It’s not the most depressing short story ever, but it’s depressing enough.
My boyfriend for a while thought himself saintly. Like the baby Jesus, he was going to become a hero for some millennia — a model citizen of the American Dream. He would be having a heart attack in six weeks, however, permanently side-lining any such plans. Before even that, he left to find himself, and he’d find himself anywhere I was not.
Meanwhile, I tried to disguise my ulcers. I lived almost as a hermit with my baby boy, eating rice and beans at every meal. I would skip sleep for hours in order to avoid nausea from the coldness of the seemingly impending grave. I chose not to see the doctor or my family at all, only speaking emptily to them on the phone. I lived in a warren of unkempt rooms, sharing my bed with a five-month-old; rocking him in my arms on a sleeping pad to try to regulate my stomach; and looking after a colicky, hopefully, non-baby-eating cat.
My parents were vaguely angry with me, but they accepted that I had no choice but to go it alone. I could not handle the outside world well at all, and they were lethargic about it, too. In a cruel twist of fate, it was the baby who ate the cat, which was like winning the freak lottery of sorrow. I had to give up my crazy baby to afford more rice and beans, though I did bring in a stray cat as soon as possible. Even though I stay down, I don’t give up. I will just have to press on, going into the great unknown and undesirable.