When you have depression, it isn’t good to be alone. You too easily sink into your old ways of thinking. But as most of us know, we can sometimes be alone even in a crowd. This happened to me tonight. I went dancing as I usually do on Friday nights. The band began and so did the dancing. As more dancers came in, everyone greeted each other. Mostly. Now I’ve been dancing since 2001, longer than 95 per cent of anyone else who was on the floor. Yet
when many of the others came in, they’d greet each other with hugs. They’d say farewell with hugs. But not to me. Sometimes they didn’t even say hello – not that they didn’t know me.

Why? Is it because I’m older? No, although the older guys seem to get less hugs. Is it
because I’m physically unattractive? Over the last couple of weeks I’ve noticed that the skin on my face seems to have developed blemishes of various kinds. Is it because people see me as cold or standoffish? If I do, it’s because I’m used to being rejected. There has been more than one occasion when I’ve asked a girl out for coffee. For a few seconds, she has frozen and then said (not asked), “It’s not romantic, is it?” – “it” meaning my intention towards her. Yet if I was good looking …

Anyway, aside from the hugs, I was talking to a girl – an extremely attractive Scottish girl – wo had begun swing dancing a couple of months ago, and she mentioned that tomorrow night she and a few others were heading out together to hear a band. As I mentioned, I’ve been part of the swing dance scene for over seven years and I’ve never been invited to go anywhere with a group of people, or even one person. I have invited people to meet at cafés occasionally but only once or twice did several people turn up.

So you can imagine how cheerful I was feeling by the time the band finished. It’s times like this that there are only two reasons for being alive: I don’t particularly want to meet God and it would be another blow for my father, who is battling with his second bout with cancer and has recently developed emphysema. I don’t think I’d actually commit suicide, I’d just lose all desire to live and probably get killed in a traffic accident because I wasn’t paying attention to the road. Or more likely I’d end up quadriplegic.

Well, it’s almost midnight and happy hour is officially over. I detest weekends.

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