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I First Named This, “Balloons,” But Three Months Later, I Decided On, “Depression”

by Zain Murdock

Artwork by Jordan Eggleston


Drove by a church today. A small bunch of people were wearing bright colored clothes in front, welcoming equally bright colored balloons, hands of varying sizes clutching white strings, some wrinkled, some smooth and clear, some with little Band-Aids wrapped around a finger like a hug on a cold, winter’s morning. I’m unsure of why it caught my eye, but the next thing I knew, as we were making a slow turn in a dip in the road, they were starting to let them go.

Violet spheres and lemony ovals and brick handfuls of thin, stretched rubber danced a joyful, solemn waltz against the robin-eggs blue sky, with clouds that were reaching to each other with wispy wrists, singing, “Hello! We are here!” The children and families below were tiny action figures and paper dolls, craning their necks to see the colors fade into miniscule dots, precocious splashes of hope.

I didn’t have to watch much longer, I knew that somehow, the image would remain imprinted in my memory, like a shining penny pressed into soft clay. Something tugged at me somewhere inside, and I felt a bizarre urge to join them, to become a part of this strange phenomenon. The wind tugged me farther from the window as the church passed.

I looked down, quickly, and they all began to fade away into nothing more than a blind spot

Published inNon FictionChapel Hill

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