.
I first met Linda when she was one week old and I was three. My mom took me across the alley to see the “new baby” at the Dormodys. It was October and people were raking up fallen leaves and burning them in the streets, so I had terrible allergies from all the smoke. Naturally, I took one look at Linda and sneezed. Not ON her, as she asserts; but the legend remains. Linda swears she’s short because I sneezed on her, and that’s the way the story will continue as long as she lives.
We talk about our neighbors and our schools and “our gang” and the various scrapes we got into, and we can’t help but laugh at the craziness we’ve seen. We talk about friends and about dead people (more and more of them as time goes on), and we turn back the clock until we feel like we’re in our 20s or 30s again. Or even younger! We air our third-grade grievances and diss her brother, and remember really scary Halloweens when Mr. Edwards — in disguise — would leap out at us from behind his door and we’d all scream in terror.
Then we go about our business feeling much, much better, until we talk again the following week. We will probably keep this up until one of us dies or goes bonkers. And it’s so much cheaper than drugs!