Depression and Loneliness track me down after about ten days in Italy. I am walking through the Villa Borghese one evening after a happy day spent in school, and the sun is setting gold over St. Peter’s Basilica. I am feeling contented in this romantic scene, even if I am all by myself, while everyone else in the park is either fondling a lover or playing with a laughing child. But I stop to lean against a balustrade and watch the sunset, and I get to thinking a little too much, and then my thinking turns to brooding, and that’s when they catch up with me.
They come upon me all silent and menacing like Pinkerton Detectives, and they flank me—Depression on my left, Loneliness on my right. They don’t need to show me their badges. I know these guys very well. We’ve been playing a cat-and-mouse game for years now. Though I admit that I am surprised to meet them in this elegant Italian garden at dusk. This is no place they belong.
I say to them, "How did you find me here? Who told you I had come to Rome?"
Depression, always the wise guy, says, "What—you’re not happy to see us?"
"Go away," I tell him. “走开。”我告诉它。
Loneliness, the more sensitive cop, says, "I’m sorry, ma’am. But I might have to tail you the whole time you’re traveling. It’s my assignment ."
I’d really rather you didn’t," I tell him, and he shrugs almost apologetically, but only moves closer.