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.
Loneliness, the more sensitive cop, says, ‘I’m sorry, ma’am. But I might have to tail you the whole time you’re travelling. It’s my assignment.’ .......
.....‘It’s not fair for you to come here,’ I tell Depression. ‘I paid you off already. I served my time back in New York.’
But he just gives me that dark smile, settles into my favourite chair, puts his feet on my table and lights a cigar, filling the place with his awful smoke. Loneliness watches and sighs, then climbs into my bed and pulls the covers over himself, fully dressed, shoes and all. He’s going to make me sleep with him again tonight, I just know it.