07 November 2010

Ending With Daylight Savings: R.I.P Roni

Daylight Savings Time ended today.  It really made the day go by quicker than I expected.  Too quickly, in fact. The coming days will go by even more quickly, at least in the way that something goes by quickly when it's going by you.  That will be the case for the next few weeks, as the days grow shorter.

Some people grow very depressed at this time of year.  A few years ago, I learned of something called Seasonal Affective Disorder.  Unfortunately for me--and someone else--I didn't learn about it from reading.  

Right around the end of Daylight Savings Time six years ago, Roni overdosed on pills.  Millie told me that she suffered from SAD (what an appropriate acronym!).  I also knew, from talking to Roni herself, that she was not a happy person.  She had no living relatives, or at least none with whom she was still in contact.  And, it seemed to me, her life was full of all sorts of other regrets.

I found out about one of her deepest regrets when I started living full-time as Justine.  At first, she denigrated and taunted me for it and spread rumors about me.  For months after that, I wouldn't acknowledge her on the street.  But, one day, she approached me and apologized.  "I acted as I did because I envy you," she said.

"What do you mean?"

She explained that she felt that she was a man in mind and spirit, but had to live in the body of a woman--in other words, the inverse of me. Making a transition, she said, was out of the question for her because of various medical problems, some of which were induced by her drug and alcohol abuse.  She was sober and had not abused prescription, or used non-prescription, drugs for several years when she met me, but she was still on anti-depressants and painkillers mandated by her doctors.  

Even if she hadn't had such a history, she said  "there's no point to starting a transition now" at her age--about fifteen years older than I was.  In fact, she killed herself just after turning sixty.

Although I can't say that her despair over her gender identity was the sole or main reason for her despondency--or the thing that pushed her over the edge-- I can't help but to think that it was a factor.  And it would loom larger in the chiaroscuro of the lengthening nights of this time of year.