When I’ve crossed a road I often get the sensation that I’ve been run over. I have to look back over my shoulder to see if my mangled body isn’t lying in the street somewhere, with skidmarks leading up to and over it.
It’s a very odd feeling; Unfortunately, the only illustration of this is the scene from ghost where Sam runs after the guy who stabbed him, only to look back at his girlfriend leaning over his dead body.
What this leads up to is me telling you not to run for trams or busses or trains or whatever. My friend Þora had the great misfortune to combine running with Gothenburg, which at this time of year consists of ice, gravel and a blistering cold. She slipped, hit her head on the curb and briefly passed out.
She knocked her head quite badly in the fall, and we’re still waiting to see what the consequences will be (ie, surgery or no surgery). Right now she has a splitting headache, feels rather sad and annoyed about the state of things, and looks like she tried to read aloud the biography of Malcom X at a klan-rally.
I went over to the hospital to help her home, and next to the receptionist there, there were these pamphlets informing about scabs, blisters, ticks, incontinence, acne and thirty other odds and ends on the failing of the human body. The pamphlets about depression were the only ones that were out of stock.
When I ate happy-happy pills a while ago I did some research into how many people in Sweden are on these pills, and even though I can’t recall the number right now I was very surprised. It’s like one in every twenty persons or somesuch. What the hell is wrong with us? Is life in this gray country so miserable? Are more people concerned with taking pamphlets about depression rather than the common cold?
I’m imagining a gov run program in a couple of years time entitled “don’t worry, be happy.” The subtitle of this program would be if you really can’t be happy, take these pills and make sure you’re still contributing to society by staying in your depression-inducing workplace, and don’t kill yourself before you’ve payed off your student loans. Of course, such a program would be doomed to cause instant depression in at least half the population, spreading mental illness across the globe and ending civilization as we know it.